Leading the way in motor-sport innovations

Posted on 24 Nov 2018 and read 982 times
Leading the way in motor-sport innovationsIn the world of motor-sport engines and transmissions (particularly casting design and rapid prototyping), the name Grainger & Worrall comes to the fore, thanks to its involvement in F1 and WRC championship engine and transmission programmes.

Indeed, all 20 cars on the LMP2 grid at Le Mans in June 2018 were using Gibson GK428 engines with castings provided by Grainger & Worrall.

That said, motor-sport is only one part of the company’s expertise, as it offers clients extensive knowledge in casting design and engineering, tooling design, machining and prototyping.

Grainger & Worrall’s specialist prototype aluminium foundry’s approach to product development is adding value by delivering high-integrity precision sand castings for automotive engines — as well as aerospace components and other industrial markets.

The on-going requirement for ever-lighter and more efficient means of propulsion is reflected in an increased need for prototypes and high levels of quality.

To meet the demands of about 300 new product introductions annually, along with ‘volume’ supply for motor-sport contracts, Grainger & Worrall recently purchased a Creaform HandySCAN 700 from Peterborough-based Measurement Solutions Ltd (www.measurement-solutions.co.uk).

The company was already equipped with traditional gantry-type CMMs (co-ordinate measuring machines), advanced industrial CT scanning (computed tomography) and white-light scanning systems, but the need to accommodate increasingly complex parts and greater throughput meant that it had to increase both its capacity and its capability.

Measurement solutionsThese requirements, along with the need to spend time preparing the surfaces of castings with powder spray when using projected-light scanners prompted the purchase of the HandySCAN 700.

David Lang, who was involved in the decision-making process, said: “The HandySCAN ‘ticks many boxes’ for us.

Not requiring powder spray is an obvious benefit in terms of time savings, both before and after scanning.

“We were spending several thousand pounds annually on spray, added to which were the costs incurred by the ‘shot blasting’ process to clean the castings after scanning.”

Data capture

The HandySCAN 700 uses 14 red laser lines for a large field of view and the ability to capture data extremely fast. Mr Lang added: “After testing the HandySCAN, it was obvious that this feature provides very fast data capture, while the addition of a single laser line allows the capture of data from areas within deep pockets.

“We also found that the accuracy of the HandySCAN was comparable with our existing equipment.”

As is often the case with new technologies, users progress and later get to explore the full benefits on offer. Mr Lang said: “As we assessed the product further, additional benefits came to the fore.

“The ability to scan with a ‘hand-held’ portable system is significant; because the HandySCAN and all its accessories fit into a small carry case, it is a quick and simple task to take this instrument onto the shopfloor and start inspecting.

“Whether the subject is a large piece of tooling or a sand-mould-pack being assembled, we can now take the scanner on location, set it up and be finished within the hour.

“Before purchasing the HandySCAN, this task would have been much more challenging.”

As with any company constantly investing in new technology, the availability of training, system implementation and after-sales support was a significant part of Grainger & Worrall’s decision to purchase the Handy-SCAN from Measurement Solutions, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Andy Warriner, area sales manager for Measurement Solutions, said: “Our team provides a complete training course, ranging from two to four days depending upon the application — either inspection or reverse engineering.

“We also have applications engineers dedicated to Creaform products, who are always on hand to provide support.”

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