Optical Measurement Slashes Machining Down Time
A precision sub-contract engineering firm established almost 70 years ago, David Paull (CNC) Engineering, has built a strong reputation for delivering quality products.
The often-critical components it machines are used across a wide range of industries including marine, aerospace, defense, oil and gas, pneumatic sectors, meaning form, function and safety cannot be compromised.
Operating on both a large and small scale, the Cornwall, UK based company prides itself on its fundamental philosophy of offering a tailored, state-of-the-art engineering service to clients, where accuracy is paramount. While the business’s values have remained a constant guiding light, it retains strong ambitions for further development and growth.
DP Engineering’s Philip Anthony said: “Being in the sub-contract business, if we don’t keep on top of new technology then we get left behind. As a company we always continue to try to invest in technology and, at the end of the day, offer a higher standard of service to our customers.”
One key area identified by DP Engineering as prime for improvement was the quality control side of its operations. Due to the complexity of its products and the materials used, the company has in the past been heavily reliant on manual inspection methods.
The time-consuming nature of this traditional approach was proving a major concern for a business with aspirations to increase its capacity and productivity. In addition, the subjective nature of manual measurement brings with it the risk of inaccuracy, as the process is neither repeatable nor quick enough to be applied to anything other than batch sampling.
To help meet its objectives, DP turned to VICIVISION UK; a leading supplier of optical, non-contact, turned-part measurement machines and quality control systems across the UK and Ireland.
It installed the M309, a shop-floor ready system with wide measuring fields, impressive load capacities, high-resolution capabilities and intuitive software, designed to measure cylindrical components quickly and with absolute precision in the heart of the production environment.
Mr Anthony said: “We’re seeing the benefits on components which have a lot of external features. Whereas we would use to have to check on different pieces of inspection equipment – such as external lengths on a shadowgraph, contracer and height gauges – now it can all be completed on one machine. There are features you can measure on the VICIVISION that you can’t measure on a co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM), so we use them in parallel. It’s aided our production. We make our money from cutting metal, so any down time is a no-go, and the VICIVISION machine has certainly reduced our down time.”
Part of the VICIVISION Techno range, the M309 makes immediate inspection available next to multiple machining centers, to more than one operator, eliminating bottlenecks and leading to a reduction in idle time as there is no need to leave the production environment.
Its superior and automated high-resolution video camera technology carries out a number of checks on a single set-up, eliminating the need for multiple specific manual instruments. Even the most complex parts can be inspected in a matter of seconds, down to the last minute detail. Fast, non-contact, non-destructive measurement on an all-in-one system is done at the touch of a button, with fast and efficient batch changing contributing to greater throughput.
Mr Anthony added: “The biggest thing for us is the in-process inspection – where you could do a sample size before, now you’re not limited as to how long things take. There’s no issue with running a whole batch, let alone sample parts. It enables you to complete things a lot quicker and we’re able to offer a more competitive price as a consequence.Nothing can leave this building without being inspected, so as a whole our inspection department has grown, which is key to DP and the quality performance that we try to aim for. We asked ourselves how we were going to reduce our set-ups and down time – the VICIVISION machine has enabled us to reduce offsets and first-off inspection reports.”
With increased productivity comes increased capacity, allowing businesses to take on more work with the confidence that demand and quality standards can be met.
For more information: www.vicivision.co.uk