Operating a rigorous continuous quality improvement (CQI) programme, a search was made for a precise vision measuring system to further enhance the company’s quality control function and also ensure that its inspection department was able to keep pace with increasing production volumes.

Explains Lee Weston, marketing and communications manager at Birmingham-based Precision Micro: “As a direct result of our CQI initiatives, we are now able to maintain repeatability levels approaching six sigma standards. These impressive quality levels benefit our customers whilst also making our operation more cost efficient.

“To help our important quality function keep pace with recently increased levels of production and to ensure it is able to accommodate further anticipated production rises, a decision was recently made to purchase another optical CMM to add to our existing collection of five machines, three of which are Mitutoyo models.”

Although the existing Mitutoyo equipment has given, and continues to give, reliable operation and precise measurement, the company surveyed the market, but returned to Mitutoyo, purchasing a Quick Vision Stream Plus optical CMM that boasts accuracy in the 0.0018 mm class. Offering both precision and speed, it “was the ideal machine for our high precision, fast throughput needs”, Weston says.

“Although the quality of our parts is of paramount importance, our speed of inspection is also crucial,” he explains, continuing: “Given our current high levels of output and expected rises in production, it helped that the Quick Vision Stream Plus is 83% faster than our existing Mitutoyo models; in addition, it has a larger bed size (300 by 200 by 200 mm; X,Y,Z) that allows us to load more components for inspection.

“A perfect example of the advantages we have gained are the inspection time savings we have made on one of our commonly produced automotive components.

“We are now able to perform a precise, detailed, 100% inspection routine on a quantity of these components in just four hours. Previously, this task took 16 hours. As we need to perform 100% inspection on more than 1 million automotive parts each month, the accuracy and impressive speed of the Quick Vision Stream Plus has completely removed the potential for inspection bottlenecks and, regardless of production volumes, ensured that our dimensional inspection capability remains ’future-proof’.”

To complement its investment, the company also took Mitutoyo’s MeasurLink software, allowing it to network its new equipment, existing machines and all of its handheld measuring instruments, regardless of brand. Adds Weston: “Now fully operational, the MeasurLink system has enabled us to achieve rapid, seamless data collection and to undertake efficient, remote data analysis.”

This article was published in the July 2016 issue of Machinery magazine.