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Nikon Metrology has supplied an LC15Dx laser scanner on an LK ceramic bridge co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) to PMS Diecasting to allow the inspection of products by non-contact 3D laser scanning to an accuracy of 2.5 microns, mirroring the precision of touch probing.

PMS is a manufacturer of zinc castings for companies including returnable transit packaging specialist Loadhog, window and door hardware supplier Avocet and wire joining and tensioning product manufacturer Gripple.

Gordon Panter, managing director of PMS, said that to avoid zinc flash forming at the parting line when a mould closes, the maximum allowance tolerance when machining the two die halves is ±10 microns. He added that the company’s optical profile projector and measuring microscope do not have the necessary resolution to inspect to this level of accuracy, but the Nikon Metrology equipment does.

He said that PMS considered both laser and white-light scanning systems, but decided on the Nikon Metrology LC15Dx as it was the only product that could inspect its tooling to the accuracy it wanted.

Three-dimensional scanning is the default inspection mode at PMS for freeform parts and standard features, while cores and other deep features are measured with a touch probe, which is also used to align components on the granite table prior to inspection. Either the laser scanner or a probe is mounted in a Renishaw PH10M motorised indexing head for maximum flexibility when programming measuring cycles using Nikon Metrology’s multi-sensor Camio software platform.

Key benefits of product application

  • The combination of technologies from Nikon Metrology has proved to be the solution to the challenge PMS was facing to bring its products to market faster and to reduce development costs.
  • Automated part separation, 100 per cent quality control and management control systems ensure consistent quality.
  • The equipment is easily capable of inspecting tolerances of ±20 microns required on cast parts, as well as features down to half that limit on the tooling that produces them.
  • Freeform surfaces and geometry can be captured to the same level of accuracy — 10 times better than previously possible at PMS.
  • Camio software supports laser scanning and touch probe scanning where needed and has highly productive reporting functionality, ideal for initial sample inspection report (ISIR) approval in the automotive industry.

Nikon Metrology yields the most complete and innovative metrology offering. Our reliable and innovative metrology solutions respond to the advanced and time-restricted inspection requirements of manufacturers active in consumer, automotive, aerospace, electronics, medical and other industries.

The following products lines are now available in the portfolio:

Co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs)

Designed and manufactured with a heritage of more than 45 years’ experience and expertise, LK CMM’s deliver the ability to perform dimensional, positional and surface measurement in one system. Combined with a range of contact and non-contact sensors, Nikon Metrology CMMs have multi-sensor capability.

Portable arms and optical CMM

Combining Nikon’s ModelMaker scanner with a seven-axis MCAx articulated measuring arm results in a powerful measuring system that’s easy to use.

To inspect larger parts, K-Scan MMDx with optical CMM allows the operator to freely walk around and scan as desired.

Laser scanning

Laser scanners capture the entire part geometry for inspection or reverse-engineering purposes, covering both freeform surfaces and geometric features. Laser scanners are used with CMMs, articulated arms, optical CMMs or even robots.

X-ray and computed tomography (CT)

Nikon Metrology’s X-ray and CT inspection systems provide detailed insight into the internal structure of parts. Typically used for inspection of loaded PCBs, compact castings and plastics, these imaging systems facilitate detection of connectivity failures, material defects and assembly issues.

Our UK X-Ray Centre of Excellence offers a contract inspection service. This comprehensive bureau service is bookable by the hour, day or scan for radiographic and CT imaging

Vision systems

Nikon’s CNC video measuring systems cover precision optical and digital imaging systems for inspection and non-contact surface inspection.

Microscopes/optical inspection systems

Measuring microscopes focus on industrial measuring and image analysis, designed for complete digital control for maximum measuring accuracy. Nikon’s industrial microscopes serve a wide range of visual inspection applications. Our microscope portfolio includes the portable ShuttlePix, which allows users to pick it up and take images and measurements anywhere needed.

Large-scale measuring/positioning

The Laser Radar is a large-scale system that performs fully automated, non-contact measurement and inspection up to 60m.

The iGPS is a modular, large-volume tracking system used in manufacturing and assembly, enabling factory-wide localisation of multiple objects with metrology accuracy.

Nikon Metrology also provides a full range of software solutions for CMM and point-cloud-based inspection and reverse-engineering applications.

The product portfolio is completed with comprehensive support, metrology and integration services.

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