When Nissan Motor Company built their new production facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico they looked to Automated Precision, Inc. (API) to assist them in providing CMM inspection for the stamping shop, body shop and tooling departments.
Initially, Nissan purchased nine dual horizontal arm API Galaxy-H multifunctional CMMs. These coordinate measuring machines are manual-controlled horizontal arm layout and measuring CMMs that are designed specifically for measuring thin-walled components such as automotive car bodies and sheet-metal panels. The Galaxy-H CMM is a double-arm design that features the table installed in a foundation at floor level so components and fixturing can be easily moved on and off the table for fast inspection.
Manufacturing engineers at Nissan stressed that the dual arm design is versatile and allows a larger Y-axis stroke while having the ability for each arm to work independent of each other or in a dual arm mode. They observed that the API machines were built to exacting and rugged machine tool standards with thermal stable dynamic performance, stiffness and the natural vibration dampening they required.
Two different Galaxy-H horizontal CMM models are being used. Six pairs of Galaxy-H 54.15.25 models and three pairs of Galaxy-H 54.15. 20 models. Measuring ranges (XYZ) of the CMMs are 6000mm x 4000 mm x 350 mm and 7000mm x 4000mm x 350mm. The CMMs feature a vertical post and cantilever arm that are made of high strength aluminum alloy. Using a special treating process that includes vibration aging and hard anodization, the quality of design stability, wear ability and longevity is insured and use high-accuracy linear guideways for the X-axis. The Y and Z-axes feature finely-tuned preloaded roller bearings providing minimum friction, high precision and minimum wear. The CMMs are installed with the modular, precision machined, measuring plate flush with the floor. Each plate is leveled through special independent devices and secured together. The Y-axis strokes overlap by 100 mm each enabling calibration of both arms within the same reference frame.
The measuring arms are equipped with industry standard probing and marking systems and offer straightness error accuracy of 0.05mm/1000mm and perpendicular error for each axis of 0.05mm/1000mm. A 3-axis coordination display is provided for real-time observation. All the CMMs are interconnected with the Nissan production software system.
The nine systems were installed, calibrated and ready for accurate measurement within a one week time frame. Nissan engineers explained that API was given a very small window for this installation project for the CMMs, and they successfully met the schedule and were ready for the initial assembly line production. A monumental task when you consider the time required for calibration, general adjustment, re-calibration, fine-tuning, and repeatability testing.
For more information: www.apisensor.com