Following the recent launch of the Crysta-Apex-V CNC coordinate measuring machine (CMM) range, Mitutoyo UK has been enjoying high levels of sales. In addition to new customers, Mitutoyo has been installing Crysta-Apex-V machines at the premises of existing users.
Typical of current Mitutoyo customers that have embraced the new CMM range is Dorking, Surrey-based Carville. Established in 1928, Carville is one of the world's oldest and most experienced precision plastic machining companies. The company’s notable longevity and success is due largely to its ability to continuously evolve to meet contemporary needs for supplying high-quality products and services.
Over the past 90 years, Carville has developed many innovative new processes. Major company advancements include pioneering the development of diffusion bonding in the 1960s and producing the first bonded medical manifolds in 1980. Today, the company is an acknowledged expert across a wide range of demanding areas, including high-precision plastic machining and the production of multi-layer diffusion bonded manifolds and microfluidics.
Given the demands of its customers and the critical roles many of its manufactured products perform, the ISO 9001:2015 certified business administers a strict QMS (quality management system) and is experienced in meeting the ISO 13485 requirements of its clients, including full traceability and the provision of quality reports with in-depth CMM data.
Carville purchased its first Mitutoyo CMM over 20 years ago and since that time the business has installed a further three Mitutoyo CMMs in its quality department. After two decades of sterling service, the company’s original Mitutoyo CMM was recently replaced with a new Crysta-Apex-V CNC machine.
Carville managing director, Vince Ellis, explains: “Carville supply many clients based in the medical device and in-vitro diagnostics markets; these are sectors that produce the highest safety class of products (such as Class III medical devices). Carville’s parts are often classed as ‘critical to function and safety’, therefore we support all of our clients’ ISO13485 requirements with our QMS including full traceability, testing, measurement and vigilance support.
“As our rigorous quality methods have been developed to satisfy the demands of the medical and life science sectors, we are able to apply similar, stringent quality control methods for our customers involved in other industries.
“Central to our inspection regime over the past 20 years has been our use of Mitutoyo CMMs. The fact that our original machine remained in working order and within specification for nearly two decades bears witness to the quality of Mitutoyo’s products. We were impressed by the improved specification and increased speed of the latest CMM, so we recently replaced our oldest Mitutoyo model with a new Crysta-Apex-V, bringing our Mitutoyo count back to three machines.
“As the Crysta-Apex-V is now the fourth Mitutoyo CMM we have purchased over the past two decades we have been able to witness the continued technical development of the company’s machines,” Mr Ellis observes. “We have been very impressed with the increased precision, speed and automated nature of the new investment and these advantages have already helped increase the throughput of work in our quality department. Along with our existing machines, the new addition is now being kept busy measuring components, including first-offs, last-offs and mid-production run samples, and generating SPC data and in-depth inspection reports.”
Mitutoyo says its new generation Crysta-Apex-V is a quantum step in CMM technology and delivers advances in accuracy, speed, and versatility. Designed to meet both today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, the futureproof machine is able to work within connected production environments and the smart factory of the future. The new CMM range offers high-spec capability across a range of ten models, covering practically any measurement application within the small to mid-sized part range.
Unlike earlier generation CMMs, a controlled environment is now unnecessary as the Crysta-Apex-V series machines maintain their accuracy over a wide temperature range of 16-26°C. An active scanning feature enables high-speed measurement by evaluating discrepancies between design values and actual workpiece dimensions while maintaining the advantages of 3D optimal-path scanning.
The intricacies of some workpieces, such as turbine blades and impellers, can cause their accuracy to vary or makes them more susceptible to misalignment, making accurate measurement difficult. The new V Series enables the smooth and precise measurement of this type of complex workpiece.
Mitutoyo claims that when compared with conventional CNC CMMs, the V Series delivers higher maximum drive speed and acceleration of around +20% and +40% respectively. This rapid movement, combined with typically 60% higher measuring speed, significantly reduces inspection times.
Further aiding the V Series efficiency advantages, the CMMs also feature Mitutoyo’s Quick Launch function, enabling simple and intuitive operation for easy part-program execution, including via barcodes and QR codes.
Mitutoyo utilises a wide choice of touch-trigger, scanning and non-contact probes to enable the Crysta-Apex-V Series to assess practically any component. An extensive choice of application software is also available for the automatic generating of part programs and for the efficient measurement and evaluation of simple or complex components.