QMT Features: April 2017
The height of accuracy
A Trimos height gauge ensures accurate measurement of tubular automotive parts

Bowers Group has supplied voestalpine Rotec Ltd with a Trimos V5 Height Gauge to ensure the accurate measurement of machined tubular components for the automotive industry.

Based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, voestalpine Rotec Ltd manufactures products ranging from simple bush tubes to complex assembled parts and has extensive knowledge of tube processing and manipulation. voestalpine Rotec Ltd Kaizen Manager Keith Wileman said: “The Trimos has enabled us to make huge improvements to processes with regard to both capacity and time. For example, a measurement that may have taken 30 minutes to complete previously can now be completed in approximately 3 minutes. The Trimos is easy to use and has enabled us to train operators to use which is a huge benefit. Also it allows us alternative methods of measurement.”

voestalpine Rotec supplies a variety of global automotive OEMs, Tier One and Tier Two suppliers and  works closely with customers to develop product solutions. Some of the automotive parts that voestalpine manufactures include formed press work, welded assemblies, brace works, and suspension brackets. The company manufactures parts for leading off highway vehicles, global automotive companies, and titanium bicycle frames for Brompton bicycles.

Due to the complexity of components manufactured at voestalpine, measurements may be required for a variety of dimensions including; height, diameter, hole centres, pitch, flatness, and squareness.  Components are typically manufactured using a laser, with complex dimensions that are notoriously difficult to measure. It is important to maximise the laser for cutting during manufacture and lengthy measurement processes required for each component impact on machine efficiencies.

Before the Trimos V5 Height Gauge, operators at voestalpine would have to move away from the machines use the linear gauge and shadowgraph instruments then back to their workstations.  First-off measurements would be taken, and then adjustments would be made to the component as needed, which then require further measurement. Understandably, the company wanted a multi-use piece of measuring equipment to fully maximise machine efficiencies.
Particularly intricate components manufactured by Voestalpine may have over 20 individual holes and slots, which could take operators a considerable amount of time to measure. In addition of line processes such as layout inspection it is incredibly time consuming. Quality Engineers typically recorded measurements manually, which involved writing down several measurements and then typing it all up later, this all added to the possibilities of human error.

Keith Wileman continued: “The automatic recording of measurement data has been a major impact in reducing time spent by quality engineers filling out results and has removed the possibility of human error. Also its ease of use were important considerations in the purchasing of the Trimos V5. The data acquired from the Trimos V5 has also enabled us to generate automatic spreadsheets as supporting documents that satisfy customer requirements on the part approval process.”

Bowers Group also supplied Voestalpine with Bluetooth equipped hand tools; the Sylvac S_Mic Pro Bluetooth Micrometer set (0 -102mm) and Sylvac S Cal Digital Callipers (200mm) to fulfil its other measurement needs.
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