Modern Machine Shop

DEC 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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76 MMS December 2017 FEATURE CAD model comparison speeds programming by automatically merging changes when import- ing a similar part model or revision of the same model, he adds. Similarly, a save/load measured points feature makes it easy to apply the same routine to similar parts. Soon, the process will likely be further stream- lined (and Mr. Sigler's skills fur ther tested) by another Zeiss CMM. This one will likely hail from the Accura series, a line offering non-contact, optical scanning capability that he expects to enable even faster generation of massive amounts of data on complex, feature-rich parts. (At the time this article was written, this machine was being considered as par t of the shop's 2018 capital spending program, Mr. Bertrand says). GOING DIGITAL Non-contact scanning is already par t of the process out on the shop floor, where a 4-foot-long, six-axis Prime measuring arm from Faro Tech- nologies provides instant feedback on how mea- surement data compares with information embed- ded in the solid model. This portable CMM is used mostly as insurance to measure non-critical features (accuracy is ±0.001 inch). "Profile mea- surement is where it really shines," says lead machinist Justin Patry, explaining that preparing Marcel Bertrand (center), president of Arundel Machine Tool, troubleshoots a turn-mill process with lead machinist Justin Patry (left) and Ethan Balistreri, mill supervisor. Mr. Bertrand says walking the floor every morning helps him stay in tune with the business and the people who make it work. for these measurements isn't unlike the process of actually performing them. Guided by a projec- tion of the solid model on a laptop, machinists align the part by taking a series of points corre- sponding to highlighted areas, with no attention required to translation or orientation offsets. Like the turn-mills run by these same machin- ists, this technology is maturing rapidly, Mr. Ber trand says. He says he can envision a day when such systems are accurate enough not just for in-process checks, but for final verification as well. Perhaps more telling for the immediate future, however, is the fact that the Faro arm operates not from a paper blueprint, but from a solid model. This isn't the only example of replacing paper- based processes with digital ones. A system called Gagetrace is the current culmination of Arundel's ef for ts to improve inspection trace- ability. Rather than "a handwritten mess," as Mr. Shrader puts it, all information on measuring equipment usage and calibration schedules is

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