CMM helps Scottish firm quantify its quality

Posted on 28 Apr 2019 and read 507 times
CMM helps Scottish firm quantify its qualityBased in Loanhead near Edinburgh, Artemis Intelligent Power is the manufacturer of Digital Displacement hydraulics, which offers significant increases in efficiency and power — as well as reduced emissions — in a wide range of hydraulic applications.

The company, a joint venture between Danfoss (the majority owner) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, works closely with leading industry partners to further develop its technology and to bring sector-specific applications to market.

Artemis’s digitally controlled hydraulic pump can be used in a range sectors, including offshore wind, road transport, rail and off-road machinery; it can be used as a ‘straight swap’ for conventional hydraulic pumps or integrated in new ways for applications such as hydraulic transmission systems for buses, or energy recovery and recycling for trains.

To help meet demand for the company’s technology, work is currently under way on a new multi-million-pound manufacturing facility alongside Artemis’s existing Loanhead headquarters.

The new plant will produce high-tech digital hydraulic pumps and motors for off-road vehicles; and in light of the harsh environments in which this equipment is often used, the company adheres to a rigorous ‘quality administration regime’ and recently began a search for an advanced CNC co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) that could provide the required levels of precision and fast feed-back.

In addition to the current R&D inspection tasks (the R&D team needs to quickly and accurately measure each iteration of newly developed components), the chosen CMM needed to have the capacity to keep pace with anticipated levels of production from the company’s new manufacturing facility.

After considering several CMMs from various manufacturers, a Mitutoyo Strato-Apex 7106 was bought (www.mitutoyo.co.uk).

Technology background


Fergus McIntyre of Artemis Intelligent Power said: “As a commercial ‘spin-off’ based on pioneering work undertaken at the University of Edinburgh, Artemis Intelligent Power has been involved in developing Digital Displacement hydraulics for over a decade.

Based in our 3,000m2 R&D facility, our 70-strong team works closely with Danfoss — a major Tier One manufacturer of hydraulic components — and many OEMs involved in construction and material-handling equipment.

“Our technology provides a dramatically faster response — typically 10-times faster — than existing systems.

“Also, by replacing conventional hydraulic pumps with one that is controlled by computer, new possibilities of system control, diagnostics and automation are available.

“We will soon be significantly ramping up our production volumes; and to ensure that our Quality Department can keep pace with our manufacturing output, we recently installed the Mitutoyo Strato-Apex CMM.

“This machine not only has a measuring capacity of 700 x 1,000 x 600mm — sufficient to accommodate the range of parts we manufacture — but also offers the high-accuracy capabilities required for the inspection of these parts, many of which have challenging dimensional specifications.

Our purchase decision was also helped by the fact that this CMM is easy to operate; soon after the machine was installed, our staff had mastered its controls and software.

“Moreover, given the projected increase in the production of our Digital Displacement technology and the large volumes of parts that will need inspecting, the operating speed of our new Mitutoyo CMM should ensure that it will remain ‘future-proof’ and able to handle the increased output from our new production unit.

"We will be continually adding to our already-written library of component inspection programs, thereby allowing us to load from a single part up to a large batch of components, recall the relevant program and initiate a rapid and automated inspection routine.”

Mitutoyo CMMs are available in a wide range of sizes and accuracy classes, with each component designed using the latest CAD techniques and manufactured from materials best suited to its purpose. Furthermore, the availability of
a wide range of contact and non-contact probes allows numerous types of measurement task to be performed — and the results to be presented fast and in an easy-to-interpret format.

The Mitutoyo Strato-Apex 7106 CMM as purchased by Artemis features ultra-high-precision scales on each axis; and with a multi-sensor capability, this machine can undertake high-performance scanning.

Furthermore, because CMMs are often required to operate close to other equipment — such as machine tools — the machines in Mitutoyo’s Strato-Apex series use an anti-vibration system to reduce the impact of nearby sources of vibration.

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