Extended-Travel Digital Comparator Handles Gas Turbine Parts

Methods Machine Tools offers an extended-travel version of the 700-series VisionGauge digital comparator manufactured by Visionx.

Methods Machine Tools offers an extended-travel version of the 700-series VisionGauge digital comparator manufactured by Visionx. This machine features a 24" × 24" × 24" envelope as well as tilt and rotary axes in a trunnion configuration. This configuration combined with the system’s ability to accommodate parts weighing as much as 100 lbs makes it suitable for large, heavy parts such as those found in the industrial gas turbine industry.

The 700-series is also well-suited to the inspection of EDM and laser-drilled cooling holes, as well as complex parts made via additive manufacturing. The digital comparator can automatically verify hole presence as well as accurately measure hole location and geometry. The machine supports both round and shaped holes and works equally well on both coated and uncoated parts, the company says.

The system has complete integrated five-axis corrections and dynamic fixture correction, as well as full 3D mapping for maximum accuracy. The comparator’s five axes of motion enable accurate viewing of parts from all sides. The system is fully automated, eliminating operator-to-operator variation and potential error. Ultra-bright, multi-angle, multi-quadrant LED illumination is managed by a programmable, computer-controlled system.

The VisionGauge has an optical system designed for an extended depth of field, providing complete clarity and focus regardless of a part’s geometry, in addition to a very long working distance that provides flexibility. The system has adaptive feature-detection software tools that accurately locate holes and slots on different surfaces, with diverse reflectivity at various viewing angles, a useful feature for burrs and splatter, the company says.

Like other VisionGauge models, the 700-series digital optical comparator is intended as a fully-digital drop-in replacement for a traditional optical comparator. The comparator works directly with the part’s CAD data and does not require any overlays, Mylars or templates, the supplier says. The system is Windows-based and delivered network-ready in a rolling-cart shopfloor configuration. The comparator is said to be more accurate than traditional optical comparators and enables users to achieve higher throughput. The comparators can be set up to automatically collect complete electronic documentation and device history for SPC and quality-compliance purposes. The system also enables users to compare a part to its CAD data in real time, automatically. VisionGauge digital optical comparators are available in vertical and horizontal configurations.

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