Category Archives: Case Studies

Custom Solution Meets Demanding Automotive Manufacturing Requirements

Vision system facilitates measurement when heavy fixturing constrains access to a workpiece. Ramcel Engineering Company (, located in Northbrook, IL, was founded in 1950 with the mission of providing precision, custom metal stamping, as well as contract mechanical assembly services, and robotic MIG & TIG welding services. Ramcel Engineering serves diverse markets with its output evenly split across automotive, computer/telecom and consumer applications. Housed in up-to-date facilities totaling 60,000 square feet, the company is equipped with a full range of stamping presses supported by extensive engineering capabilities, leading-edge software and automation. Ramcel prides itself on accepting and successfully delivering jobs that its competitors often find too challenging. Safety-critical steering column component Such is the case with a component currently in development for use in an automobile power steering column. The program was awarded to Ramcel Engineering when the work...

Mitutoyo Contracer: A More Efficient Measuring Method

At Advics Manufacturing Ohio Inc., a CNC setup has dramatically transformed contour measurement of automotive brake components from a 45-minute specialist’s task to a 3 1/2-minute generalist’s job. Founded in 1987 and located about 40 miles northeast of Cincinnati, Advics Manufacturing Ohio employs more than 500 people dedicated solely to production of disc brake calipers and ABS units. These are supplied to automakers around the world for installation in more than 20 different vehicle models by the company, which has a reputation for being a quality-leader for brake products made in North America. Improve safety, comfort and environmental responsibility Advics’ mission is to add value to society by creating products to improve safety, comfort and environmental responsibility. Evidence of this pursuit is the implementation of a program of continuous improvement, which impacts every operation. One area targeted for...

Innovative Polishing Systems/Mitutoyo Scratch Gage

Innovative Polishing Systems and Mitutoyo develop scratch gage

Mitutoyo America and Innovative Polishing Systems, Inc., Stuart, Florida, recently collaborated on development of an instrument capable of accurately and easily measuring the depth of scratches in glass. Innovative Polishing Systems’ business is to polish-out scratches in the repair of high-value glass typically found in architectural, auto, marine and aerospace applications. If the glass cannot be restored, it must be discarded. Polishing is feasible only if the scratch is not too deep, generally no more than 0.002”. So having good data on scratch depth is critical in determining the course of remedial action. As a result, Innovative Polishing Systems decided it would be beneficial to replace traditional, imprecise “manual” methods of determining scratch depth (feeling with a finger nail, or by visual comparison of the damage to...

Space Metal Fabricators/Mitutoyo Helicopter Blade Adjuster

Space Metal Fabricators and Mitutoyo America Collaborate on helicopter blade adjustment tool

Space Metal Fabricators of Columbia, South Carolina, and Mitutoyo America Corporation have jointly developed a tool to help helicopters fly smoother. While flying, helicopters generally experience a low frequency vibration in the main rotor blades. This is due, in part, to slight differences in each blade’s aerodynamics. These vibrations are not likely to cause structural damage but may adversely affect electronics; they also absorb power. To dampen vibration, some main rotors incorporate trim tabs located on the blades’ trailing edges which can be adjusted to keep blades rotating smoothly. Some systems incorporate electronic, in-flight rotor track-and-balance systems that provide information used to adjust the pitch of the tabs. Specialized tools then are used to physically bend the tabs. Besides in-flight indication, tab adjustment may result...

Assuring Performance of Long Gage Blocks

McNeal Tool Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mid Iowa Tools, Inc., specializes in the sales and support of precision metrology instruments and services.  This includes provision of gage calibration services to a national manufacturer of window and door products that are sold into residential and commercial markets. According to Wayne Schneider, McNeal Tool Field Engineer, “Many of the customer’s products include wood and extruded or roll-formed materials processed to length using tenoners, molder/profilers, or saws.  The length of these pieces can measure from around 90” to 140” or more, with tolerances typically kept to within ± 0.002”. To help keep machining processes centered on nominal values, the customer utilizes an SPC measurement routine that includes periodic use of long, single-axis measuring tables specifically designed to verify accuracy of long workpieces. The measuring tables are about...

Inside Story Issue 8

Toughened glass is made from annealed glass, either by thermal tempering or chemical processing. Chemical processing results in increased toughness compared with thermal toughening and can be applied to glass objects of complex shape. Toughened glass is typically used architecturally. Safety glass, which comprises toughened (tempered) glass reinforced with polymer laminations is, of course, standard in autos. Aerospace applications generally employ combinations of polymer, glass and other materials.

Inside Story Issue 7

Jim Salsbury, Ph.D. Corporate Metrologist, Mitutoyo America, comments, “As measuring equipment has gotten more complex and organizations more lean, one begins to wonder if the calibration certificate is really understood by the end user. Organizations spend a lot of money on calibration, but are they getting the return on that investment that they should?”

Inside Story Issue 6

While the concept of the screw thread was known in ancient times, its first application to measurement was in 1638 by William Gascoigne, a British Astronomer. Gascoigne used a screw thread to fine-adjust the angular displacement of his telescope as he moved it to observe and record the position of stars.

Inside Story Issue 4

ATRONA Material Testing Laboratories, Inc. ( located in Machesney Park, a suburb of Rockford, Illinois, provides metallurgical and materials analysis and related engineering services.

Inside Story Issue 3

The technology of heart transplants has been honed for almost 40 years now. Survival rates are constantly improving and great progress has been made on the problem of organ rejection. In fact, a challenge arguably tougher than surgery today is the ever-widening gap between the number of cardiac transplant candidates and the number of donor organs available to help them.