Faster precise parts

12 Oct 2020

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Williams Aerospace Engineering has cut turnaround times after investing in a new CNC vision system that has increased measurement efficiency by 96%.

The Baty Venture XT CNC Vision System is used to measure critical precision machined components manufactured at its facility in Northam, Southampton.

The company specialises in 5-axis CNC turn-milling,  4 axis milling, internal and external gear and spline cutting, internal and external grinding, match grinding and honing. Size range from 0.062”- 6” Diameter and the business works to tolerances of .002mm (0.00007”) with 1 microinch surface finish.

Components machined by Williams Aerospace Engineering are used in some of the most extreme environments, including the aerospace, defence, nuclear, medical, Formula 1, performance car and commercial markets.

One of the biggest challenges facing Williams Aerospace Engineering was the sheer amount of time it took to measure components and collate all the data for its customers. For example, for a customer with particularly high measurement requirements, it would take the quality department 1-2 days to measure the positions of 2 holes on a batch of 100 cover plates, in addition to having to input data to an Excel spreadsheet to customer requirements.

Since the investment in the Baty Venture XT CNC Vision System, this measurement process can now be completed in just 2 hours, which is a massive 96% increase in measurement efficiency. The inspection team at Williams Aerospace Engineering is now able to load the fixture onto the machine, insert a part, recall the programme and teach the datum position, completing the batch of the same 100 parts within this much shorter timeframe.

David Fripp, Managing Director at Williams Aerospace Engineering said: “The Baty Venture XT helps to ensure our product quality by giving us a more consistent and repeatable measurement method. Once a program is written, the Venture is far more accurate than our old manual CMM, which is reliant on the points taken by the operator moving the probe by hand, rather than the CNC control on the Baty system. It is very easy to use and the camera resolution is far more accurate than a standard projector using surface illumination.”

Williams Aerospace Engineering uses the vision system for measuring lengths, radii, rads and angles. The measurements are either taken directly from the part loaded on the machine, or if it is an internal feature, it is reproduced using a rubber compound. The mould is then sectioned and measured on the projector as with an external profile.

David continues: “The Venture gives us the flexibility to measure countersink diameters whilst measuring hole positions on the same part. Due to the camera’s focal length, it is also possible to focus on counterbores or countersinks that are located within a bore and take measurements, rather than take a mould and use a standard projector. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how much more we can achieve with this piece of equipment in the future.”