Preventative Maintenance Can Sometimes Be All Talk
In a recent article from Today’s Energy Solutions, an article discusses Machine tool metrology systems that yield critical data for manufacturing trace-ability of critical oil/gas components.
Preventative Maintenance is a term often talked about but rarely performed. Approximately 25 years ago A.A. Jansson decided to get into the machine tool calibration industry. We researched the best calibration equipment on the market and made the necessary purchases and invested in the training required to help manufacturers make sure their machine tools were operating as required and as expected.
We were in for a big surprise. We found that most companies we called upon didn’t want their machine tools calibrated. We were continually told, "that as long as our part passes the measurement checks from our Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) our machine tool doesn’t need to be calibrated. Why would we want to spend the money, we have a CMM. When our CMM tells us we have a problem then we will address the machine tool."
For us it was a large investment with little return. It wasn’t long before we put the equipment on the shelf and decided to no longer calibrate machine tools. Jump ahead 25 years and things have changed. We currently have a full time Machine Tool Calibration Business. The majority of the companies that we call upon still take the approach that they don’t check their machine tools until there is a problem.
However there is a growing trend among many manufacturers to check their machine tools and to make sure that they are accurate. We spend time adjusting and compensating machine tools for pitch, yaw, roll, horizontal and vertical straightness and linearity. Many of the machine tool manufactures with the help of the motion controller industry have developed mathematical compensations routine to improve accuracy and performance. We expect this trend to grow as manufacturers reap the rewards of a well tuned machine tool.
Great Potential for Metrology Robots
by Eric Lundquist
In a recent article in Quality Magazine, the author looked at ways that automation and robots are leading the charge for a “new landscape” in the metrology world
At A.A. Janson, metrology is our business. For 5 decades we have watched coordinate measuring machine manufactures improve the accuracy of their product. In some case people might say it was a race to see who can manufacture the most accurate, fast and durable machine on the planet. They have not let us down. It is no surprise that robot manufacturers would try to achieve the same results.
As robots have become more accurate, they have been able to be used as a tool in assembly. However in the last decade, I have also seen them used at our customer base to cut, drill and measure. My first involvement 10 years ago was somewhat disappointing. I was involved in measuring hold diameter and locations created by a robot. The robots could not consistently cut the same size hole throughout the volume of the machine. The diameter sizes varied .010 and I found this to be very disappointing. Because of this, they were only being used in industries with wide open tolerances.
For decades CMM manufactures have tried to move the CMM’s to the shop floor with limited success. But the shop floor environment takes its toll on an accurate CMM. In contrast, robots have been operating on the shop floor for decades. The robots can handle the harsh environments. The robots have been repeatable just not accurate enough for most measurement applications.
WHEN there is a market mankind will respond. With new ways to calibrate and a more accurate map for robot volume, I see great potential. I think the CMM manufacturers have found a new competitor that might be able to offer a value added product with traceability on the shop floor.
Understanding GO/NO GO Gauges (Fixed Limit Gauging)
One of the most frequent questions that we are asked at A.A. Jansson is, “How do I choose a plug gauge for my measurement application?” We have put this document together to help everyone understand the concept of fixed limit gauging.
The Perfect Storm. American Quality Suffers as the Gatekeepers of Measurement Disappear
If you are a George Clooney fan you have probably seen the movie, “The Perfect Storm.” The movie is based on a 1991 real life drama about a sword fishing boat the Andrea Gail. To make a long story short the plot is about the crews attempt to leave their usual fishing grounds looking to improve their luck. Unfortunately multiple circumstances align causing the demise of the captain, crew and vessel.