The world’s leading trade fair for quality assurance, Control 2014, takes place from 6 to 9 May at the Stuttgart Exhibition Centre. The strong focus on industrial applications will be complemented by a special complementary programme of workshops and events.
This year’ show is on strong form with more exhibition floor space and more German and international exhibitors. The organisers say that where technologies, processes, products and systems are concerned, growth is particularly apparent in image processing and vision systems, as well as test equipment for automotive components and assemblies.
This includes end-of-the-line test systems for mass produced products and assemblies for the automotive and consumer goods industries, where inline quality assurance is a key market. To find out more about the event and the supporting programme please visit: www.control-messe.com
Faster, lighter, stronger GapGun
Third Dimension is launching its new flagship GapGun Pro handheld laser measurement devices on Stand 5130. GapGun flexible and ergonomic profile measurement systems use optical triangulation to measure gaps, shapes and forms incredibly accurately. GapGun Pro takes a large evolutionary step from its predecessor, GapGun MX+, with the focus on greatly improved speed, ease of use, portability and ruggedness.
The GapGun Pro’s new, superfast processor means that measurements can be collected faster than ever before, with speed improvements of up to 20x over manual techniques, reducing cycle time and increasing efficiency.
The new device includes Third Dimension’s ergonomic new VChange sensor interface, which allows the user to remove, swap and reattach sensors, in just seconds, making multiple sensor use on the shop floor easier than ever before. A host of measurements can be collected using just one system and Third Dimension’s extensive range of interchangeable VChange sensors.
The GapGun Pro’s integrated Wi-Fi connection means instant interfacing to the PC with no additional hardware or cables required, giving operators total autonomous measurement capability as well as enhanced portability and convenience on the shop floor.
With its high capacity internal battery the GapGun Pro can operate completely standalone for around 4 hours, plus a further 6.5 hours using its lightweight interchangeable clip on battery pack. GapGun Pro builds on all the key capabilities of the GapGun Plus Series such the ability to measure without ever needing to touch the surface. This maximises the accuracy and repeatability whilst eliminating potential surface damage and enabling the measurement of soft or unfixed parts.
Third Dimension’s HiRange sensor technology allows a wide range of challenging surface finishes can be measured and the patented adjustable laser cap can shorten or split the laser line to measure a range of complex features.
New release of inspection software
At Control Delcam will launch the 2014 release its PowerINSPECT inspection software. This features a new interface with new icons that will make the software more intuitive and even easier to use. Other enhancements in the new version include the ability to create compound items and so speed up and simplify repetitive measurements.
The software can now be used to take all types of simple measurements and to inspect a growing variety of geometric features, as well as offering more tools for analysing complex 3D surfaces. In addition to making it easier to negotiate the greater range of options, the interface features freshly-designed icons, which give a cleaner look and feel to the software.
PowerINSPECT 2014 also has the ability for users to create custom toolbars, which allow frequently-used commands to be grouped together in one convenient place. This will also improve speed and ease of use. It is possible to export and import toolbars, so users can easily transfer their set-up to a different PC or share their toolbars with other operators.
During inspection, 2D features (circles, slots, rectangles and the like) are always projected to a reference plane. For example, when inspecting a circle representing the top of a cylinder, the user will want to measure the properties of the circle and its height. PowerINSPECT can now create a compound item that combines the plane and the feature together into a single compound feature, and assumes that the 2D feature is to be reported, while the plane is not. This leads to a shorter sequence tree that is easier to navigate, and a report that shows only the properties of the 2D features by default.
The range of geometric features that can be measured with PowerINSPECT continues to be increased with a new option to create a probed ellipse. A new constructed geometric feature allows the user to create the circle at the intersection of two tori. This can then be used to locate the transition point in ‘S’ bends in tubing and ductwork applications. In addition, enhancements have been made to the measurement of a constructed ellipse.
Gap and fold edge analysis
NextSense will present its CALIPRI multifunctional swiveling profile measurement device at Control 2014 in Hall 5 on Stand 5422. NextSense says that in premium-class vehicle construction smaller clearances means more customer satisfaction: lower noise level and improved appearance are quality criteria that influence the buying decision. But with ‘invisible’ gaps, and thus more hidden and more complex gap contours, the measurement requirements become more demanding.
The CALIPRI uses three laser lines to scan profiles, which means it can be swiveled to allow measurements of complex gaps to be made from different perspectives. In addition, the fold edges of the sheet-metal body parts that form the gaps can also be analyzed.
NextSense says that this offers a huge technological advance over methods that only record gaps from only a few perspectives and calculate the missing data by mathematical approximation methods – and because of these ‘missing perspectives’ cannot analyze fold edges at all.
