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Precision Manufacturer Adds Capacity and Size To CMM Measuring Window

Archie Engineering’s existing CMM had been bogging down quality control and limiting the information the company could glean for quality control. For a company that depends on its reputation for manufacturing safety critical components and other products for the mining industry, the quality department plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day tasks in the measurement of components, surface inspection, linear dimension measurements, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing analysis to monitor production quality from the shop floor.

“Our existing CMM has served us very well and will continue to do so. However, it’s measuring window is relatively small and all the quality control and measurement of our larger components had to be outsourced. That was not ideal,” said Daniel Jeronimo of Archie Engineering.

Aberlink Azimuth CMM has a XYZ measuring volume of 1200mm by 2000mm by 1000mm

“Outsourcing the measuring is frustrating as no matter what supplier you contract they have different practices and methods as compared to what we have. It is a requirement from our customers and we prefer to have full control on how we measure what we manufacture. We are quality driven and proud of what we do. These are just some of the reasons why we have purchased a new Aberlink Azimuth CMM from Caldeaz.”

“The Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) has been the centre piece of most manufacturing company quality control departments for more than 35 years. While the world has dramatically changed over the past three decades with the invention of portable computing, smartphones, the world wide web and wireless communications, developments in the CMM world have been somewhat more evolutionary than revolutionary. Yes, the CMM has taken advantage of PC developments, Microsoft Windows operating systems and advancements in control system technology. But the core mechanical structure remains pretty much unchanged,” explained Jeronimo, who is the son of the founder of Archie Engineering.

“Manufacturers have advanced the overall manufacturability of the CMM, taking it from a hand-crafted machine to a ‘mass produced’ device which also saw a shift to new materials, such as ceramic and aluminium, but the core design of granite base, floating air-bearings, three-axis cartesian structure with a pneumatic counter-balance remains intact.”

“The role of the CMM in manufacturing however has changed dramatically over the past 35 years. Once the CMM was the ‘show-piece’ of plant tours impressing visitors with “our commitment to quality” and in many cases, the CMM was purchased for this very purpose. Today the installation of multiple CMM units, distributed throughout a production facility, is commonplace. The CMM has become the ‘go-to’ audit tool for quality control of precision manufactured parts.”

“The CMM remains a very flexible measuring device with its measurement limitation typically only constrained by physical size, sensor configuration, and accuracy grade.”

“Over past decades CMMs have become faster, more accurate, and easier to programme. Ongoing developments by CMM manufacturers have included making structures stiffer, lighter, and thermally compensated for use outside of their once traditional temperature-controlled quality rooms. Improvements in scanning probes, including 5-axis technology, have allowed CMMs to measure the most complex of geometries providing much more measurement data than traditional gauging techniques and with considerably more flexibility.”

Archie Engineering (Pty) Ltd was established in South Africa in 1990, by the company’s founder, Archie Jeronimo, who has over 40 years of experience in the manufacturing of safety critical components and other products for the mining industry. The company started as a specialist manufacturer of safety critical equipment and has now grown its product and service range to incorporate other specialised mining equipment and precision engineering services, as well as being a project-centred company that tailor makes solutions to customer specific requirements.

Archie Engineering achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2002 and have now implemented the latest ISO 9001:2015 certification.

“We are an approved OEM and have assisted companies with the manufacture of their products in the mining and mineral processing industries to enhance their processes through research, development and manufacture of quality equipment and solutions.”

“Our workshop is fully equipped with CNC turning, CNC milling, conventional vertical turning, horizontal boring, conventional turning and milling machines. Our vertical CNC milling machines can machine up to 3 000mm by 2 000mm bed size and our lathe can accommodate up to 3 000mm length by 450mm swing. All three CNC lathes have live tooling.”

“In addition, we offer an in-house, non-destructive level 1 examination facility. We also offer refurbishing services for the mining industry on safety critical equipment and other equipment as per customer requirements. We have a professional team to assist with the development of customers’ product, using the latest Solid Edge software. 3D designs are then translated into flat ‘patterns’ or profiles for CNC machines. Solid Edge has created a sense of comfort and trust with our clients, as they can see on-screen 3D models of their product from all angles. We also have a fabrication department that is both highly-skilled and well-equipped to deal with general fabrication and manufacturing to a maximum weight of 10 tons.”

“Our new Aberlink Azimuth CMM has a XYZ measuring volume of 1 200mm by 2 000mm by 1 000mm. At this stage we are measuring OEM exciter housings on it. However we do have capacity to seek outside work from other machine shops. The time and cost savings justifies the addition of the Aberlink Azimuth CMM. However, it is not having the frustration factor from previously outsourcing that is priceless. Of course we also have complete control of measurement quality now.”

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This article is reproduced with permission of Metalworking News