With exhibitor numbers more than 15% up on the previous event and visitor numbers expected to eclipse the 21,500 attendance in 2012, hopes are high for MACH 2014, the UK’s main showcase for manufacturing technology.
Hall 5 at the NEC, Britain’s largest exhibition space, is completely sold out and the NEC’s next biggest, Hall 4 is nearly full too. In all, the organisers, the MTA, estimate that 6,500 tonnes of equipment will be on show.
Over 150 of this year’s exhibitors were not at the last show, signalling a return to confidence in UK manufacturing.
The show is also breaking new ground this year, as major OEMs, including Airbus and Rolls Royce, exhibit alongside their supply chain partners, enabling visitors to get a sense of the scope of the UK’s manufacturing sector.
As ever, the world’s leading metrology companies will be well represented.
Back after the break
Mahr is returning to MACH after a lengthy break with new products including the MarSurf CWM 100 optical measuring system and the MarShaft series of optical shaft measuring machines.
The MarSurf CWM 100 combines confocal microscopy with white light interferometry. These two measurement methods cannot be used independently on all materials and surface structures, but in combination almost all technical and optical surfaces can be reliably and highly accurately measured.
Mahr says that where measurement needs to be completed quickly along with the analysis and evaluation of two-and three-dimensional parameters the MarSurf CWM 100 provides an ideal solution.
The units are equipped with a number of lenses, contained in the ‘lens turret’ that allows the user to efficiently change between different magnifications and field sizes quickly and easily. Positioning is by a CNC X/Y table and the system can measure and analyse larger areas by stitching measured surface together.
The MarShaft SCOPE Plus is a universal, fully automatic, optical measuring unit for turned parts. It features a precision roundness measuring axis (C), a vertical measuring axis (Z) and a horizontal measuring axis (X), all of which are controlled by Mahr’s MarWin EasyShaft software. It is easy to use and ruggedised for use in the machine shop environment where measuring runs can be fully automated without any influence by the operator.
For component features, such as axial run-out, which are not easily measured using the Marscope’s camera an optional inductive measuring probe is available. This tactile measuring probe is calibrated to the optical measuring system, allowing both measuring systems to be combined simultaneously.
Largest CMM from Aberlink
At MACH Aberlink Innovative Metrology is launching the Azimuth, its largest capacity CMM yet. The Azimuth has a 1200mm X-axis, 1000-3000mm Y-axis and 1000mm Z-axis and is aimed at manufacturers of large components.
Aberlink says that the Azimuth will deliver extended measuring capacity, high accuracy, ease of use and exceptional speed, at a very cost-effective price.
Also making a MACH debut will be the new version of Aberlink’s intuitive software. As well as discrete point touch-probe measurement, Aberlink 3D, Mk IV now allows extremely accurate, rapid scanning of features and profiles, and, says the company, delivers a host of innovative new user advantages.
Aberlink Axiom Too CMMs will also be on show fitted with PH6M and SP25 tactile scanning probing, in addition to advanced camera and collimated light systems. Available in both manual and CNC variants, the Axiom Too allows consistent, precise results within inspection departments or on the shop floor and is suitable for both novices and experienced CMM operators.
Also on display, Aberlink’s Project X is an advanced vision system for shop floor measurement and features Aberlink’s vision software plus a host of easy-to-use inspection tools.
Enhanced scanning technology
On Stand 5910 Faro UK will show a number of advanced metrology products including the latest advancement in FARO’s Laser Line scanning sensors, the FARO Edge ScanArm ES. Featuring Enhanced Scanning Technology (EST), a number of hardware and software improvements enhance its ability to scan challenging surfaces.
Also on display will be the latest FARO Edge, with its small, light laser line probe and touch-screen computer for basic measurements and also the FARO Gage with barcode scanner. For large volume measurements, the FARO Laser Tracker Vantage will also be on show.
