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Game-changing measuring systems for Industry 4.0

Source:Ringier Metalworking

Date Published:9/21/2016 10:09:39 AM

Blum-Novotest presents brand new products and the latest application examples for all matters regarding reliable sensor technology for Industry 4.0.  

BLUM presents efficient roughness measurement of a blisk using the new TC64-RG surface roughness gauge.

The German company will, in particular, be showcasing solutions on all solutions relating to “analogue contour scanning of workpieces in machining centres”, “reliable measurements with coolants” and “greater productivity through efficient process-integrated roughness measurements”.

"The digitisation of production has been on everyone's minds for quite some time now and is more relevant than ever after the term Industry 4.0 was coined. A cornerstone of this process is the creation of fully networked and end-to-end process chains. In machine tools, this demands the application of production metrology, as failures or unreliable measurement results contribute to a much greater loss in productivity than would be the case with conventional production processes," explains Heribert Bucher, manager of the division Measuring Components at Blum-Novotest." At the coming exhibitions we will use the latest application examples to show visitors why BLUM touch probes, laser, DIGILOG and roughness measurement systems are an essential part of the fourth industrial revolution."

The challenges faced by measurement technology inside machine tools are very different to those encountered when carrying out measurements outside the machine. Cooling lubricant and oil frequently become an underestimated source of incorrect measurements when using standard touch probes. This is the reason why many users have, until now, been of the opinion that precise measurements in a machining centre can only be carried out on workpieces which are dry and free from oil and grease. Blum-Novotest GmbH shows the opposite is true at this year's exhibitions. The company will use several impressive live demonstrations to prove that current BLUM touch probes deliver reliable, efficient and ultra-precise measurements even when using coolants. The reason for this is the unique measuring mechanism technology: Pre-deflection and an increased measuring force ensure that coolant has no impact on the actual measurement even at a measuring speed of 5 m/min. The bidirectional measuring mechanism of the TC61 touch probe even enables pulling measurements of grooves and bars.

A further highlight of the BLUM exhibitions will be the current capabilities of DIGILOG technology. To achieve high compression ratios in combustion engines, the contours of the sealing chamfer at the valve seat ring must meet strict tolerance requirements. The concentricity of the valve guide and the valve seat is also of major importance within this context. Until now these features have been measured much later and outside the machine; a process that resulted in high scrap rates of expensive cylinder heads. On the one hand, BLUM's TC64 DIGILOG touch probe measures the concentricity digitally; on the other hand, the system enables analogue scanning and thus monitoring of the sealing chamfer while the workpiece is still clamped in the machine.

BLUM will also be presenting its latest solutions that focus on the hot topic of 'machine-integrated surface roughness measurement': When machining blisks for aircraft engine turbines, there is a need not only for dimensional accuracy but also for a defined surface roughness. In this case, surface roughness gauges such as the new TC64-RG are used to ensure machining faults and poor surface qualities are detected during the process. If ultra-precise, basically DIN-compliant measurements as small as one tenth of a micron are required, the roughness gauge is guided across the workpiece surface at a comparatively slow measuring speed. When it comes to detecting machining errors in the micron range – a role for which the BLUM roughness measurement systems have been specially developed – measurements can be carried out up to 20 times faster. Even coolant or grease on the surface only affect the result slightly.

"Industry 4.0 has been an established practice at Blum-Novotest for many years, in fact we were actually implementing these processes before the concept even had a name," Heribert Bucher claims. "Ultimate reliability in the harshest environments is a matter of course for BLUM products. We can therefore offer a process-integrated, Industry 4.0 suitable solution for numerous measurement activities."

BLUM shows that precise and reliable measuring results are possible with the TC series touch probes even when using coolants. 

The TC64-DIGILOG touch probe enables, e.g., analogue scanning and thus monitoring of a valve seat sealing chamfer while the workpiece is still clamped. 

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