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Measuring complex surfaces.

AE Piston Products, Lake City, MN, uses advanced Talyrond technology from Rank Taylor Hobson Inc, Des Plaines, IL, to make complex metrological measurements such as piston elliptical skirt profiles, linear skirt profiles, ring groove flatness, nng groove perpendicularity, roundness, and various concentficities. The firm is a manufacturer of pistons and sleeves for commercial compressors and engines for such applications as agricultural, off-highway equipment, trucks, and industrial engines.

Over a decade ago, Rank Taylor Hobson installed its first instrument for AE Piston Products--a Talyrond 200 roundness and form measurement system. The output of the Talyrond system matches the programming format that AE Piston Products uses for its CNC complex turning centers. This feature greatly reduces the chance for human error and allows for a greater exchange of complex information among the various manufacturing operations.

The company has recently added a Talyrond 250 with a software package specifically designed for piston manufacturers. The system includes advanced features that meet the firm's measurement requirements.

In addition to upgrading manufacturing operations, AE Piston Products' strategy included continuous reductions in operating costs while improving product quality. "As a result," says Paul Veer, quality services superintendent, "we have been able to reduce our overall cost of quality by 50%, mainly through process improvements and scrap reduction. The Talyrond systems have played a key role in that process."

The company has also realized additional savings in capital costs that it hadn't initially counted on. As Mr Veer explains, the company manufactures several hundred different variations of pistons. The cost in dedicated tooling and gage fixturing alone for all the products would be very expensive. "With the new Talyrond 250 system just installed, we don't need expensive, special fixturing thanks to the system's photoelectric triggering feature and the piston-specific software."

The company also recently purchased a Form Talysurf from Rank Taylor Hobson, which Mr Veer considers to be leading-edge equipment for surface and form measurement. "With this system, we are capable of measuring virtually any surface parameters within DIN and ISO standards," he says.

AE Piston Products uses Rk Parameters that define the topography of plateau-honed surface profiles. Rk Parameters are new surface texture height parameters devised by metrology experts and certain European instrument manufacturers to help the automotive industry assess plateau-honed surfaces. They consist of five basic parametric categories: reduced peak height (Rpk), core roughness depth (Rk), reduced through-depth (Rvk), material component/upper limit (Mr1), and material component/lower limit (Mr2).

For more information from Rank Taylor Hobson Inc, Des Plaines, IL, circle 267.
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Title Annotation:Quality Solutions; Rank Taylor Hobson Inc.'s surface measurement device
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:May 1, 1992
Previous Article:NC verification.
Next Article:EDM advances spark new uses.

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