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manufacturing engineer Brant Kardas. “We had
several crashes either from the numbers being
typed in or written down wrong, or the writing
being illegible. That’s when you get claims and
counterclaims. You get finger pointing.”
The blame game didn’t do anything to correct the
basic problem. And a solution was imperative when
you consider that erroneous figures even led to tools
cutting right through the work piece into the fixture
itself. When that happened, a machine could be
down for days waiting for a new component.
Precision Resource decided it was time to invest
in an automated laser tool measuring system. When
Kardas looked at a few contenders, it emerged that
the rough conditions inside the machining centres
was a sticking point for some systems.
“A couple of other companies had something
similar to what we ultimately bought,” he recalls.
“But they said they wouldn’t recommend putting
a laser system inside the machine at all because of
all the coolant that’s moving around in there. They
recommended using a plunger system instead.”
A plunger system requires the tool to make
contact with the plunger in order for the
measurement to take place. Since the machines used
at Precision Resource each have two fixtures, two
plungers would be required for each machine.
“There are a lot of issues with that, based on the
fixtures themselves,” Kardas says. “And there’s also
added time. The tool has to come all the way down
and push on the plunger.” The laser system checks
the tool almost right out at the spindle as soon as
the tool changes, reducing travel time and cycle
time. It can also check diameter and run out with
the push of a button, whereas a plunger system
only measures for length.
The concern other laser manufacturers expressed
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Left: Chris weiland, environmental
and continuous improvement
coordinator, and brand kardas,
Testing & Gauging