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With initiatives like Factory of the Future and Industry 4.0, manufacturing industry is striving towards right-first-time production with increased production rates and tighter tolerances. Traditional fixed-base inspection is being replaced by more embedded in-process and on-machine metrology using portable optical measurement systems.

Imagine putting together a jigsaw puzzle of more than 30 million pieces. The instructions say to group these pieces into about 80 individual blocks, which will weigh up to 800 tonnes. Those blocks must be precisely placed together, offering passengers a safe and pleasant journey aboard a tremendous cruise liner. 

Headquartered in Higher Denham, some 30 miles north-west of London, Martin- Baker is the world’s longest established and most experienced manufacturer of aircraft ejection seats and related survival equipment. Given the safety critical nature of Martin-Baker’s products, they are manufactured to the highest standards of quality and reliability. Although numerous modern inspection and testing aids are used to ensure ‘as-designed’ performance, the mainstay of Martin-Baker’s inspection functions is its collection of Mitutoyo CNC Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs).

The UK’s only producer of hotsaw blades, Sheffield Industrial Saws, relies on a Bowers TH174 portable hardness tester to accurately measure circular saw blades.   Sheffield Industrial Saws uses the handheld device to measure the hardness of the tooth tips of its hot and friction saw blades, which are made from carbon steel. The Bowers metal hardness tester is one of the only products on the market that can fulfil these hardness testing requirements and still be portable.

The extraordinary strength to weight ratio of composite materials has enabled F1 and other series engineers to design cars that use semi-monocoque chassis, wings, spoilers, and other parts, made from these materials that are significantly lighter and stronger. This results in cars that are both faster and safer.

Vibration measurement and analysis of extremely small and lightweight systems that would be impossible with traditional accelerometer based techniques is handled well by non-contact Laser Doppler Vibrometers, according to ASDEC.

Innomech has designed and developed a new fully automated test system to help Owen Mumford, a global leader in medical device design and manufacturing, to carry out more efficient batch testing as a final verification of quality for one of its leading auto-injector products. The new system will help significantly speed up product release for shipment and is more than 5 times faster than a previously semi-automated process that needed five different pieces of test equipment, each with its own specially-trained operator.

Between image capture and analysis lies the essential, but sometimes overlooked, step of image processing. Markus Fabich* of Olympus discusses the importance of filter methods in ensuring consistent and comparable images for quantitative digital light microscopy.

To reduce weight and fuel consumption, the aerospace industry increasingly relies on lightweight materials and new material combinations. That’s why the entire fuselage of the new Airbus A350 XWB consists of carbon fibre composite (CFC) materials. In total, 53% of the long-haul aircraft is made from CFC, with the remainder including titanium and new aluminum alloys. As a result, the A350 consumes about one quarter less fuel than conventionally constructed aircrafts

He explains that “Business needs to get away from the notion that all measurement is correct, because there is a probability that our measurements are incorrect. Therefore, we should understand the probability density function of our data and then quantify the probability and bias.”  This information on how our measurement process is behaving is critical to the understanding of the process under study.

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