Faster Shaft Measurement Made Simple with VICIVISION UK
The Importance Of Shaft Measurement In Industry
As the demand increases for more complex parts, with higher precision and at a faster production speed, so too does the popularity for measurement systems that can accomplish faster checks than any other tool. In addition, manufacturers look for systems that allow for efficient measurement alongside the machines that make the parts, directly on the shop floor.
Shaft measurement systems in particular are gaining increasing popularity in a number of high-volume applications within industries across the world. Having the ability to perform a number of checks including diameter measurement across the shaft, taper angles, groove depth and run-out of shoulder to the overall axis of the shaft, optical shaft measuring systems are proving more and more useful as this specialist technology continues to develop and advance.
To give an indication of the importance of efficient shaft measurement, firstly shafts and turned components work as a huge part of engineering wherever a part is made to turn on an axis. Shafts can be made small enough to turn gears inside of a watch, or large enough to spin aeroplane engines and ship propellers. They also often contain a number of critical and functional features including anything from splines, gears, threads and tapers, to bearing surfaces and grooves. With the critical nature of these features, the associated shafts often need a high number of repeated dimensional checks throughout the manufacturing process to ensure they function with precision down to the last micron.
Both shafts and their features are checked using every type of gauge imaginable. From basic handheld measurement tools such as micrometres and snap gauges, to high-end automatic CMMs (Co-ordinate Measurement Machines), there are a variety of solutions available to measure shaft and turned components, but measurement results vary from low-end devices to high-end systems, often compromising the quality of critical parts.
A step up from handheld micrometres and snap gauges, horizontal shaft measurement systems offer a higher level of accuracy compared to these conventional measurement methods, but due to manual operation can result in reoccurring errors through operator faults. Usually with a supporting interface for electronic data capture, these machines usually consist of a series of measuring modules mounted on a precision bed next to a lathe-like part mounting assembly. Such systems can conduct a number of basic measurement tasks depending on the machine configuration. For this reason, shaft measuring systems are an ideal solution only for low volume, non-stringent tolerances and shafts that meet a broad criteria.
This criteria can be anything from tolerances, to cycle time. The more stringent the shaft tolerance and cycle time is, the less likely you are to use manual shaft measurement systems within your measurement routine. In terms of this method of measurement, shafts can vary greatly in feature functionality and current shaft measuring technology has constraints allowing for measurement of common shaft features including length, diameter, length between features, diameters of features, run-out to various axes or taper. Oftentimes, it is possible even to measure more derivative parameters such as shaft cylindricity. Beyond these capabilities, however, manufacturers quickly discover the limitations of this technology within their quality routine.
Cycle time is another element important to the efficient inspection of shaft tools when using a shaft measuring system. In operations where collected measurement data needs to be sent to a tooling machine before it is set to begin work on expensive parts, with real-time correction this could save huge amounts of waste and money. Optical shaft measuring systems offer this much-needed real-time adjustment to the manufacturing cycle, through fast data collection and reporting.
With dedicated optical shaft measuring systems growing in popularity as the first choice for efficient and fast dimensional checks, automated shaft and turned part measurement machines are setting the bar for precision within engineering for all industries, offering a solution apart from the rest.
While dedicated shaft measuring systems compete with handheld gages on one side, and CMMs on the other, they offer a much greater efficiency through performing a number of checks in a single setup and within a single scan. Often automatic, optical shaft measurement reduces operator influence, thus reducing human error and improving result accuracy.
VICIVISION UK shaft measurement systems offer versatility like you’ve never seen before through faster data collection, with higher precision and maximum ergonomics in just one automatic scan of your turned components. With a robust and compact design VICIVISION systems are able to integrate into your production routine, directly on the shop floor and within easy reach of production equipment. Advanced functionality allows the system to send direct feedback to surrounding machines, ultimately increasing throughput and improving process control.
Dedicated shaft measurement systems from VICIVISION UK offer ease of programming and operation, with minimal setup times. And because they measure turned parts in the same 2-D axis of motion as the lathes that create the parts, they provide more accurate results.
Due to the defined nature of shafts, programming optical shaft measuring systems can be intuitive, easy to learn and easy to maintain.