Lincolnshire-based NMB Minebea UK Ltd (www.nmb-minebea.co.uk
) recently installed an Innovatest Falcon 507 Vickers, Knoop and Brinell hardness tester from Camberley-based Bowers Group (www.bowersgroup.co.uk
) to ensure accurate testing of manufactured parts.
This has enabled the company to deliver a faster turnround of samples and significantly increase the accuracy of the tests carried out. Laboratory manager Jason Woodhouse said: “Since investing in the Falcon, the accuracy of our hardness testing has improved by 60%, and the machine is easy to use.”
NMB Minebea UK Ltd makes a variety of cold-formed parts for aerospace and military applications, including bearings, which undergo a number of tests in its metallurgy laboratory. Precise and accurate hardness measurement is of the utmost importance to prevent fractures during the forming process, because these can result in components being scrapped and dies being damaged.
Testing for aerospace companies and their supply chains must be carried out in accordance with a Proficiency Testing Programme that refers to a series of tests established by a number of aerospace firms, including Airbus, Safran, GE, MTU, GKN, Airbus Helicopters and Rolls-Royce.
NMB Minebea UK Ltd can now test to ASTM and British Standards with the new hardness tester, validate paperwork, and
export all results to Microsoft Windows.
Features of the new machine include an electronically controlled closed-loop force actuator system and advanced force sensor technology designed to ensure high levels of accuracy, reliability and repeatability.
Furthermore, the associated Impressions software offers a variety of features that — combined with automatic image evaluation — reduce operator influence on the test results.