Metrology partnership brings Vision to CMM market
Vision Engineering has announced that it is partnering with metrology innovator Aberlink to add the first contact-only measurement system, DELTRON, to its range of metrology systems.
Designed for robustness, reliability, affordability and ease-of-use, Deltron is a shop floor hardened non-cartesian CMM with an innovative delta robotic mechanism, known for repeatable motion, fast acceleration and a high level of measurement accuracy. The delta mechanism on Deltron operates with a maximum vector speed of 500 mm/sec and a maximum vector acceleration of 750 mm/sec2.
Deltron is built with temperature sensors which ensure the measurement results are as though they were performed at 20 degrees C. This means the system can be positioned anywhere it is needed, next to a machine tool, in a manufacturing cell, or used in a dedicated inspection area.
The cylindrical measuring volume of the system is 370 mm (14.5”) diameter x 270mm (10.6”) in height. The measuring accuracy of 2.6 + 0.4L/100 μm incorporates 0.1 μm resolution scales and a granite base supports parts up to 200 kg (440 lbs). Delivered with ViTouch3D, a powerful and easy-to-use software, suitable for a range of abilities.
Deltron is the result of a new partnership between Vision Engineering, and Aberlink Ltd, the largest UK-owned manufacturer of co-ordinate measuring machines, vision measuring systems and measurement software. Both Vision Engineering and Aberlink are well known manufacturers in their respective markets and the collaboration will allow both companies to extend their coverage of the global metrology market.
Güven Türemen, Vision Engineering’s group commercial metrology manager says: “We are delighted to partner with Aberlink in adding Deltron to our growing metrology product range, the first of a number of collaborative and innovative products between our companies.“
“We use Aberlink CMM technology in our own manufacturing facilities in Surrey, UK and in Connecticut, USA. We know how important it is to have a robust and easy to use CMM in the heart of our machine shop to ensure consistent quality and compliance. Our emphasis has always been on ergonomics and ease-of-use in a production environment. Aberlink have taken delta positioning technology, widely used in automation, to create a true shop floor product for use close to the point of manufacture, by production engineers.”
Vision Engineering Ltd is a global leading-edge designer and manufacturer of patented ergonomic stereo optical and digital instruments, used for inspection, manipulation, measurement and analysis of manufactured parts, by most of the world’s leading manufacturers and their extended supply chains.
Vision Engineering’s contract manufacturing division offers comprehensive contract manufacturing, design and commercialisation packages, giving customers access to the latest technology, as well as a team of experienced designers and engineers.
Founded in 1958 and wholly British owned, Vision Engineering’s Global HQ, design and manufacturing facilities are based in state-of-the-art modern premises in Woking, Surrey, UK, with extensive manufacturing facilities in the UK and US. Regional sales and tech support offices are located throughout North America, Europe and Asia, supported by a fully trained network of distributors.
FARO Launches Latest 3D portable CMM
Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses, the FARO Gage boasts unmatched affordability, speed, performance and accuracy
FARO Technologies, Inc, the global leader for 3D measurement, imaging and realisation solutions for 3D Metrology, AEC, and Public Safety Analytics, has announced the release of its most affordable and accurate 3D portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM), the FARO Gage.
Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses performing high-accuracy tasks, the Gage is the most intuitive, ergonomic, and versatile articulated portable FaroArm®, enabling machine shops to perform their most demanding 3D inspections in record time.
The all-in-one-solution also reduces calibration costs and minimises clutter, replacing traditional hand tools such as calipers, micrometres, and height gauges, while providing 20 percent more reach than the previous-generation Gage arm. Lightweight and portable but with the precision of a lab instrument and the ruggedness of a shop floor device, the Gage sets up in seconds, reduces inspection time, and delivers quality results with exceptional flexibility, resulting in increased speed and productivity.
“When it comes to measurement equipment value, accuracy, portability, speed and affordability matter,” says Michael Carris, Ph.D, vice president of product marketing at FARO. “Too often machine shops rely on expensive and hard-to-use fixed CMMs that take up valuable floor space or a multitude of hand tools that slow down the process. The Gage eliminates these inefficiencies. As a result, inspection bottlenecks are greatly reduced, measurement accuracy is improved, and operator variability is significantly minimised.”
As the United States and the world begin emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the value proposition for such a product could not be clearer. While global industry is presently suppressed, economists predict a robust recovery by Q3 and Q4. That means that many machine shops now operating at half speed will rapidly ramp up production. Demand will surge and products will require fast-tracked release.
