Exact Metrology CMM helps Douglas Machine & Engineering measure aluminum plate.

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company and a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, recently used its coordinate measuring machine (CMM) at its Moline, Illinois, facility to help an industrial manufacturer.

Located in Davenport, Iowa, Douglas Machine & Engineering is a manufacturer of fixtures, broaches, reamers, straighteners, vises, pliers, cutters, burnishers, plugs, spindle nut presses, and grinders. It also offers custom manufacturing including welding, EDM machining, fabrication, turning, and milling. Industries served include the aerospace, defense, construction, agricultural, robotics, food grade packaging, and pharmaceutical.

Every phase of the fabrication process is completed in-house, saving customers’ time and money. Whether the project involves developing fully integrated units or retrofitting new units into current systems, the team of industrial designers ensures correct placement and functionality. The company’s facility is capable of moving fabricated parts up to 20 tons and machining small parts up to 20,000 pounds. The parts feature average tolerances ranging from ±0.005 to ±0.0005. As an ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D-certified company, the company delivers reliable solutions that have been properly tested and installed on-site. Besides CNC machining and fabrication services, the company also provides a comprehensive selection of additional services such as robotic and automation integration, in-house paint, powder coating and blasting capacity, plating, heat treating, and inspection.

Large scale CMM. (Courtesy: Exact Metrology)

Measuring machine

Douglas Machine & Engineering machined an aluminum plate that will become a locating fixture for the military. Per the military contract, Douglas Machine & Engineering had to provide a full dimensional layout report before shipping the plate. Unable to measure in-house, it discovered the CMM capability of Exact Metrology and sent the part to Moline.

This high-accuracy CNC coordinate measuring machine guarantees a maximum permissible error of E0, MPE = (2.5+3L/1,000)µm. With this machine, measurement uncertainty remains within one-fifth of the dimension tolerance up to 30.2” (766 mm). The higher accuracy specification therefore gives it more than double the effective measuring range in terms of accuracy-guarantee capability. With a general-purpose CMM, when the measured length exceeds 14.8” (375 mm), machine uncertainty exceeds one-fifth of the dimension tolerance. In contrast, measurement uncertainty remains within one-fifth of the dimension tolerance up to 30.2” (766 mm) with this CMM. It offers a maximum drive speed of 693 mm/s and a maximum drive acceleration of 1,732 mm/s2 resulting in an increase of drive distance in one second. Combining high speed and high acceleration, this machine reduces measuring time.

Exact Metrology’s new CMM. (Courtesy: Exact Metrology)

Measurement accuracy

Furthermore, the machine is equipped with a temperature compensation system that guarantees the accuracy of measurement under temperature conditions of 60.8 to 78.8°F (16 to 26°C). From sensors installed on each axis scale and working in conjunction with sensors placed on the workpiece, temperatures are obtained before outputting the measurement result to the controller. Thermal compensation is applied based on 68°F (20°C), taking into account the workpiece material expansion coefficient. The combined axis scale/workpiece temperature compensation design used gives superior results compared to systems with sensors only on the axis scales.

The y-axis guide rail, which is integrated to one side of the granite surface plate, shows little deterioration with use and, therefore, maintains the stated accuracy much longer. The air bearings located on the bottom face, in addition to those at the front, rear, and upper surfaces of the slider unit of the x-axis, minimize vibration even during high-speed, high-acceleration movement, thus ensuring stable linear motion.

Large scale CMM 2. (Courtesy: Exact Metrology)

Precision machined parts

CMM is used for precision machined parts and has a measuring volume of 47 inches by 78 inches. Components, parts, and finished durable products designed to maintain extreme tight tolerance margins, as well as a high degree of durability, are essential and common drivers for the use of precision machining. The real art in precision machining involves the marriage of computer-controlled design (CAD) and human-engineered design for the creation of unique features and highly controlled output and functionality driven by advancements in fluid dynamics, chemical control, mechanical, climate extremes, and durability required in modern hardware technologies. Precision machined parts typically have intricate features and need precise specifications and measurements. Additionally, many of these parts have holes, grooves, tapers, and/or textures that require an exact fit into other components. They are used in numerous applications such as aerospace, medical device components, electronics, off-highway, etc. For example, the CMM can easily measure the large drive and power transmission gears used at the off-road equipment builders in Moline.

Douglas Machine & Engineering achieved a quick turnaround on its part.

“The communication is always top notch, and the end result is always what we look for when doing business with a company,” said Nick Roman, president of Douglas Machine & Engineering. “Exact always goes above and beyond to come on site or get things done when needed.”

Exact Metrology: A Division of In-Place Machining Company, is ISO9001, AS9100 certified as well as ITAR registered. The company has facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio; Moline, Illinois; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plus affiliated offices throughout the country. It is a comprehensive metrology services provider, offering customers 3D and CT scanning, reverse engineering, quality inspection, product development and 2D drawings. The company also provides turnkey metrology solutions, including equipment sales and lease/rental arrangements. More information at www.exactmetrology.com.

In-Place Machining Company, with facilities in Wisconsin, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, California, and Ontario, Canada, is the premier provider of high-precision engineered on-site machining, metrology, and large scale cutting and drilling services for a wide range of renewable energy, aerospace, industrial, and military customers throughout the world. For more information contact deans@exactmetrology.com.