21 Jun 2012
Alicona provides sub-micron accuracy
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Sheffield, recently investigated 3-D measuring devices with sub-micron capability to support its cutting-edge work.
After a series of in-depth product demonstrations, it purchased an Infinite Focus Machine (IFM) from Kent-based Alicona UK Ltd (www.alicona. com), which not only met its very demanding requirements but exceeded them in many ways. The IFM is now being used to very precisely measure tool geometry and tool wear — important factors in AMRC’s core work of developing and optimising machining processes.
AMRC’s Chris Taylor says: “We are primarily using this system to study the effects of cutting-tool wear, check tool geometry and measure the roughness of machined surfaces. We can now get 3-D detail and functionality that we could not achieve with a standard microscope.
“With a standard microscope, it can be hard to tell whether you are looking at a worn tool or a tool with some of the cut material stuck to it. With the IFM, we can perform volumetric calculations by scanning the tool before and after use, to see whether material is being lost or gained.”