Orthoplastics installs latest CMM

Posted on 18 May 2017 and read 1109 times
Orthoplastics installs latest CMMLancashire based Orthoplastics Ltd is recognised as a global leader in the development and supply of both implantable-grade plastics and biocompatible plastics for instrument applications.

The company produces premium-grade ultra-high- molecular-weight polyethylene and works closely with its partners to develop new and innovative orthopaedic-implant products.

Orthoplastics has invested in an impressive portfolio of advanced CNC machines, which allow it to offer services that include one-off prototyping, pre-production validation runs and complete out-sourcing services.

To help meet the demands of an increasing workload, the company recently bought two more Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex S co-ordinate measuring machines, bringing its count of CMMs from the Andover-based company (www.mitutoyo.co.uk) to five — one in its inspection department and four in its environment-controlled machining facility.

Quality manager Chris Turner says: “Because of continuing technological progress and growing regulatory requirements, expert testing is of vital importance, along with the highest standards of management and control during each stage ofproduction.

Our shopfloor-located CMMs are kept busy undertaking accurate in-process checks to help ensure the highest standards of manufacturing quality; and because CMM programs are created off-line and stored on a central server, production personnel can quickly recall the program relevant to the part they are machining, load the part onto the machine and activate a fully automatic CNC inspection routine.

The CMMs’ findings allow our operators to make the necessary machine adjustments to correct component dimensions that have deviated from a nominal condition.

“We use our Quality Department Mitutoyo CMM to prove all the inspection programs for our shopfloor CMMs, and for tasks such as final inspection, first-article inspection routines and to carry out gauge repeatability and reproducibility studies. The findings of our CMMs are archived for traceability purposes.

“While our previous three Mitutoyo CMMs have proved to be very accurate and reliable, we looked at a couple of other options. Having benchmarked the alternatives with the equivalent Mitutoyo models, we concluded that the Crysta-Apex S CMM was ideal for our particular needs; and with its statistical monitoring software allowing live data analysis capability, we have been able to take traditional inspection and processing to a new level of compliance and control.”

High-speed stability

The Crysta-Apex S CMM, as purchased by Orthoplastics, features lightweight materials and a moving-bridge structure that has been designed to provide high levels of motion stability at high scanning speed.

OrthoplasticsIt also features a temperature correction function (for the range 16-26°C) to aid accuracy when used in conditions that are less than perfect. In addition to point-to-point measurement, an MPP-310Q ultra-high-precision scanning probe and Mitutoyo Laser probes provide contact/non-contact scanning functions.

The latest CRYSTA-Apex S machines feature the new UC-400 controller, which has been designed to ensure high levels of accuracy at high measuring speeds. Meanwhile, Mitutoyo’s MCOSMOS CMM software suite can be customised to suit the way each customer works.

Geometrical measurements, CAD-based programming (on-line and off-line), PMI (product and manufacturing information) data, 2-D and 3-D comparisons, individual reports to meet customers’ needs, and data output to other systems such as Mitutoyo’s MeasurLink SPC software are all supported.

MeasurLink, as used by Orthoplastics, combines real-time on-line data collection with real-time SPC charts and analysis for operators. It also provides real-time quality control/supervisor reports and alerts for an entire manufacturing system.

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