A crucial element of the CALIPRI’s mobile flexibility is the patented tilt correction. It automatically compensates for any tilts and twists of the measurement sensor. Regardless of whether it is hand-held or installed on a robot arm – CALIPRI can be moved freely over the component and combines the segments recorded by the laser into a complete profile. The measurement result is free from mathematical extrapolations and the flexible movement of the easy-to-use device allows for the measurement of significantly more complex gap contours than were hitherto possible.
Heidenhain will show two recently introduced products for measurement, inspection and quality control engineers: the high-performance LIP 200 encoder; and the MSE 1000 modular connection system.
These will be complemented at the show by an array of digital readouts for metrology applications, as well as length gauges and the IK5000 PC interface card.
The LIP 200 combines two factors that were previously exclusive – a very small signal period (512 nm) and high traversing speed of 3 m/sec. Boasting high stability and interpolation accuracy, plus very low position noise, the LIP 200 features a precise reproducible reference mark regardless of the direction of travel over a measuring length up to 3,040 mm. It is targeted at high-performance applications where speed, stability and position are critical.
Also being showcased on the stand, the MSE 1000 modular connection system is a versatile and cost-effective solution to a wide range of simple and complex analogue and digital measurement applications. Enabling fast and flexible Ethernet-to-PC connection for up to 250 axes/data channels, MSE 1000 can be installed as a series of modules for configuration to specific needs covering, for example, temperature and pressure, sorting switches, warning lamps and PLCs.
Closed loop control
Alicona Manufacturing and machine manufacturer Makino will present a high precision electrical discharge machine (EDM) using True AdaptTM Closed-Loop Manufacturing (CLM) technology, developed by Alicona Imaging GmbH and the US-based EDM Department.
Alicona Manufacturing’s CLM machine is composed of a Makino machining center and a fully integrated optical 3D measurement sensor from Alicona. This allows EDM components with complex geometries to be manufactured while undergoing continuous high resolution measurement.
Machine-to-machine communication allows self-optimised closed loop performance maintaining form, position, surface finish and adherence to tolerances.
This new processing method eliminates clamping errors and has the potential to increase machining accuracy fourfold within EDM, grinding, laser and milling industries.
With components are measured directly inside the machine, the system evaluates possible deviations from the target geometry and reports them directly to the machine - eliminating the need to remove parts for measurement. Based upon the internal evaluation, the machine automatically modifies the process parameters for further manufacturing. As a result of this closed loop ‘processing-measuring-modifying-processing’, users experience up to four times the accuracy in comparison to traditional measurement methods.
One practical example of CLM is in the production of demoulding slides for mould tools. The geometry of the slide’s tip is crucial as it has to engage perfectly with its counterpart. If angles and lengths do not comply exactly with the CAD model, the slide has too much clearance inside its counterpart which may lead to deformation when polymer is injected. If this happens tight form tolerances can no longer be maintained and the operator might have to change the slide.
The use of closed-loop manufacturing guarantees adherence to all tolerances within µm range. The extremely high machining accuracy enables error free application and a long service life. The system will be demonstrated live every two hours at Control.
Video for larger samples
Nikon Metrology will launch two new CNC video measuring systems, iNEXIV VMA-4540V and 4540 at control. Both provide a wide field of view, easy operation, and allow the measurement of large and tall mechanical parts.
The iNEXIV CNC video measuring systems automatically inspect the dimensions of a variety of precision components and electrical parts using optical measuring and image processing technologies. By precisely detecting the edges of the sample using CCD camera images and data processing, the measurement of complex shapes is possible.
The cost-effective VMA-4540V/4540 is an addition to the iNEXIV series, offering a larger measurement stroke than the iNEXIV VMA-2520 that was released in January 2007. While the VMA-4540V is for video measurement only, the VMA-4540 additionally provides optional touch probing capability.
The 450 by 400 by 200 mm stroke of the stage supports high-speed measurement of large printed substrates and tall plastic injection moulded parts, as well as the mass inspection of multiple parts simultaneously, resulting in a significant reduction in inspection costs.
A wide field-of-view (FOV) of up to 13 mm by 10 mm (at 0.35x) makes the search and alignment of measuring targets easy. A high quality Apochromat objective lens with high NA (0.11) and low distortion has been specially designed for the iNEXIV series, providing crisp, clear images.
The VMA-4540V/4540 is equipped with episcopic, diascopic and 8-segment ring LED illuminators to suit the sample shape. Combining these illuminators and adjusting light intensity and direction makes accurate detection of low contrast edges possible.
