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CMM's abound at Quality-TIME.

The Quality-TIME Show at Chicago O'Hare Expo Center, April 28 to 30, welcomed Congressman Donald Ritter (R-PA) as its keynote speaker. Quite appropriately, Congressman Ritter was the author of the legislation that created the National Quality Council. In his keynote address, the congressman reminded Quality-TIME attendees that quality is the key to gaining a competitive edge in today's global business environment.

At the show, more than 400 exhibitors were on hand to help the tens of thousands of visitors attain the competitive edge that Congressman Ritter spoke of in his address.

A substantial amount of floor space was devoted to coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), which also seemed to gamer a comparable degree of attention from show attendees. Many aerospace and automotive companies, among others, now insist that suppliers have CMMs, and CMM manufacturers are doing their best to make sure that their line has a model to meet every need and price range.

While many of the exhibitors at the show were busy demonstrating alternate means of achieving CMM precision while beating the high cost of CNC CMMs, Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Co took another tack. In conjunction with the show, and for a limited time, Brown & Sharpe is offering its tabletop MicroVal CMM system with Micromeasure Level 1 Plus software and Renishaw Touch Trigger probe for $12,999.

Giddings & Lewis chose the show to roll out three new CMM models. Its next-generation line of Cordax CMMs, the Apollo R-5, provides volumetric accuracy to 0.010 mm (0.0004") with repeatability to 0.0035 mm (0.000 14"). Me company claims the unit's throughput is the highest of any CMM with a probe that delivers 85 straight-line touches per minute.

Giddings & Lewis' new Pegasus series is a self-contained, six-axis, DCC CMM designed for the shop floor. Key features of the Pegasus include an integral environmental enclosure; a dynamic vibration isolation system; automatic temperature compensation; a stress-free, all-aluminum moving structure; and highly stiff, porous media, air bearings.

Unique approaches for reducing the effects of temperature variation and foundation drift are used in Giddings & Lewis' new Atlas model. Microprocessor-enhanced accuracy and laser interferometers, plus a concrete-foundation base to prevent foundation drift, have been combined to assure long-term accuracy.

Carl Zeiss Inc demonstrated its new Pulsar production-floor CMM. Designed for high-volume manufacturing environments, the Pulsar uses a unique fixed bridge and moving table design for high-speed performance on the factory floor. Linear motors reduce moving parts to minimize maintenance, and the fixed bridge uses materials that maintain structural rigidity and thermal stability on the shop floor.

Pulsar's electronically controlled and removable part-fixture pallet enables it to be easily integrated into a production cell for automated part loading and unloading.

Carl Zeiss Inc also introduced its UMC 850/1250 Carat system, which measures hundreds of points in the time it takes conventional CMMs to measure four to six points. Unlike conventional CMMs that use point-to-point probing, the UMC's probe remains in contact with the workpiece and gathers measurement data as it moves along the part surface. By measuring up to 100 times more points, the UMC greatly increases the confidence level that the measuring results represent the true dimensions of the part.

Faro Technologies Inc introduced Metrecom, which it dubs a new "Liberated CMM." It is a portable, 3D industrial measurement arm that gives users the flexibility to perform fast, accurate measurements directly on the manufacturing line.

The Metrecom features a six-degrees-of-freedom arm that can instantly scan and measure complex 3D surfaces, edges, spheres, and points. It has a 6-ft diam measurement envelope and offers one-touch digitization of small and large parts.

Another portable, though more conventionally designed CMM, was introduced by Tokyo Boeki North America Inc. The company's Vectorarm is a fully articulated unit that enables users to digitize coordinate information from any workpiece. It can also be used as a 3D CMM, layout machine, or universal inspection system. Included software automatically compensates for any offset in the reference plane and axis of the workpiece.

MTI Corp rolled out its extensive line of metrology hardware, including big, small, manual, and CNC Cmms. Unique to MTI was its new Mitutoyo Geotizer, which resembles a CMM less the usual base and table. With Geotizer, users can build either a digitizing system or measuring workstation offering 0.0001" (0.001 mm) resolution.

