QMT Features: October 2016
Quality in the round at Kawasaki
A leading hydraulic technology manufacturer is using Mitutoyo equipment to ensure roundness on pistons and cylinders

Located in Plymouth, Kawasaki Precision Machinery UK Ltd (KPM UK) is the centre for Sales, Engineering and Manufacturing for Kawasaki hydraulic components and systems, including the world famous Staffa radial piston motor, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As the pistons and cylinders and other ‘round’ parts of Staffa products have extremely challenging dimensional tolerances, KPM UK recently searched for a roundform system that could enable attributes, including roundness, straightness, flatness, concentricity, coaxiality, perpendicularity and runout to be measured to extremely demanding levels of accuracy. It decided on a top of the range Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme RA-H5200CNC, CNC Roundness/Cylindricity Measuring System.

KPM UK Measurement Technician David Surcombe explained: “Although our existing roundness and form checker remained in good working order, we were aware of the progress made in roundness checking technology in terms of usability, speed and accuracy. Also as a larger, heavier product was about to be added to our Staffa range we needed a machine that could not only accommodate these new bulkier parts, but also remain future-proof if further even larger products were introduced.

“The Roundtest Extreme from Mitutoyo proved to be the ideal machine for our needs. Although our decision was based on specification and not price, the Mitutoyo machine also proved to be the least expensive of the options.

“Following a trouble free installation of the Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme RA-H5200CNC and on-site training, we were soon able to master the system and to perform complex component checks. It helped that Mitutoyo’s Roundpak software is very intuitive and simple. As the vast majority of our inspection routines are carried out on the same families of parts. We have already written many part programs with the help of Roundpak’s easy to use off-line programming function.

“We are now able to load a component on to the Roundtest Extreme and make use of the machines advanced self-centring ability, this considerably speeds-up the part loading process. We then recall the relevant program and instigate a fully automatic, fast CNC measuring routine. On completion, in addition to presenting all of the relevant accurate dimensional, geometric and surface finish information, Roundpak’s clear graphics provide an instant visual indication of the status of all of the features being inspected. We are then able to download and archive this information.

“When compared to our older machine, in addition to enhanced precision and additional functions provided by our new Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme, its impressive speed has increased the throughput of roundness and surface finish work in our busy inspection department.

“As our new Roundtest Extreme has a maximum workpiece diameter of 680 mm and a weight capacity of 80 kg, not only is it capable of inspecting our new, larger parts, it should also be able to accommodate all future anticipated parts.”

Mitutoyo’s Roundtest is capable of both form and surface finish measuring. A linear scale incorporated into Roundtest machines’ X-axis, enables measurement to be taken while tracking the workpiece surface. This capability is most effective when measuring a diameter difference involving a displacement that exceeds the detection range of the probe, or a taper that can only be measured with a slider/column movement.

Roundness and surface roughness measurements are both available from a single measuring system therefore workpiece resetting for roughness measurement is not required. In addition, roughness measurement is possible in the axial and circumferential directions.
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