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Networking measurement data.

Networking measurement data

A greater emphasis on precision and the growing need for networking measurement data are challenging manufacturing to move to greater levels of integration or CIM, says Kazuo Nakanishi, president, MTI Corp, Paramus, NJ. "Measurement cannot be independent of process, and it must be integral with production and design engineering. As the engineering side moves in the direction of greater precision, production machinery must follow, and it is very important for us to help with that integration."

To meet this demand for higher levels of precision, measurement people will be adding high-end equipment to their show displays. In MTI's case, an example will be a new Mitutoyo high-speed, high-accuracy CMM. "We see a strong emphasis on CMM technology today," Mr Nakanishi explains, "and CMMs will be even more important in the future, driven by advances in software technologies and the need to integrate machining and measurement technologies."

The key will be application-tailored software, he notes. "We have our own software-development effort in Los Angeles, responding to varying US customer needs. We have similar efforts in Japan and Europe. Our policy is to have full capabilities in each market--to fully satisfy our customers' needs."

On the hand-held-instrument end of the measurement spectrum, the firm has been providing electronic hand-held gages for some time now, with capabilities for integrating into SPC technologies and networking into data systems. In the very near future, he believes, "Data for any type gage, from the simple to the complex, must be able to be integrated and exchanged."

New challenges

Although they do not yet have a complete networking capability here, they do in Japan. The hardware is ready, but the missing ingredient is a total software package for the US market.

Another challenge for measurement makers is educating users to what the latest technology can really do for them. "This is very important for our future," says Mr Nakanishi. "We have an educational group based in Chicago, educating our own people, our distributors, and our end users. I have put much personal emphasis on this, expanding this division of our company."

Gaging materials are also changing. The Japanese have been quick to exploit the advantages of ceramics. "Like our competitors, we must examine new materials, try them out, and, when we find any material advantage, apply it to our products immediately, usually test marketing these products in Japan first."

One MTI product that has been a big hit in Japan, but slow to catch on here, is the line of ceramic gage blocks. "That will take time," he laughs, admitting that the perception here of "fragile" ceramics is hard to overcome. "That is mentioned by many of our potential customers. But this is not just another gage block, it's a whole new technology. We will have to spend more time educating people about what these gage blocks can do," the MTI executive explains.

Come prepared

His advice for IMTS attendees is come well prepared. "The best thing they can do is arrive armed with an accurate and clear definition of what they really need and what they can afford to spend. There are many different machines and different categories of prices. The customer must make the best fit between his application and what's available."

It's a difficult choice, he admits, and the danger is over specing. "Many times, people buy products more accurate than they need--and waste money. This is true not only in CMMs, but in many different recently developed technologies that promise various capabilities and accuracies. If people came with a more accurate definition of what they really required, they wouldn't overspend."

PHOTO : Kazuo Nakanishi President MTI Corp Paramus, NJ
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Title Annotation:Metalworking Product Guide
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:Interview
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Previous Article:Computer hardware & software.
Next Article:Measuring & inspection equipment.

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