The VMA-4540V/4540 series is equipped with repeatable vision AF that allows high-speed, high-precision focusing of sample surfaces or edges, reference-plane settings and height/depth measurement. Non-contact measurement using vision AF has the benefit that it does not damage or deform parts.
Laser AF is available as an option, enabling height measurement of flat surfaces with high repeatability at any magnification or depth of focus. The VMA-4540 is touch-probe ready and can accommodate optional Renishaw TP20 or TP200 touch probes. They enable the measurement of 3D parts when video measuring methods cannot be used, such as lengths and angles in areas that cannot be seen from above. Video measurement and touch probe measurement can be easily combined using a single teaching file.
Extended range from Bowers
Bowers will be exhibiting the company’s comprehensive ranges of analogue and digital bore gauges on Stand 7105, Hall 7, including the next generation of its Bowers XT3 range. This has waterproof protection to IP67 and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) data transmission, allowing direct connectivity to PCs, Smartphones, Tablets and Android devices
Also being demonstrated will be Bowers MicroGauge and Bowers XT Digital Xtreme internal micrometers. The MicroGauge, two-point bore-gauging system has an integral digital readout and is designed specifically for the accurate measurement of bores from 1.0 - 6.0 mm. The popular Digital Xtreme internal micrometers combine traditional quality ratchet gauges with the advantage of advanced IP65 electronics. Featuring the same electronics and operating system as Bowers XT range, the company’s XT Holematic Xtreme bore gauges incorporate an ergonomic pistol grip handle with an advanced trigger action, giving fast operation and a constant measuring pressure. Bowers’ XT range features a clear digital display, IP65 electronics and application range of 2 to 300mm.
Bowers will also be demonstrating the company’s latest innovative air columns, plugs and rings, which can provide high precision results to suit individual customer’s needs. It will also be showing the Moore & Wright range of hand tools.
Precision torque tester
Mecmesin will be showing its new Helixa precision torque tester, which is designed for achieving precise alignment when using the most sensitive torque sensors.
The Helixa is already being used by the designers and engineers of the smallest rotary controls, the lightest springs, the finest bearings, and the most precise rotating fittings. Applications include cosmetic twist dispensers for lipsticks, insulin pens, child resistant closures, bearings, miniature torsion springs and rotary controls for electronics.
A choice of intelligent torque cells allows measurement from 6 Nm down to just a few mNm. Concentricity at extreme low torques is ensured by the facility to align specific fixtures with the selected torque cell.
Mecmesin says the Helixa is ideal where rotation of components is very precise, or very light, measuring a range of critical torque features, including breakaway torque in fine bearings, the precise operation of click-stop dials and twist-dispensers, the 360 degree smoothness of controls, or the quality assurance of mass-produced medical Luer fittings.
Where axial forces count, the Helixa has additional key features. A counterbalancing mechanism can be used to remove axial forces due to the torque cell and fixturing, and if required, a top-load platen can then be used to apply a specific static axial force.
The Helixa is available as a PC-controlled version (the Helixa-i), driven by Mecmesin’s Emperor software which allows sophisticated test programs to be built and complex results to be analysed, and as a stand-alone version (the Helixa-xt) controlled from an integral touch-screen console. Complementing the Helixa is a range of torque testing accessories, including a precision fixing plate for securing even the lightest samples and bellows for dust protection.
Wireless angle and level measure
Taylor Hobson will unveil the latest addition to its line of Talyvel electronic levels this year at Control. The newly designed Talyvel 6 interfaces directly to a touch screen computer and can be used in wireless mode for complete flexibility.
Used for measuring straightness, flatness or absolute level, Talyvel 6 combines high accuracy, stability and repeatability. It is simple to calibrate and operate with a fast measurement response time.
Talyvel incorporates a pendulum-type transducer that provides exceptional measurement stability and has an accuracy of 0.2arc second over the centre measuring region.
The Talyvel 6 is widely used to check the flatness of granite and cast-iron tables where its dedicated analysis software allows significant time savings in calibration time. The Talyvel 6 has applications in machine tools for checking slide-ways for straightness and twist, columns for squareness and surface plates for flatness. It also can measure camber on rolls.
It is also used in civil engineering applications, remotely monitoring the tilt of structures or checking for foundation settlement. It also can be used to check the level and straightness of rails and platforms and can be used to measure the twist of marine engine bed plates and the parallelism of crankpins, to main bearings or marine crankshafts.
Spectrum Metrology is the worldwide technical support and repair agent to Taylor Hobson for its range of alignment, angle and level measurement instruments.