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Rigibore’s Precision Vision Decision – Mitutoyo

Rigibore is a renowned manufacture of precision boring bars and advanced boring systems that can be designed to accommodate customers’ specific requirements. Extensive experience in the specialist area of boring tool technologies and boring strategies has enabled Rigibore to become a world leader in the design and manufacture of highly productive boring tools. The company’s expertise and growing global reach was recognised by the award of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2013. In addition to other demanding sectors, Rigibore boring bars are used throughout the world in automotive, aerospace, marine, agricultural and heavy plant manufacturing industries. The company is a trusted supplier to many major international manufacturers, Rigibore also works closely with a number of leading international machine tool builders.

The efficiency and accuracy of Rigibore products, such as the company’s Smartbore and ActiveEdge products is largely due to their high precision, the use of advanced manufacturing techniques and the company’s strict quality culture.

Rigibore’s Smartbore system is designed to enable an operator to quickly and easily make manual, micron-accurate adjustments to the cutting edges of a fine boring tool while it is located in the machine spindle.

The ActiveEdge product allows any machine tool to automatically hold a close tolerance bored diameter without the intervention of an operator. ActiveEdge boasts a revolutionary design that automatically compensates and delivers unrivalled levels of accuracy and enhanced levels of productivity. To ensure that Rigibore remains at the forefront of its chosen field, the company pursues a Continuous Improvement Program (CIP) across all of its activities.

As well as further improving Rigibore’s already high quality standards, a major aim of its CIP is to increase levels of efficiency in order to ensure that its products remain commercially competitive. A recent review of one of a critical, time consuming inspection tasks identified it as an area where both precision standards could be improved and major time savings could be made.

Greg Cocks, Rigibore Engineering Director explains. “To confirm the accuracy of the pockets in our holders that house our customers’ carbide inserts, our quality staff would load an insert into each individual holder’s pocket, then make the relevant measurements. Although this 100% inspection technique guaranteed the required pocket accuracy, it was extremely laborious for the operators concerned and also very time consuming. Having searched for a solution, to speeding-up this important task and making further accuracy gains, our local Mitutoyo Sales Engineer suggested the use of a high-precision, high-speed CNC vision measuring system. Mindful of the large volumes of carbide insert holders we produce and our demanding accuracy specifications, a demonstration of the suggested Mitutoyo Quick Vision Elf Pro model, measuring our parts, was organised, “As the machine proved ideal and given the urgency of our requirement, it was quickly purchased and installed.”

Our quality staff now simply load multiple holders on to the Quick Vision Elf Pro’s bed, recall the relevant part program and instigate a rapid, fully automatic CNC measuring routine. As the complex geometry and dimensions of each pocket is now measured with a greater degree of precision, we are able to guarantee the accuracy of the fit without the need to pre-load carbide inserts.

“The speed and accuracy of our new Mitutoyo CNC vision measuring system means that we have achieved all of the aims of this project’s remit by slashing our measuring times and improved our accuracy capability. Also, as the inspection of our holders’ pockets take place so soon after their production, we are now able to provide rapid feedback to production related to any component parameters that are drifting from their nominal conditions.”

Mitutoyo offers a wide range of high-quality 3D CNC Vision Measuring Systems from lightweight, space-saving design that offers a very high performance/cost ratio, through to a machine that measures workpieces while they are moving using a high-intensity-LED stroboscopic image-capturing technique for ultimate productivity.

The Mitutoyo Quick Vision Elf Pro, as used by Rigibore, is an advanced 3D CNC Vision Measuring System with a measuring range of X 250, Y 200 mm and Z 200 mm. The system has a resolution of 0.1 μm and provides accuracy in the 2.3μm class, when measuring up to 100mm. In addition to its impressive accuracy specification the Quick Vision Elf Pro is a highly efficient 3D CNC Vision Measuring System due to its (X/Y/Z axes) drive speed of 200 mm/s.

Programmable ring lighting provides flexibility in lighting direction, angle and intensity, regardless of the inclination of the workpiece surface. This feature enables maximum surface contrast to be achieved, and by extension best imaging resolution and accuracy to be realised.

Fine control of obliquity and direction provides optimal illumination for measurement. Obliquity can be arbitrarily set in the range from 30° to 80°. This type of illumination is most effective for enhancing the edge of inclined surfaces or very small steps. Illumination can be controlled independently in every direction, back and forth, right and left.

The Mitutoyo Quick Vision Elf Pro’s programmable Power Turret (PPT) offers a three tube lens selection to provide three magnifications with the same objective lens. Replacement of objective lenses allows a wide magnification range to support a wide variety of measurements.