Pressure Tech opts for Keyence

Japanese measuring specialist Keyence has supplied Pressure Tech, a UK manufacturer of stainless-steel pressure regulators for use in gas and liquid applications, with an IM-7000 image dimension measurement system.

From a technical point of view, a critical element of any Pressure Tech product is its ability to create a seal between two surfaces. Variance in the angle of a sealing part can be the difference between the part creating a seal or not.
“We previously relied on a CNC program and basic methodology to address this requirement,” says Keith O’Pray, operations and system manager at Pressure Tech. “However, as we’re always looking to enhance our internal processes, we were keen to source the latest measuring equipment to take this aspect of our production to the next level.”
After careful consideration, the IM-7000 was acquired. The device was selected because of its range of specialist measurement tools, its built-in dimensional reporting feature and its speed of measurement, an essential feature on batch runs with low cycle times.
Importantly, the new image measurement system allows Pressure Tech personnel to closely monitor the angle of all the external sealing surfaces manufactured, measuring to within 0.01°. The results, according to O´Pray, speak for themselves: since acquiring this system “we’ve consequently been able to ensure repeatability of the machining process and the quality of the components produced”.
New programs take just minutes to create and a full dimensional report for a part can be generated at the click of a button.
“This means we are seeing benefits not only in the improvement and consistency of the components produced, but also in the speed of measurement; given the complexity of some parts, this is imperative when working to tight deadlines,” says O’Pray.
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Breakthrough optical interferometry system

Firms will soon have access to technology that enables them to carry out the ultra-precise and ultra-fast measurements which will deliver the automation that is increasingly vital for manufacturing growth.

Now, a University of Huddersfield scientist who played a key role in the breakthrough has been awarded an Enterprise Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE).
Dr Hussam Muhamedsalih is a senior research fellow at the University’s EPSRC Future Metrology Hub. He and his colleagues have developed and patented a new optical interferometry system that can carry out accurate measurement in fractions of a second.
For example, the roll-to-roll process – crucial to meet the demand for devices such as smartphones and printable sensors – often has to go offline for vital accuracy checks. The University of Huddersfield technology will mean this is no longer necessary, leading to big efficiency gains and cost savings.
Dr Muhamedsalih’s Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship will help him to demonstrate the full potential of the device and to commercialise it. The fellowship provides funding of up to £60,000 over a year, mentoring and help with PR and promotion, plus lifetime membership of the RAE Enterprise Hub, paving the way for a spin-out a company from the university.
Earning the award was challenging. There is immense competition for fellowships and, after he had made the final shortlist, Dr Muhamedsalih was summoned to London for a tough session with five interviewers. He was delighted to receive a fellowship at the end of the process and, when the 12 months have elapsed, he will attend the Enterprise Hub’s 2020 showcase event.
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Vision unveils DRV-Z1

Vision Engineering, a manufacturer of visual inspection and measurement technologies, has introduced its latest flagship product, the Deep Reality Viewer (DRV-Z1) microscope.

Designed at its Woking, UK headquarters, the DRV-Z1 enables the user to view high-definition 3D images under magnification without using a flat screen, or requiring operators to wear goggles or specialist glasses. Innovatively, by linking multiple DRV systems via wired or wireless technologies, users can share and manipulate 3D images of components or products in real time.
Vision Engineering says that the DRV-Z1 is set to transform supply network collaboration in manufacturing and quality, design and rapid prototyping, and even in the healthcare and medical sectors. The ability to simultaneously share and discuss full 3D images of critical parts, repairs or design enhancements without any delay offers tangible benefits.
In terms of transferring vital information and quality of view, colleagues across multi-site organisations, suppliers and their customers and designers and manufacturing engineers can use the DRV’s real-time connectivity to accelerate and improve both product design and client response.
Using Vision Engineering’s globally patented TriTeQ3 digital 3D display technology, the DRV-Z1 moves these advantages even further forward, combining improved ergonomics with real-time transfer of 3D product images for rapid and informed decision-making. DRV-Z1 systems are designed to address important quality control and production requirements in sectors including electronics, aerospace, automotive and medical.
Mark Curtis, managing director, Vision Engineering says: “This breakthrough technology sets a new industry standard, offering users an incredible 3D viewing experience, without the need for glasses or headsets. The ability to share high-definition images with other users anywhere in the world presents a huge opportunity to improve standards across key industries such as healthcare, manufacturing and automotive.”
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Rotary axis error checks made simple

SwivelCheck from API measures and calibrates machine-tool rotary axes, tilt tables and pendulum axes. The instrument utilises a servo-driven motor in conjunction with an electronic level and precision rotary encoder to measure multiple parameters in a single set-up. Availability in the UK is via reseller OR3D Ltd.

API’s SwivelCheck can operate in automated or manual mode, and includes API’s Intellicomp software for control, data acquisition and reporting. The device can also be used in conjunction with the API XD laser interferometer to measure horizontal rotary table position. SwivelCheck can be mounted off-centre of the rotating axis to measure the swivel axis of trunnions without any need for the disassembly of critical machine-tool components.
According to the company, SwivelCheck is easy to set-up, offers ±400° swing and allows tilting axes to be checked at the spindle nose, thus offering true accuracy to be reported over systems that check at the motor and do not detect ‘lost motion’. The Intellicomp software provides a direct import of measured axis data to machine-tool controllers, allowing an update of system parameters for improved precision.
API says that SwivelCheck provides a tool to validate the performance of machine-tool rotary axes in general machine shops and at users of five-axis machining centres.
API founder and CEO, Dr Kam Lau, invented the laser tracker while working at USA’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to allow industrial robot accuracies to be determined.
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Mitutoyo sparks quality revolution

First introduced in 1987, Starline Track Busway today claims to be the industry-leading electrical power distribution system for the data centre, retail, industrial and higher education markets. The UK division of its manufacturer, Universal Electric Corporation (UEC), moved into a new 60,000 sq ft factory in Reading over 12 months ago to support the European customer base.

Clive Larke, quality director at the facility, says: “As part of the global strategy, we wanted to produce mirror image labs on this side of the Atlantic, the US and in our other hub in Asia. We control all three labs from this hub here in Reading.”
Tasked with implementing a standardised measurement facility on three different continents, Larke approached Mitutoyo.
Mitutoyo’s southern area technical sales engineer, Trevor Stubbs, takes up the story: “Initially, Clive brought a number of parts to our Andover headquarters, where we conducted extensive testing, trials and conformance reporting. From this, we recommended the Crysta Apex 574 three-axis CMM, the Quick Vision Active QVL-404 two-axis vision measuring machine, the Quick Image QI A2010 image recognition and measuring system, the LH600E height gauge, a selection of hand tools, a granite table, and a number of other ancillary products.
“Much to our surprise, Clive didn’t only order the equipment for the Reading facility, he also placed an order for the Singapore and US sites,” adds Stubbs. “By mirroring the Mitutoyo equipment specified for the Reading site, the company can ensure complete uniformity across all its manufacturing facilities.”
The Crysta Apex CMM is used by the firm for measuring critical dimensions, as well as the dimensions on mating parts that require an optimal fit.
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