One machine, one routine
MACH will see the first UK appearance of the OGP SmartScope Vantage 450 multi-sensor co-ordinate measuring system. This features a both a touch probe and the brand new TeleStar Plus laser, which is also making its first UK appearance. The Vantage 450 will be under power and shown on Stand 5949 performing measuring routines on a cylinder head.
With its 450 by 450 by 250 mm travel, the new Vantage is designed to measure larger parts, or to accommodate fixtures of multiple parts or rotary indexers. There is also a version offering an extended Y-axis of 610 mm. A solid granite bridge design platform rests on a sturdy, floor-standing steel support structure. This yields high speed stage translation without vibration to maximise measurement throughput.
On the TeleStar Plus laser, a 50% increase in data rate and a 30% tighter tolerance band allow higher speed and accuracy. Its more robust measurement capability includes new automatic exposure control to reduce sensitivity to vibration.
In combination with patented illuminators and field-proven edge detection algorithms, the Vantage 450 emphasises the OGP theme at MACH of being able to measure anything on one machine, in one routine.
High speed contact scanning
Renishaw will give a UK exhibition premiere to its new SPRINT high-speed contact scanning system for CNC machine tools. The SPRINT system incorporates a new generation of on-machine scanning technology that Renishaw says will deliver a step-change in the benefits of process control, enabling fast and accurate form and profile data capture from both prismatic and complex 3D components.
It says that on Stand 5730 visitors will see that for blade manufacture, the SPRINT system provides unprecedented capability for blade tip refurbishment and root blending applications. The high-speed measurement of blade sections coupled with high data integrity (even on leading and trailing edges) ensures the indication of true part condition leading to an adaptive machining capability. Automated routines, such as set-up, blade alignment, blade scanning and data collection result in significant accuracy and cycle time improvements over touch-trigger systems.
For multi-task machining applications, the SPRINT machine tool scanning system offers process control capabilities including exceptionally repeatable diameter measurement cycles. By employing master part comparison, the SPRINT system becomes an ‘active’ control enabling measure-cut processes to be automated for accurate diameters on large parts. This capability can result in the size of diameters being automatically controlled to within a few microns of tolerance.
Additional functionality offered by the SPRINT system provides a rapid health-check of a CNC machine tool’s linear and rotary axes in seconds, making it possible to implement a daily machine monitoring regime with little or no operator involvement.
Each SPRINT application is enabled and supported by a software toolkit package which is dedicated to a specific industrial task, for example, the SPRINT blade toolkit. The toolkits include on-machine data analysis tools which run automatically in-cycle and provide measurement feedback to a CNC machining process.
At the core of the SPRINT system is the OSP60 scanning probe which has an analogue sensor with 0.1 µm resolution in three dimensions. The analogue sensor technology in the probe provides a continuous deflection output that is combined with machine position to derive the true location of the part surface. Measuring 1000 true 3D data points per second, Renishaw says the system’s analytical capabilities provide unparalleled opportunities for work piece measurement, inspection, adaptive machining and on-machine process control.
Smart vision technology
Stemmer Imaging will demonstrate how smart camera technology can benefit manufacturing industry. On show will be the LMI Gocator series of smart 3D cameras and the BOA range of 2D smart cameras from Teledyne DALSA.
The latest 3D smart measurement sensor is the Gocator 3100 series which feature an integral structured blue LED light projection illumination source with stereo scanning technology. They are suitable for a wide variety of non-contact, in-line inspection applications where objects must remain stationary. Volumetric and 3D feature measurement tools can be used in many inspection applications from automotive to reverse engineering. Specific measurement tools include rectangular opening, circular opening, slot, cylinder, threaded stud, corners, edges, and gap & flush.
The BOA range of smart cameras can be used in a multitude of automated inspection applications. The BOA Pro has the powerful Sherlock software on board, which provides a range of measurement and analysis tools complemented by advanced pattern recognition tools for object alignment and robot guidance.
QMT Features: March 2014
What to see at MACH 2014
The UK’s biennial manufacturing technology showcase returns to the NEC, Birmingham from 7 to 11 April
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