The annual metrology show, Control, will be held in the Stuttgart Exhibition Centre from 14 to 17 May this year.
With roughly 900 exhibitors from more than 30 countries and exhibition floor space of some 590,000 ft2, Control (www.control-messe.de/en) will once again demonstrate that it is "a benchmark for the industry sector", say the organisers.
Among those attending will be the UK's Delcam (0121 766 5544). The company will launch the 2013 release of its PowerINSPECT inspection software (Hall 3, Stand 3514), with this new version offering claimed unique dual-device inspection options that allow measurement with two portable devices at the same time. Delcam says that PowerINSPECT is believed to be the only inspection software that supports simultaneous operation of different types of device, including laser scanning, from different manufacturers.
Other enhancements in the new version include improved handling of point-cloud data, group editing of probing parameters, graphical editing of boundaries for raster-based inspection, more flexibility in programming dual-column CMMs, and easier measurement and marking out when using PowerINSPECT for clay modelling.
REDUCED MEASUREMENT TIME
The ability to provide simultaneous measurement from two devices is an extension of the functionality for dual-column CMMs included in the 2012 R2 release of PowerINSPECT, which itself has also further improved. The main benefit of simultaneous measurement is the same – the ability to reduce inspection times, both by measuring a complete object in a single set-up and by taking data simultaneously from two sources.
Dual-device operation works around the line-of-sight limitations of laser trackers and other optical measuring devices, such that the new version enables both sides of the same object to be measured simultaneously with two laser trackers. This could bring huge time savings in any production line, as it would minimise the need to reposition the object or measuring device when inspecting all around a component.
PowerINSPECT can also combine measurements from two different types of device. For example, a laser tracker can be used to check the long-range accuracy of a large component while a portable arm is being used to measure specific critical features in a confined space.
Aberlink Innovative Metrology (Hall 7, Stand 7207) will introduce several new products at the Control 2013 International Trade Fair (01453 884461). Included is the new range of larger Zenith Too CMMs that offer 1.2 m of travel in X, 1.0 m in Z and up to 3 m in Y. The machines have been designed to be compatible with Renishaw's REVO probe head.
Also making its debut will be the V4 version of Aberlink's 3D software. Used across the entire Aberlink range and by many other global metrology companies, the user-friendly software has recently undergone its most significant development. Featuring a dynamic user interface, faster program execution and unlimited feature measurement, Aberlink 3D now supports the PH20 probe and the SP25M scanning probe.
Aberlink's best-selling Axiom Too range of CMMs can now be fitted with the Renishaw PH20 probe head.
Baty International (Hall 7, Stand 7204), a leader in the field of optical profile projectors and co-ordinate measuring systems, will launch the advanced new VuMaster optical measuring system (01444 235621). Described as an innovative, cost-effective solution for fast, accurate 2D measurement, VuMaster can be operated manually or inspection programmes can be recorded, stored and recalled to allow speedy, automatic inspection routines. The new instrument's 'teach and repeat' part programme guides the operator through a pre-defined inspection procedure, recreating the same lighting conditions and using video edge detection to capture feature data. If required, configurable reports can also be generated, featuring tabulated results and fully dimensioned drawings of the measured part.
Baty will also be giving a debut to the semi-automatic variant of the company's Venture Vision Measuring System. The new system combines the advantages of manually operated X and Y axes with an automatic motorised Z axis and zoom lens. The result is a fast, accurate arrangement that allows the operator to measure batches of parts by following simple directions on the graphically displayed 'part-view'.
Finally, Baty will be demonstrating the company's advanced new VuCal, motorised dial indicator calibrator.
Bowers (Hall 7, Stand 7105) will be exhibiting the company's comprehensive ranges of high quality analogue and digital bore gauges, including the recently launched MicroGauge (0870 850 9050). The 2-point MicroGauge bore-gauging system features a new, integral digital readout and has been designed specifically for the accurate measurement of bores from 1.0 – 6.0 mm.
Also being demonstrated will be Bowers XT Digital Xtreme internal micrometers. These give the operator the benefit of traditional quality ratchet gauges, allied to the advantage of advanced IP65 electronics.
Featuring the same electronics and operating system as Bowers' XT range, the company's XT Holematic Xtreme bore gauges incorporate an ergonomic pistol grip handle with an advanced trigger action, resulting in both speed of operation and a constant measuring pressure. Bowers' XT range features a clear digital display, IP65 electronics and an application range of 2 to 300 mm.
Bowers will also be demonstrating its latest air columns, plugs and rings, while the Moore & Wright range of hand tools will additionally feature.
