Extra agile inspection for superalloy parts

Sheffield-based AMB has manufactured high-quality, precision engineered parts for over 80 years and is the result of two merging companies, Albert Marsh & Co, a renowned manufacturer of hardened wear parts and Bestelite (Hard-facing), a leading supplier of hard-faced products.

Sheffield-based AMB has manufactured high-quality, precision engineered parts for over 80 years and is the result of two merging companies, Albert Marsh & Co, a renowned manufacturer of hardened wear parts and Bestelite (Hard-facing), a leading supplier of hard-faced products.

Operating from a modern, purpose-built facility in the heart of Sheffield’s engineering district, AMB machines components for a wide range of industries and prides itself on the quality of its aftersales service.

Originally leading suppliers of steel rollers, rods, bars and liner plates, AMB’s current primary output is for OEMs in the energy industry.

Through a combination of turning, milling, grinding, EDM and specialist welding techniques, rotating pump wear parts (including wear rings, inter stage bushing and balance drums) are manufactured using Duplex and Super Duplex materials and can be supplied hard-faced using cobalt and nickel-based alloys. These pump parts are precision engineered to customer supplied drawings to accuracies driven by stringent geometric tolerances.

AMB’s coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are housed in a dedicated temperature-controlled room, but to ensure absolute repeatability of parts, all work destined for CMM inspection is left in this room for a full 24 hours before inspection – ensuring thermal stabilisation of parts. In addition, a dedicated manual CMM is used to take baseline measurements and used as a guide to illustrate how parts may measure once they’ve acclimatised.

However, due to the volume of work handled by an already overstretched quality department, and with two existing CMMs (including an Aberlink Zenith too CNC CMM) in continual use, AMB took the decision to invest in further measuring equipment to increase the flow of parts through the department and ease the pressure on the three dedicated quality assurance staff.

QHS manager Chris Green explains AMB’s decision to purchase an Aberlink Xtreme 500 CNC CMM: “Already familiar with Aberlink CMMs and measuring software, we were shown the Xtreme CMM at MACH 2018 and were really impressed. There was nothing else like it at the exhibition and it met all of our requirements in terms of size, performance and price.

“We had looked at other measuring options available but couldn’t justify the cost. Other CMMs can cost serious sums of money and then you feel stuck with the machine for life. Aberlink CMMs are so cost-effective that you’re able to review a situation after 10 years and if needed, upgrade the CMM, keeping more in tune with the changes in technology.”

Offering high performance and precision in all conditions, Aberlink’s Xtreme CMM can be located wherever it is needed as the machine is not reliant on a compressed air supply. This means it is a true plug and go solution for either the shopfloor or inspection room.

With the Xtreme CMM now installed at AMB’s production facility, the company is already enjoying the benefits of this technologically advanced CMM.

Mr Green comments: “There is no other CMM on the market that you can basically wheel-in and wheel-out whenever needed and, because of its small footprint, it’s easy to position, even with limited available space.

“The sheer speed of the CMM is equally impressive. It’s so agile in its measurement speed that it took a bit of time to get used to. It rapidly performs the measurement routines of parts, even if you’re just measuring a one-off. The Xtreme has substantially increased the through flow of work, allowing inspection staff to carry out other tasks.”

Having previous experience of the Aberlink 3D measurement software on its Zenith too CMM has also enabled AMB to get the most out of the Xtreme in no time at all.

Mr Green continues: “The Aberlink 3D software is very user-friendly and creating programs is so easy that we’re now looking into retrofitting it onto our old manual CMM.

“With an Aberlink CMM everything just seems to be a lot easier and straightforward. With other manufacturers, we’d have to send staff away for a week’s training. With Aberlink, a day’s training and you can make your own inspection programs.”

Aberlink www.aberlink.com

AMB www.ambco.co.uk

Company

Aberlink

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