Vision technology continues to make inroads into CMMs' realm either replacing conventional touch probes in some applications or adding versatility in others. Vision-based probes are the clear choice in noncontact applications. However, their speed and versatility in measuring complex surfaces also make them a very desirable alternative to conventional touch probes.

The L S Starrett Co also introduced three new three-axis noncontact measuring systems at the show. The systems combine the advantages of optical measuring projectors, precision microscopes, and CMMs into simplified compact packages. Said to be economical alternatives to separate measurement devices, the measuring systems are well suited for fragile and/or non-rigid workpieces where conventional gaging methods are ineffective. Two models, the Optima-Multisensor and Centro, feature the ability to switch between optical- and touch-probe modes.

Another alternative to traditional CMMs was offered by RAM Optical Instrumentation Inc in the form of its optical measurement and inspection system, the OMIS III. With its three-axis measuring capability of 24" X, 18" Y, and 4" Z-axis capability, the unit offers accuracy of 0.0001" and repeatability within 0.000 08".

A lot of attention has focused on probes the past few years and this year is no exception. One reason is that a CMM is only as accurate as its probe. Another reason is that many companies are adding probes to CNC machine tools in order to monitor and correct machining processes.

Renishaw Inc introduced its OPM5 laser scanning probe, which is designed for high-speed scanning and data acquisition, particularly of profiles and surface geometries. Re noncontact OPM5 can take more than 200 readings per second on a suitable CMM, providing resolution to 2.5 microns, accuracy typically better than 25 microns, and repeatability of 5 microns.

Renishaw also introduced its new Universal Datum Sphere at the show. The Datum Sphere enhances the performance of manual and fully automated CMMs through precision datuming of the CMM probe. By manually pivoting the sphere over a wide range of angles, the CMM probe can touch more parts of the ball. Combined measurements taken above, centrally, and below the ball determine the probe's exact reference position.

Marposs Corp introduced a new line of touch probes designed specifically to provide high reliability in demanding machine-tool applications. Offered under the Mida trademark, the new probes feature a modular design that permits three basic systems to cover the full range of machine-tool probing applications. The Mida probes' rugged construction is backed by a three-year warranty.

The probes are designed around a modular concept that combines three basic touch-trigger probes with three distinct transmission systems and a wide range of styli and mounting accessories. Each Mida touch-trigger probe can be coupled with a choice of wireless optical, high frequency, or hard-wired transmission systems and interface units compatible with a wide range of CNC controls. The combination provides very high isotropy which produces highly uniform switching response and outstanding repeatability in all directions. The 2-Sigma unidirectional repeatability of the largest (50 mm) probe equipped with a 50 mm stylus is rated at 1 micron (0.000 040") at speeds to 600 mm/min (24 ipm).

To help CMM users get the most productivity from their machines, Tecnomatix Inc announced a graphic simulation system for programming, optimizing, and validating CMM programs off line. Called ROBCAD/CMM, the program generates a complete and validated CMM program off line, permits optimization of path development, and creates a collision-free path in DMIS format. The features-based program is based on the MOTIF standard and provides a full range of graphical features such as multiple windows, dialog boxes, and movable pull-down menus. The program provides the ability to depict kinematically the entire measurement environment including CMM, probe, fixturing, etc.

Several companies introduced a variety of new products for gaging geometry and surfaces.

Federal Products Co highlighted its Formscan circular geometry, Surfanalyzer surface-measurement, and Laser Height Gage systems. The Formscan 3300 cylindricity gage measures cylindricity, vertical straightness, parallelism, and cylindrical co-axiality.

The Surfanalyzer 5000 features two new linear drives of 6" or 12". Each drive has three traverse speeds for detecting minute irregularities on finer surfaces or measuring straightness over longer surfaces.

Federal Laser Height Gage is said to be the first commercially available system for direct measurement of gage blocks. Eliminating the need to compare each block to a master, the system greatly improves speed and accuracy of gage-block measurements.