Manchester-based Elcometer (Hall 1, Stand 1717), a coating inspection equipment specialist, has been innovating for more than 60 years, and has developed a comprehensive range of inspection and test equipment for the surface coating and concrete industries (0161 371 6000).
Elcometer also has a range of ultrasonic non-destructive gauges for thickness measurement and flaw detection, under the Elcometer NDT brand name.
The company will show a range of its products, including both the physical test group of products for testing paint as a raw material, and the coating test and inspection products used for the quality control of coating processes, both in the field and in the painting shop.
Creaform, a market leader in portable 3D measurement solutions and 3D engineering services (Measurement Solutions, 01733 325252), will highlight its HandyPROBE portable optical CMM and other related devices, which have been designed to generate reliable and highly accurate measurements, even when used in shopfloor conditions (Hall 5, Stand 5108).
The HandyPROBE portable and arm-free measurement system is a wireless, triangulation–based CMM that offers complete freedom of movement and which can be used for single or repeated measurements of various parts.
Its integrated TRUaccuracy technology, which features functionalities such as dynamic referencing, automatic drift detection and alignment, means that measurements can be taken in any work environment. Vibrations and instabilities in the measurement set-up do not affect the accuracy at all, says the company, a characteristic that is common to all Creaform technologies and which also features in the Go!SCAN 3D, Handyscan 3D and MetraSCAN 3D scanners.
German firm R&P Metrology GmbH (Hall 3, Stand 3602), which claims to be the manufacturer of currently the largest gear measuring machine in the world, will highlight its RPC 1000, the first universal concentricity measuring equipment for larger diameters. It has a capacity of 1,000 mm diameter and can accommodate parts up to 4 tonnes.
The newly developed machine is for the measurement of form deviations in bearing rings, race rings and cylindrical workpieces. With four CNC axes, it can tackle a large range of parts, including gears or 3D measuring tasks on prismatic workpieces. Proven software for fully automatic measuring cycles is available.
German company AiMESS (Hall 7, Stand 7203) says it will introduce a revolutionary non-contact measurement method. It has developed a fringe projection system that makes surface preparation unnecessary. Called R3Dscan, it celebrates its world premiere at the Control event. 3D digitising systems based on the principle of fringe projection meet their limits when it comes to scanning reflective or transparent surfaces. In such cases, the measuring object can only be digitised by preparing the surface, for example with a spray. R3Dscan overcomes this limitation, allowing for instant scanning of reflective or transparent surfaces.
In addition to this benefit, the time-consuming procedure of placing markers on the measurement object is also unnecessary. Thanks to highly precise positioning, the single views of an object are automatically matched to a complete data set. Furthermore, the R3Dscan is insensitive to ambient light.
As the system allows for measurements without prior spraying, the infrared scanner opens completely new application areas in manufacturing, says the company. As an example, it would be possible to use the system in-line for measuring parts in production.
The complete system has a weight of approximately 25 kg and works with a 220 V power supply. One shot covers a measuring volume of 250 by 250 by 100 mm. Larger scans can be realised by relocating the scanner or the object to be measured. It is also possible to connect several projectors to a single computer, so that, no matter how large the measuring object is, it only takes one shot to acquire the whole part. The result 'OK' versus 'not OK' is computed within seconds.
Also talking about in-line inspection, this time of gears, is Fraunhofer IPM (Hall 1, Stand 1502). In one example, the inspection system measures the absolute geometry of gearwheels directly in the production line, enabling dimensions to be recorded at the time of manufacture and, if necessary, to an accuracy in the nanometer range.
Data recorded includes the respective positions of the cogs, the addendum and root circles, gear errors or also the cog gradients. Such monitoring, located directly in the production line, allows the gearwheels to be classified and ideally combined, according to accuracy of fit. In modern production processes, the accuracy of fit for components is crucial for the efficiency of a machine. The more exactly two gearwheels in a transmission match each other, the lower the wear, energy input and vibration will be, says Fraunhofer IPM.
To carry out the measurement, the inspection system exploits the benefits of multiwavelength interferometry. Initially, this contactless, fast and precise approach involves directing a laser beam onto the surface of a measuring object. The light that is scattered back is then superimposed on the original laser beam. The result is an interferogram, which contains all the necessary 3D information of the measuring point – including surface roughness, with height resolution accurate to the nearest nanometer. This is possible even on steep flanks such as gear cogs, it is highlighted.
The inspection system can be adapted to various requirements and functions on very different materials with black, rough and even shiny surfaces.
