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Geometry lesson: computerized roundness cuts cost.

Geometry lesson: Computerized roundness cuts cost

A switch from analog to computerized roundness measurement enabled Sunnen Products Co, St Louis, MO, to reduce inspection time by two thirds. For Sunnen, a leading manufacturer of bore-sizing and finishing technology, roundness is a key product parameter.

A pioneer in advanced honing machines, the company produces machines in a wide range of sizes and models. To achieve these inspection savings, it chose a Rank Taylor Hobson Talyrond 300 roundness measuring system that is used in three distinct areas of operations:

Customer verification: In Sunnen's honing laboratory, according to Karen Broyles, supervisor of the testing and evaluation lab, the instrument's results are used to demonstrate to customers how accurately the company's machines achieve roundness, vertical straightness, squareness, flatness, and other key parameters. The Talyrond 300 can measure roundness to within 1 microinch, and can be used on any cylindrical part from a bushing to a camshaft. The instrument is used to check all customer lab jobs run on Sunnen machines to assure that they meet measuring specifications.

Says Broyles, "Formerly, we used to have an outdated analog system that drifted and simply couldn't handle our inspection needs. Also, the older instruments had no autocentering or leveling adjustments."

Gage calibration: In the company's in-house gage-calibration program, the TR-300 is used to check ring gages and verify and check the quality of all production and process equipment.

Research and development: The third area of use is to assist in Sunnen's R&D activities - particularly the development of new honing machines that make parts rounder and straighter than ever before. "We also use it to aid in the design of tools and fixtures," adds Broyles.

Sunnen has developed many of its own part-inspection programs. "After the program is written, which can take up to two hours," she explains, "it's only minutes before we achieve the results that used to require a total of 8 to 9 hours."

Ease of use is another important aspect, she notes, particularly because the instrument is menu-driven. "It doesn't require an engineer to operate it. It's easy to understand because it's user-friendly, and the programming capabilities of this PC-based machine allow untended measurement of production parts."

Sunnen is expanding its line of honing equipment to include a wide range of power-operated automatic machines and bore gages. It is developing new methods for correcting bore errors and assuring geometric accuracy. Part of its aggressive product-development activities is the sending of its honing experts to Europe, the Far East, and the South Pacific to conduct in-depth technical seminars on machining, tooling, and gaging.

"Sunnen's position is strongly dependent on its use of state-of-the-art precision measuring equipment," Broyles points out. "In addition to the Talyrond 300, we have a surface-finish analyzer and other leading-edge measuring and assessment instruments in our test and evaluation laboratory."

Recent improvements in the Talyrond 300 have increased operating speed by 30%, based on use of a 80386-based PC/AT computer, laser printer, and improved axis control. Further software enhancements have simplified user interfacing, removed spurious signals caused by dirt, and added edge detection and multiplot reporting.

For more information, contact Rank Taylor Hobson Inc, 411 East Jarvis Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018 or circle 480.

PHOTO : Rotary reference axis tables are a key element in roundness, concentricity, and other circular-geometry measurements. This Rank Taylor Hobson 48"-dia ball-bearing table has 5000-lb capacity.

PHOTO : Certified gear quality. Pennsylvania

Gear Corp, Philadelphia, has recently earned the status of certified supplier from Caterpillar Inc, based on the latter's intensive two-year review of Penngear's manufacturing and inspection operations. This included a plant-wide SPC program and computerized JIT production that resulted in less than 1% scrap and no rejections by major customers over the past year.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:measuring system
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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Next Article:Technology pays; it doesn't cost.

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