Aberlink transform CMMs - from 'Bronze Age' to 'New Age'
DYN Metal Ltd supply specialist bronze products to some of the world's largest concerns. Available as bars, tubes and flat plates from which a wide range of components may be machined, the company's Bronze Alloys are unique and cannot be obtained from any other source. DYN's first class, in-house facilities also allow the design and manufacture of complete components to customer specific requirements.
With over 60 years experience in the design and manufacture of superior bronze bearings, the formulation of the company's Bronze Alloys provides superior bearing properties and a longer wear life. DYN bronzes are different to other bronzes with the same chemical composition, a special process developed by DYN delivers wear rates typically two to three times lower than those provided by materials of the same nominal specification.
Autonomy of operation ensures that DYN's customers are able to receive a comprehensive range of in-house services including CAD designs, casting of materials, machining and ISO certified quality control. The quality and consistency of each batch of the company's centrifugal and continuous cast materials is painstakingly checked with advanced spectrograph analysis, whilst absolute traceability is assured through the company's ISO 9001:2000 quality standards. DYN's meticulous quality standards are also applied to its machined parts. In addition to the use a range of manual in-process gauges, the company relies on the use of three Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) for its final inspection tasks.
DYN Director, James Capper explained. "Following the purchase of our original DEA Swift CMM, as our business, and the burden on our inspection department increased, we purchased a larger capacity Wenzel CMM. Although mechanically, our two CMMs remained in excellent condition, some time ago we became aware of the limitations of their out of date software. Following a search for suitable modern, retrofittable CMM software, and demonstrations of several alternatives, we purchased Aberlink's 3D software.
"Following the software's installation and Aberlink's training session, our operators quickly became proficient in its operation. Installing Aberlink 3D had the effect of completely transforming our two older CMMs, from relatively limited, slow machines with dissimilar operating systems, to very capable, fast CMMs. The use of Aberlink 3D significantly expanded our measurement capability, speeded-up our inspection throughput and improved our report generation systems. In addition, the use of a common, straightforward operating system allows greater operator flexibility." Aberlink's popular 3D software is the easiest to use CMM software currently available and is equally rewarding when used by the novice or an experienced CMM operator.
A welcome bi-product of any Aberlink CMM inspection routine is that a simultaneous picture of the measured component is created on the computer screen. Dimensions between the measured features, mirroring those that appear on the component drawing, are then picked off as required. In essence this 'smart' software represents an intelligent measuring system that is able to automatically recognise and define the various features being measured.
When using Aberlink 3D, by undertaking a measuring routine in a manual mode, all of the measured parameters can be simply stored as a programme that can be quickly recalled, allowing subsequent, fully automatic, rapid inspection routines to be undertaken in a CNC mode.
James Capper continued "We have been so impressed with Aberlink 3D, that when further company growth recently dictated the purchase of a further CMM, we had no hesitation in purchasing a CNC version of Aberlink's most popular model, the Axiom too, fitted with an Renishaw RTP20 probe head. "As our inspection personnel are already skilled in the use of Aberlink's software, and given the excellent service that we have previously received from the company, our decision was an easy one.
"Now installed and making an excellent contribution towards upholding DYN's reputation for the quality of our output, the Axiom too has proven a great success. Our operators have written programmes for many of our repeat components. When needed a we are able to import the appropriate programme, load multiple parts on to the CMM's base and run a rapid inspection routine in a fully automated CNC mode. When required, Aberlink's software also allows us to generate comprehensive inspection reports."
Available in manual and CNC variants, the cost effective Axiom too is the best selling CMM from the largest UK owned Coordinate Measuring Machine manufacturer - Aberlink Innovative Metrology. Aberlink's popular Axiom too CMM can truly be described as the complete Inspection Centre; high measuring accuracies are achieved through the use of the latest metrology techniques and advanced in-house manufacturing methods. The Axiom too boasts an all aluminium bridge resulting in a very low thermal mass, rendering the machine ideal for use either in controlled environments or within less than perfect shop-floor conditions. Thanks to the Axiom too's use of advanced materials, the machine's reduced inertia results in class leading speed of operation. For increased accuracy air bearings of optimised stiffness are employed on all axes, whilst a granite Y Beam allows preloading of bridge bearings in both directions. Borrowed from the Aerospace industry, the CMM's sturdy component support consists of an advanced granite/aluminium honeycomb construction, this technology, provides natural damping and further improves the machine's thermal properties. Despite the Axiom too's generous measuring volume 640x600x500 or 640x900x500, the machine's compact design occupies a relatively small footprint, with the controller and all peripherals housed within the Axiom too's workbench.
The use of Renishaw's RTP20 probe head on Aberlink CMMs allows the integral TP20 probe to be moved to 168 repeatable positions in 15-degree increments using both A and B axes. This required a one-time only qualification for each stylus tip position and eliminates the need for costly time consuming re-qualification routines. Automated indexing of the RTP20 probe head is realised through an innovative process which uses the motion of a CMM to achieve 'motorised' head style operation.