The Techno Group, a precision subcontractor engineering company with manufacturing sites in the Midlands and on the south coast of England is continuing to invest in new equipment and technology.
Formed in 1978, the ISO 9001 and AS9100 Rev D approved organisation drives manufacturing efficiency, consistency and reliability throughout the entire business. Via its fleet of multi-axis machines, the Group has evolved into a true one-hit machining specialist.
Testament to its continuous improvement philosophy, a new Quick Vision Apex 404 Pro TP measurement system from Mitutoyo was recently installed at the company’s Technoset facility in Rugby.
The full CNC, dual sensor Mitutoyo Apex 404 Pro TP has a measurement range of 400mm in the X- and Y-axes and 250mm in Z using a single sensor. With both sensors engaged, the capacity is the same in Y and Z and 334mm in X.
Offering 0.0001mm scale resolution and optical measurement accuracies of E1 X, Y (1.5+3L/1,000)µm; E1 Z (1.5+4L/1,000)µm; and E2 XY (2+4L/1,000)µm, the system can handle workpiece weights of up to 40kg. Additionally, a TP20 touch probe is included with E1 X, Y, Z (1.8+3L/1,000)µm measurement accuracy. Dimensionally, the machine measures 1,027mm (W) x 1,047mm (D) x 1,778mm (H).
This is a floor-standing system with four colour LED coaxial ring lights to ensure precise image processing measurements. The Quick Vision is particularly suited to the economical measurement of large workpieces in either production or controlled inspection environments.
“I’m sure we’ll find a multitude of uses for the Quick Vision system but the main driver behind the investment was for two particular projects,” explains Adam Land, Techno Group operations director.
“The first is for a customer in the green energy sector where we were looking to check large components relatively quickly. Optical measurement was the way to go here. The second application was for a client in the connector industry where we undertake the manufacture of ultra-high precision components. Using the vision system has meant that we can arrange the components on the glass and then measure in excess of 100 parts without interruption.”
He continues: “As the Quick Vision offers non-contact inspection, fixturing can be very simple to purely support approximate position and orientation on the glass. We did look at other comparable options but the deal from Mitutoyo and the spec of this machine was fantastic.
“Previously we had an old OGP Zip optical measurement device and were looking to replace it but an additional objective was to also improve our capability. The Quick Vision ticks all the right boxes.
“And, as you would expect, the new machine seamlessly links up to our recently adopted Measurlink 9 system, also from Mitutoyo. This enables all the measurement data to be analysed and reviewed, supporting our process control requirements.”
There’s always a bit of a learning curve getting to grips with new technology but Mr Land is confident the Quick Vision will be an invaluable addition to Technoset’s quality control department.
“The machine was installed in January this year and we’re very happy with the difference it has made to our business,” he enthuses. “While we still have a lot to learn to take full advantage of its capabilities, things are progressing well. The team is definitely becoming more proficient on the programming side, and the support and training we’ve received from Mitutoyo has been excellent.”
In terms of investment, it’s a very busy time generally for Technoset. During July, the company took delivery of a new DMG Mori DMU 50 3rd generation universal milling machine complete with swivel rotary table. This will be integrated with an ABB Flexloader system due for installation in September.
“Further investments this year are likely to be centred around ancillary equipment such as heat shrink tooling systems and component handling,” Adam Land concludes. “We’re also looking at 3D printing technology and more robotic automation.
“Last but by no means least, we’ve also started reviewing our small component turning capabilities with a potential to invest in more sliding head machines in 2023, depending on project progress during the second half of this year.”