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Automotive component manufacturer Eponsa has purchased a shop-floor comparative gauge, the new Renishaw Equator, to check the quality of stamped parts and assemblies.

According to Renishaw, the instrument will reduce non-productive waiting times to a fraction of the time taken now, while maintaining quality and manufacturing efficiency.

Equator can scan the form of part features with its SP25 probe and change styli with the stylus change rack, included as standard, to check a variety of parts.

Eponsa operators are inspecting thousands of parts every day, using documented procedures.

Visual checks are done to ensure that holes are present and that there are no cracks in the material, followed by dimensional measurements with hand instruments such as callipers and plug gauges.

Because the stamping processes are automated, making them very consistent and reducing the chances of human error, operators can usually detect potential problems before scrap parts are made to ensure 100 per cent good parts.

However, measurement with hand gauges is time consuming, repetitive and all down to the skill of the operator – there is more chance of the inspection process going wrong than the manufacturing process.

Equator is an independent and traceable test of part quality that can be used by all operators.

It includes graphical software called Modus Organiser, which is designed to allow shop-floor operators to activate checks with just a few minutes of training.

The gauging programs are written using Renishaw Modus software, but use of this is access controlled.

Equator uses a comparison method of mastering and measuring that will be familiar to existing users of dedicated gauging systems.

A master component with features of known dimensions is used to ’zero’ the system, with all subsequent measurements compared to this part.

The key to the Equator system is a highly repeatable metrology mechanism based on a structure known as parallel kinematics.

This mechanism is lightweight, allowing rapid motion, yet very stiff during comparison measurement of features, with repeatability of less than +/-2um.

This has been proven on a variety of prismatic and free-form features.

Renishaw

A world leader in engineering technologies, Renishaw’s core skills in measurement and precision machining serve sectors as diverse as dimensional metrology, spectroscopy, machine calibration, motion control, dentistry and surgical robotics.

A world leader in engineering technologies, Renishaw’s core skills in measurement and precision machining serve sectors as diverse as dimensional metrology, spectroscopy, machine calibration, motion control, dentistry and surgical robotics.

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