The FARO Gage achieves this aim by improving efficiency and productivity as never before.
That efficiency begins with setup. A universal quick mount ensures compatibility with a variety of mounting options that allows it to be set it up anywhere, including on-machine. A simple 2-button design, 6-point articulation and built-in counterbalance deliver exceptional ease of use and fatigue-free operation. Its compact design makes the product lightweight and easy to transport. The Gage is compatible with FARO’s full line of metrology software, including CAM2 Probing, the simple contact measurement solution. The result is an advanced metrology device that delivers unparalleled performance.
“Small and medium size operations can now take full advantage of 3D measurement technology,” adds Michael Carris. “For machine shops, quality problems, imprecise measurement, scrapped parts, extended wait times and customers part rejections all contribute to unnecessary expenses that become more critical during these trying economic times. The FARO Gage allows for more streamlined processes, significant waste reduction, and quick return on investment. Backed by FARO’s 40-year history of superior portable measurement experience, the Gage allows more companies to benefit from lean manufacturing practices and will be employing the new industry standard in compact performance and affordability.”
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WENZEL and Nikon Metrology enter distribution partnership
Nikon Metrology and WENZEL announce their new distribution partnership, commencing April 2020
The distribution agreement between Nikon Metrology Europe and WENZEL sees two of the biggest global players in metrology create a new partnership. This distribution partnership provides customers with the ultimate combination of innovative CMMs and Nikon Metrology’s unequalled laser scanning technology.
Nikon Metrology Europe and WENZEL have announced their new distribution partnership taking effect from April 2020. The distribution partnership means that WENZEL has become an official Nikon Metrology partner for the sales and distribution of Nikon Metrology laser scanning products in the European market.
WENZEL’s expertise and innovation in the CMM market, and Nikon Metrology’s peerless laser scanning technology will support the European customer base with tailored CMM laser scanning solutions to meet a wide variety of applications, industries and requirements.
Ready for Industry 4.0
To meet the demands of Industry 4.0 and mutual customers, the collaboration of Nikon Metrology and WENZEL efficiently delivers innovative CMM-based laser scanning solutions throughout Europe.
Carsten Georgi, Laser Radar & Laser Scanning sales director at Nikon Metrology confirms: “The partnership between Nikon Metrology Europe and WENZEL brings two innovative companies together to meet the increasing market demands of our mutual customers.”
“We are pleased about the new distribution partnership with Nikon Metrology and are looking forward to future cooperation. By using NIKON sensors on a WENZEL CMM, WENZEL provides its customers with an additional benefit. Due to the extended portfolio of optical sensors, the right sensor for each customer can be offered in terms of measuring time, accuracy and level of detail. CMMs already in use can also be upgraded by WENZEL with the new optical sensors. All this is rounded off by use of our powerful measuring software WM | Quartis in which the complete NIKON Metrology sensor portfolio is integrated,” says Dr. Heike Wenzel, CEO of the WENZEL Group.
With Industry 4.0 practices integrating all areas of manufacturing to improve the efficiency of production processes, laser scanning is a key component in its implementation. In the production environment, laser scanning helps to obtain a rapid insight into deviations, a significant benefit of high-speed digital data capture. With the support of WENZEL’s high precision and reliable coordinate measuring machines, this partnership delivers precise and innovative solutions, ready for Industry 4.0.
Nikon Metrology offers the broadest range of metrology solutions for applications ranging from miniature electronics to the largest aircraft. Nikon Metrology’s innovative measuring and precision instruments contribute to a high performance design-through-manufacturing process that allows manufacturers to deliver premium quality products in a shorter time. Further information is available at www.nikonmetrology.com
The WENZEL Group is one of the global leading manufacturers of metrology solutions; a company that grew on a solid foundation of family, German quality engineering, flexibility and strong partnerships. It is a solution-oriented partner with a focus on innovation in various fields of expertise: coordinate metrology, optical high-speed scanning, computed tomography. Subsidiaries and agents in more than 50 countries take care of sales and provide after sales service support to customers. WENZEL Group employs 650 people worldwide. Further information is available at www.wenzel-group.com
LK celebrates first anniversary as an independent company
Pictured on the LK Metrology stand at Control 2019: Angelo Muscarella, CEO (centre); Luca Triolo, general manager (left); Jacqueline Ng, VP marketing (right)
At the Control 2019 exhibition in Stuttgart last month, British coordinate measuring machine (CMM) manufacturer LK Metrology celebrated its first year of trading as a stand-alone company again, following its purchase at the end of March 2018 from Nikon Metrology by Angelo Muscarella, owner of Italian firm ASF Metrology. The last time LK was independently owned was prior to its takeover by former holding group Metris at the beginning of 2006.
