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Optical Comparators Adapt and Grow

Beware predictions of the demise of any technology. If the early 1920s saw the dawn of the optical comparator, there has been much speculation about its sunset. That was especially true when vision systems started hitting their stride a few years ago. Many could see optical comparators were superfluous with the use of vision systems. Many thought the sunset of optical comparators was imminent. Many were wrong. Why?

Sorting Out the Options Leads to Successful Presetting

With the number of offline and in-process toolsetting options on the rise, developing a way to efficiently utilize this technology can be confusing. Which presetter should we buy? What about the software that’s so often part of these systems—do we really need it?

CMMs Grow Their Niche

For CMMs, the good times continue to roll. “One of the surprising things that has happened in just the last three to four years is the sheer volume of CMMs that we are shipping,” said Angus Taylor, president of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North America (North Kingstown, RI). “The market seems to be really exploding.”

Metrology, Product Design and the Next Revolution

When I graduated with an engineering degree some decades ago, I learned that the organizations I was going to work for had internal communication problems. This was especially true for those that designed and manufactured complex machinery such as engines, aircraft, or automobiles.

How AM is Changing Inspection in Smart Factories

In the manufacturing industry, the importance of metrology, or the science of measurement, is often underestimated. However, inspection is critical for ensuring products work and operate safely.

Hexagon Thinks Big, Gets Bigger

It’s easy to become dazed by the continuing stream of buzz words. For those of us in manufacturing, all this buzz creates a sense of impending change, but no clarity on what that change might be. Uncertainty means anxiety.

Testing the Metal

Materials science has opened new possibilities for designers of cars, planes and other products. Metal alloys are now as precisely engineered as they are machined. The result is longer lasting, stronger parts. But with a wider selection of materials comes risk—how can you be sure that one piece of gray metal stock is different than another? Careful warehousing procedures and paperwork only go so far.