German metrology specialist Etalon (Hall 3, Stand 3215) says it is introducing a groundbreaking technology for absolute optical distance measurement: distances of up to 20 m can be measured 'interferometrically' with an accuracy of 0.5 microns/m. And the system synchronously evaluates up to 88 channels. Additionally, the innovative and patented method can determine absolute distances: interruptions of the measurement beam at any time can be 'cured' without loss of accuracy, the company claims.
Oxford Instruments says it now has a faster handheld XRF analyser for high performance analysis of metals – the X MET7000 eXpress (Hall 1, Stand 1222).
The X-MET7000 eXpress (above) delivers the high performance that is needed when measuring trace elements, without compromising on time, says the company (01494 479278).
The new X-MET7000 eXpress delivers accurate analysis, lower limits of detection, improved precision (repeatability) and faster analysis time. With one pull of the trigger, it analyses, verifies and screens materials up to four times faster than the X-MET7000 QuickSort. This can be critical when dealing with large volumes of samples to analyse in limited time, as in the scrap and PMI markets, and in the environmental testing industry, saving costs and increasing productivity.
ALLOY GRADES LIBRARY
The unit comes with the largest alloy grades library available on the handheld XRF markets, providing more than 1,600 grades to ensure accurate identification of metals.
NextSense GmbH (Calipri Railway, 01142570563) will present the Calipri non-contact multi-platform method for the quick recording and flexible analysis of gap contours (Hall 5, Stand 5401). "Calipri meets the requirements of the automotive industry for ever narrower gap dimensions and measurement solutions, independent of platform," says Christoph Böhm, marketing manager at NextSense. "The optical measurement system allows for measurements of an accuracy unknown up to now, as well as the universal use of one and the same measurement device in all stages of automotive body production."
Gaps can be examined with Calipri, just as with a feeler gauge or stencil. But, in contrast to other methods, it delivers measurement results free of assumptions, even deep within the gap, through non-contact profile recording. It is available in three versions: The 'Calipri Portable', for mobile gap and flush measurements; the 'Calipri Inline Operator', for manual use on assembly lines; and the fully automated, robotic system 'Calipri Inline Robot', which will be presented for the first time at Control 2013.
NextSense GmbH says it has recently been awarded a contract worth millions from a German premium carmaker, with the Calipri optical measurement system used worldwide in the production of a new model range across all production steps, from car body shell up to the finished vehicle.
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Familiar names at Control 2013
While the exhibitor names may be familiar to a UK audience, it is often the local agent/principal that is exhibiting. The web address is taken from the exhibiting company. Where exhibitor names are similar to the UK agent/principal, no extra information is given. Where the principal name is not the name of the UK agent, UK agents are shown in brackets.
 Blum-Novotest GmbH – Hall 3, Stand 3406 www.blum-novotest.com
 Carl Zeiss – Hall 3, Stand 3302 www.zeiss.de
 FARO Europe GmbH & Co. KG – Hall 3/1, Stand 3404/1602 www.faro.com
 GTMA, National Metalforming Centre – Hall 7, Stand 7220/7 www.gtma.co.uk
 Heidenhain GmbH - Hall 1, Stand 1409 www.heidenhain.de
 Hexagon Metrology – Hall 5, Stand 5302 www.hexagonmetrology.de
 Hommel-Etamic (Metrology Direct, 01452 725241) – Hall 3, Stand 3501
 Mahr GmbH – Hall 3 Stand 3102 www.mahr.de
 Mitutoyo Corporation – Hall 7, Stand 7401 www.mitutoyo.co.jp
 OGP – Hall 1, Stand 1110 www.ogpnet.com
 Phase Vision – Hall 5, Stand 5517 www.phasevision.com
 Starrett – Hall 5, Stand 5510 www.starrett-precision.co.uk
 Stemmer Imaging – Hall 1, Stand 1602 www.stemmer-imaging.de
 Stiefelmayer-Messtechnik GmbH & Co. KG (Mantech Services, 024 7641 6607) –
Hall 3, Stand 3120 www.stiefelmayer.de
 Taylor Hobson Precision – Hall 1, Stand 1302 www.ametek.de
 Third Dimension – Hall 5, Stand 5130 www.third.com
 Vision Engineering – Hall 7, Stand 7400 www.visioneng.de
 Wenzel Präzision GmbH – Hall 5, Stand 5204 www.wenzel-cmm.de
 Zoller GmbH & Co. KG (Zoller UK, 01283 585933) – Hall 1, Stand 1420
First published in Machinery, April 2013