During the show Mr Muscarella said: “We are delighted to complete our first year so successfully, during which we made a profit despite the expense necessarily incurred in transferring ownership of the company, which included opening a new office in Shanghai.
“We have already launched a packaged version of our Altera CMM with Renishaw REVO-2 probe, the SCANtek 5, and at the Control exhibition we are showing a brand- new product, the AlteraC 10.7.5, which is the first of three sizes planned.
“It will be supplied with our CAMIO programming, analysis and reporting software plus Renishaw indexing head and touch probe, which can be exchanged for a laser scanner. The machine lowers the price of entry to LK CMM multi-sensor inspection technology and will be officially launched later this year.”
In 2018, LK celebrated its 55th anniversary as a global leader in the metrology industry. It is the longest established CMM manufacturer and its name is linked to numerous innovations, such as the ceramic bridge design, air bearing and granite guideways for stability and stiffness, carbon fibre composite spindles, and horizontal-spindle coordinate measuring. The company worked in partnership with Rolls-Royce to develop Renishaw’s first touch trigger probe for use on a CMM. LK’s brand recognition is strong, especially in the automotive, aerospace, medical and electronics sectors.
LK Metrology is renowned for innovative CMM hardware and software solutions. The company’s metrology products are used worldwide to control and improve the quality of manufactured components. Its precision technology underpins the process chain from design, development, production and assembly through to quality assurance in global industries such as automotive, aerospace, defence, motorsport, energy, medical and contract inspection.
Established in England in 1963, LK Metrology has an impressive heritage in metrology dating back to the birth of CMM technology. Founded by CMM pioneer Norman Key and his father-in-law Jim Lowther, LK Metrology is credited with many of the CMM industry’s firsts including the first bridge-type design, first OEM to integrate computers, first to use a touch trigger probe, first to develop inspection software, first to use all air bearings and granite guideways, first to use carbon fibre composite spindles, first to use microprocessor-controlled drive systems, first to produce a truly thermally stable CMM and first to produce a high-accuracy horizontal-spindle CMM.
Headquartered in the UK, LK’s CMM development and production are at the company’s facility in Castle Donington. Sales and support offices are located in UK, North America, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and China, supplemented by a worldwide distributor network.
Metrology specialist announces restructuring
Measurement Solutions, the UK partner for Creaform 3D portable metrology and Metrologic Group inspection software, has announced plans to re-structure its business activities in response to the changing demands of customers and the 3D measurement and scanning market here in the UK.
Originally founded in 1998 as a solution provider for users of co-ordinate measuring machines (CMM’s), Measurement Solutions has grown to be one of the UK’s leading independent providers of CMM services and solutions as well as 3D scanning technologies. However, with manufacturing industry progressively moving away from traditional fixed CMM solutions towards portable metrology systems, in particular hand-held scanning technologies, and the implementation of automated inspection using industrial robots, the company has announced a radical re-structuring of its activities. Above all, these changes will provide customers with a more responsive and technically capable sales and support experience.
The measurement and inspection market has seen massive changes in recent years. Iain Caville, company founder and managing director, comments “Throughout the last two decades, the metrology landscape has remained somewhat stagnant, with CMM’s and portable arms being the only viable technologies available for inspection and QC. This gave users little choice when it came to metrology solutions, with the same companies dominating the supply of measuring equipment. However, recently we have seen the emergence of radically new and innovative technologies such as optical measurement and 3D scanning from exciting new enterprises, such as Creaform. These new technologies have opened the eyes of anybody involved in measurement and inspection as to new ways of acquiring quality measurement data.”
Dedicated technology teams
The new business structure will see the formation of two separate technology teams, each dedicated to different market application and product requirements. The new Portable Metrology Division, headed by Jason Bridge, who has over 20 years sales experience within the metrology and 3D measurement sector, will focus primarily on portable measurement solutions, providing an array of 3D measurement and scanning systems for a wide range of applications. Activities will focus exclusively on sales and support of portable measuring systems for industrial applications, such as the market-leading HandySCAN3D and MetraSCAN3D solutions from Creaform, providing customers with a wide range of metrology, inspection, product design, and reverse engineering solutions, with the flexibility to operate with all types of CAD and inspection software.
