Comprised of some of the most well-known metrology brands in the world—including Leitz, Leica Geosystems, and Brown & Sharpe, just to name a few—Hexagon Metrology is a global leader in measurement systems used in a wide variety of applications. “When you have a product portfolio as extensive as ours, there’s really no market we aren’t involved in or application we can’t address,” according to Bill Fetter, director of marketing and communications. “We’re also in a position to help gear manufacturers, not only in terms of testing their products but expanding their capabilities as well.”
Leitz coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) provide high throughput, come in a number of different configurations, are powered by the company’s proprietary QUINDOS software, and measure complex toothed gears along with the full range of commonly available tooth-cutting tools. The Leitz PMM-C is a fixed bridge/moving table-type CMM that functions well as an affordable and highly accurate gear inspection center. The Leitz Reference HP (High Precision) is a bridge-type CMM and gear inspection center that is ideal for complex measuring tasks and also comes in the Xi/XT versions with a choice of probe heads. The Leitz PMM-F is for the inspection of medium sized parts, combining a spindle drive design with an overhead structure that allows maximum measuring velocities, and the PMM-G was designed for measuring extra-large gears and components used in aerospace and energy applications, among others.
“The PMM-G is the world’s largest high-precision CMM and gear inspection system,” Fetter explains, “and we recently delivered one to Milwaukee Machine Works. The machine has a supersized measuring capacity of three meters wide by four meters long and two and a half meters high, which is tailor made for the large scale machined components in which the company specializes.”
A gantry configuration machine that allows large-scale parts up to 30,000 pounds to be easily moved inside for precision measurement, it also boasts the highest accuracy specifications for its size, enabling ultra-precision measurements required by the wind, off-highway, and mining industries that the company services. The first CMM of its kind to be installed in the United States, Milwaukee Machine Works plans to further harness the machine’s capacity by pursuing ISO/IEC 17025 certification and offering contract inspection services to other manufacturers in the area.
In addition to its industrial applications, Leitz machines are also the CMMs of choice for many research activities. A case in point would be the The Bremen Institute for Metrology, Automation, and Quality Science (BIMAQ) at the University of Bremen in Germany, which recently purchased a PMM-F for use in its Laboratory for Large Gear Measurement. The country’s first university laboratory for the inspection of large gear wheels, researchers will measure toothed gear components of all types, investigating the interrelationships between the design, manufacture, quality, and functional characteristics of large gears. The aim is to extend the life of large gearboxes, especially those found in wind turbines. The machine is equipped with the QUINDOS 7 software package and can capture up to 750 measured points per second. Hexagon Metrology supplied the CMM as a turnkey system, complete with parts feed and an air-conditioned measuring chamber.
At a time when manufacturers of all types—and especially those involved in gearing—are seeking to expand their capabilities in order to enter new markets, Hexagon Metrology has placed a premium on designing multipurpose machines for measuring a wide variety of components. “If you’re manufacturing complete gearboxes, for example, you can not only measure the loose gearing with our machines, but also the gearbox case and other parts as well,” Fetter says. “And that’s not something you can do if you choose a ‘bespoke’ machine that’s limited to a single purpose. Whether our gear customers choose horizontal arm and gantry CMMs by DEA, the ultra-high accuracy line from Leitz, CMMs and vision measuring machines from Brown & Sharpe, or CMM software upgrades, contract inspection, training, and CMM repair and calibration services, Hexagon Metrology is here to help them achieve their quality assurance goals.”
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