White Paper: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Equator Gauging System Leads to 30% Increase in Manufacturing Capacity

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Olympus NDT is a world-leading manufacturer of non-destructive testing (NDT) instruments that are used in industrial applications such as aerospace, power generation, petrochemical, civil infrastructure, automotive, and consumer products. The company’s NDT technology can identify hidden flaws and imperfections in a wide range of parts and materials, both metallic and non-metallic.

Olympus NDT manufactures a precision wedge component to correctly align parts for NDT. The wedge is located between a part and the NDT equipment probe to ensure that the part is positioned at the optimal angle for inspection and the probe is protected from any damage.

While a dedicated 5-axis CNC milling machine and loading robot allowed production through night and weekend shifts, dimensional inspection of the wedges post-production was creating an unacceptable bottleneck and costly downtime. Manual gauging techniques were too slow and the increased production was placing a high demand on skilled labor required elsewhere.

An advanced, automated, in-process inspection solution able to maximize manufacturing throughput while ensuring the precision of the wedges was needed. To meet its needs, Olympus NDT required a completely autonomous manufacturing cell comprising part milling and inspection as well as part handling.

Renishaw’s Equator™ gauging system was considered the ideal in-process solution, ensuring reliable inspection results and maintained repeatability at very fast operating speeds.

Equipped with Renishaw’s SP25M 3-axis analog scanning probe, the Equator gauge can capture 1,000 data points per second, enabling the measurement of position and form on each wedge produced.

Automating the wedge inspection process using Equator has succeeded in helping Olympus NDT achieve its manufacturing and throughput goals. With support from Renishaw, the complete system implementation took just three months from inception to commissioning.

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