To fully complement these activities, David Harper will head the new Metrology Integration Division to focus heavily on providing software solutions to make full use of customer’s 3D measuring systems. This will include not only traditional CMM applications and services, but will also be dedicated to providing quality control solutions through the integration of proven metrology software within the emerging automated measurement market using industrial robots. With over 30 years’ experience in CNC CMM applications, David Harper brings a wealth of automated inspection knowledge to this relatively new market sector.
Iain Caville continues “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for our future business development. For many years we have been tremendously successful in providing customers with class-leading measurement and scanning technologies. Our portable scanning solutions are easily the fastest selling systems throughout the World, and we now recognise the additional need to create a dedicated team of engineers to deal with the growing market in inspection using industrial robotics and to better address our customers’ needs to better implement existing measuring systems.”
The new Metrology Integration Division will provide the latest CAD based inspection software for traditional measuring devices, such as CMM’s, portable measuring arms, laser trackers and portable 3D scanners. Utilising the class-leading Metrolog X4 suite of software, any make or model of measuring device can be brought right up to date to deal with today’s measurement and inspection demands, in most cases irrespective of age or condition. The software has direct interfaces to most CMM controller systems, so users have the possibility to upgrade a machine without having to change controller hardware, enabling them to continue using their legacy software for existing parts and to fully utilise the new software for future programs. In addition, the new team can also offer complete CMM retrofits, including CNC controller hardware, hand-box controls, probing systems, etc., and being ISO17025 accredited can also provide UKAS certification according to the latest standards.
The main reason for the restructure however, is to address the growing demand for integrating metrology solutions with industrial robots. In this case, the Metrology Integration Division will approach the robotics sector from a completely different perspective than has been seen so far in the market, effectively treating a robot inspection cell just like a CMM. A typical robotic inspection cell consists of an industrial robot, a measuring device (such as a laser or structured light scanner) attached to the robot, software to program the robot movements, and metrology software to analyse the results. Current solutions are exclusively offered either by a robot supplier or by a measuring device manufacturer, offering the end-user with little or no flexibility to adapt or select alternative robots and/or measuring technologies. In addition, these also require the customer to learn and implement multiple software packages for each step of the process.
The new approach offered by Measurement Solutions is to focus on the implementation of Metrolog X4 i-Robot as a single integration software that can connect all robots and all measuring devices into a common cohesive solution. Metrolog X4 i-Robot is a dedicated 3D inspection and metrology software that is the only software solution able to provide off-line and real-time robot programming, metrological analysis and PLC integration, all-in-one software package. The key advantage of this approach is that the user has complete freedom to combine any make of robot with any make of measuring device. There is no limitation to the flexibility offered, as users can select the best combination of robot and measuring device to suit their specific application needs and support requirements, and can easily exchange or upgrade measuring technologies if required in the future.
Metrolog X4 i-Robot builds on the already proven 3D inspection software that has been developed over 30 years by Metrologic Group. With thousands of licences in use throughout the world at many leading manufacturing organisations, such as Boeing, Airbus, BAE Systems, BMW, Nissan, VW Group and many of their major supply chain partners. The software is the only solution that can fully address any combination of measurement system and device configurations, with direct interfaces to all makes of CMM, robots and probing & scanning devices. The key benefits are flexibility and standardisation, as the software enables users to fully utilise any measuring device using one common software platform, removing the need for additional training and a dependency on specialist inspection personnel.
“We want our customers to be able to take full control of their measuring processes, and not have to compromise and adapt the process due to limitations imposed on them by the robot or measuring device provider,” says David Harper. “With the X4 i-Robot solution, the customer is free to choose any combination of robot and measuring device. For example, they may have a preferred robot integrator or scanning system provider who they wish to work with, or even have existing robots or scanners available that they would like to utilise for this purpose. We can combine all devices into a fully automated solution, which can even be programmed by the user just like a traditional CMM, without the need for intervention or dependency on third party programming companies.”
Iain Caville concludes: “This is just the first step in re-inventing our relationship with the market and our existing and future client base. We have more exciting developments coming in 2018 that are sure to provide our customers with more opportunities to fully integrate the latest measuring technologies into their current and future manufacturing processes.”