The measuring and inspection arm of Japanese camera giant Nikon, Nikon Metrology, debuts APDIS, a Laser Radar inspection system the company claims is up to 10 times faster than conventional measurement tools, saving production lines time and money.
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As more original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and job shops “warm up” to the idea of laser welding, many have turned their attention to four specific technologies.
Automation in manufacturing is more important than ever, reducing costs and improving quality. While it is important in assembling cars, machining engines, or drilling holes in airframes, is it important to metrology operations as well? “Absolutely,” explained Michael Kleemann, engineering manager VRSI (Plymouth, MI).
Keeping products clean is becoming a more significant part of manufacturing as standards for cleanliness, deburring, and finish grow more stringent.
When a contract manufacturer sees an opportunity in the competitive aerospace market, it sets priorities aimed at providing the right combination of processes required to meet the industry’s exacting demands. Precision machining and finishing, parts inspection, and, of course, certifications from OEMs and industry alliances are at the top of the list. Increasingly, aerospace suppliers like Volvo Aero Connecticut (Newington, CT) are benefiting from five-axis machining, advanced CNC controls, motors and drives, robotic deburring, and on-machine inspection for a competitive advantage.
Manufacturers are featuring some of the latest equipment and software for metrology, quality assurance, and collecting information for process control.
Challenged by an increasingly niche-oriented automotive market, The Chrysler Group (Auburn Hills, MI) must increase the number of models it offers while decreasing its capital investment. The company plans to offer 50% more models in 2009 compared to 2004, according to John Felice, VP of manufacturing, technology and global enterprise for Chrysler.
Marposs, announced on March 24 the availability of its Aeroel MecLab.X laser micrometer systems. These provide diameter measurements for components such as electric motor shafts, gage or piston pins, hydraulic components or any number of ground or turned parts.
Dedicated in-house labs create and optimize laser welding processes for electric motors and batteries.
GE Appliances (GEA) has been designing and manufacturing consumer appliances for over 125 years. The iconic brand, headquartered in Louisville, KY, employs nearly 6000 people, a number that rose to 12,000 employed globally after its acquisition by Haier, making the company part of the largest appliance manufacturer in the world.