Rank Taylor Hobson Inc introduced its new Talyrond 30 circular geometry measuring system for measuring roundness, flatness, squareness, eccentricity, runout, and concentricity. The processing speed of the instrument, combined with the simplicity of the component setup, ensures fast measurement cycle times. The unit also accommodates an optional second measuring gage for dual profile analysis, which significantly reduces the cycle time involved in concentricity measurement.

Rank Taylor Hobson also displayed its Surftronic 4+ surface texture instrument, which offers laboratory measurement at the point of component manufacture. In addition to the measurement of all widely used international roughness parameters, the unit offers straightness and waviness measurement, statistical analysis, material ratio, unfiltered profile analysis, and Rk analysis.

Tokyo Seimitsu America introduced several new metrology-, surface finish-, and geometry-measuring instruments including:

* Rondcome 30A for economical, high-accuracy roundness measuring.

* Surfcom 2080 user-programmable, PC-based surface-finish analysis system with software for calculating more than 30 parameters.

* Handysurf E-30A portable surface-finish measuring system, which can provide instant calculation of seven measurement parameters according to ANSI, DIN, ISO, and JIS standards.

* PD-4 machine control gage for SPC of cylindrical grinder production designed to minimize process variability and maximize machine throughput. The unit calculates upper and lower control limits and signals automatic in-process adjustment of machine parameters to 0.000 005".

MTI Corp displayed three roundness gage systems, the Mitutoyo Roundtest RA-211, Ra-212, and RA-221. The units gave various parameters such as roundness, flatness, off-center in X and Y axis, squareness, concentricity, coaxiality, parallelism, peak height, valley depth, and mean roundness.

Kurt Manufacturing Co displayed its Kurt Check gaging computer, modular gages, and SPC software. Kurt Check is a standalone IBM-compatible computer designed to survive on the shop floor. Me system can interface with virtually any gaging device from LVDT transducers and analog probes to weight scales, densitomers, and digital measuring tools. Up to 32 of these devices may be directly interfaced, in any combination, at any one time.

Kurt's reusable multiplegaging solutions provide cost-effective measurements from automated gages for real-time monitoring of processes.

For more information on companies mentioned in this article, circle the appropriate number on the reader service card. Brown & Sharpe
Manufacturing Co .... 312
Giddings & Lewis Inc .. 313
The L S Starrett Co .... 314
Carl Zeiss Inc ......... 315
Faro Technologies Inc . 316

Tokyo Boeki

North America Inc .... 317

MTI Corp ................ 319 RAM Optical
Instrumentation Inc ... 320
Renishaw Inc ......... 321
Marposs Corp ........ 322
Tecnomatix Inc ....... 323
Federal Products Co ... 324

Rank Taylor

Hobson Inc ............. 325

Tokyo Seimitsu

America ............ 326

Kurt Manufacturing Co .... 327

US workers need training

So says Albert W Moore, president of AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology in remarks made at the joint meeting of AMTDA/AMT held April 5-8, 1992 in Indian Wells, CA. He says that the competitive success of the US depends on producing the best products and we're not going to be the best unless we put more emphasis on manufacturing education and training.

He says that we in this country place too much emphasis on sending kids to college to become professionals like doctors and lawyers, rather than encouraging them to enter careers in manufacturing. As a result, 15 million 16 to 24 year olds have become "the forgotten half," entering a workforce for which they are either unskilled or under-skilled.

Mr Moore says that today the US has only about 17% of its total workforce involved in manufacturing--twenty years ago that figure was 26%. In comparison, Japan currently has 28% of their people in manufacturing, and in Germany it's 33%--almost double the US.

Mr Moore feels that "our apprenticeship and vocational preparation programs in this country need repairs and they need them now." He feels a crisis of leadership exists in this country, and outlines several steps for manufacturing managers to help turn this problem around:

* keep pressure on the government to make manufacturing, education, and training a priority,

* become more active in local communities to stress the importance of manufacturing and training,

* recognize that the longterm economic strength of the US depends on the strength of our manufacturing base.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Management Update; coordinate measuring machine exhibits dominate Quality-Time show
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jun 1, 1992
Previous Article:The power of education.
Next Article:Empowering success: employees take charge of their jobs.

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