Having recently invested in three large capacity machining centres and associated ancillary equipment, to enable it to undertake new contracts within the renewable energy sector, Express Engineering can now machine a range of parts of up to 2m in diameter, weighing up to 8 tonnes. This investment is part of a £3.5million, 3-year expansion programme.
Managing Director Nigel Davison explains: 'In the medium to long term, we expect that our planned increase in business will largely depend on our ability to manufacture large complex parts from difficult-to-machine materials, and in our capacity to strengthening our position in industry specific supply chains - such as oil and gas, renewable energy and aerospace. To realise these company ambitions, and to help maintain our current competitive advantage, we have recently made a number of significant changes to our business.'
'Having previously been operating at full capacity, the first phase of our expansion programme, an 18,000 sq ft factory extension, means that we now have room to grow. To ensure the quality of the output from our large capacity horizontal machining centre, we have purchased a Romer Sigma Measuring Arm and Aberlink 3D software. Mindful of the size of the components to be measured, and their demanding tolerances, we consulted Northern Metrology. After considering the range of large capacity measuring tasks to be performed, Tony Smith the owner of NM, suggested employing a combination of two complementary technologies, a 2.5 metre Romer Sigma Measuring Arm, linked to Aberlink 3D Measuring Software. Now fully employed our new measuring arm/software combination is proving both easy to use and able to meet our stringent geometric part accuracy specifications.'
One of the lightest measuring arms in its class, the Romer Sigma offers total flexibility through the use of the wireless communications, optimum rigidity and its infinite rotation ability. The Sigma series provides total compatibility with all Romer accessories and equipment, including both contact and non-contact sensors and laser digitisation equipment. Aberlink's 3D measurement software can be used with almost any measuring arm. Featuring automatic shape recognition, a bi-product of an Aberlink 3D inspection routine is that a picture of the measured component is created simultaneously on the system's computer screen. Dimensions between the measured features, mirroring those that appear on the component drawing, are then picked off as required. This software package represents an 'intelligent' measuring system that can automatically recognise and define the various features being measured. Aberlink 3D is claimed to be the easiest to use, most intuitive measuring arm software available; such that a complete novice can usually perform relatively complex measurement routines after just 5 minutes product training.