IMPCO Machine Tools Introduces New Laser Checking System
April 12, 2005—The new OPTI-Scan Class II CE-certified laser heads from IMPCO Machine Tools are designed to perform final inspection of precisely machined parts, such as crankshafts or transmission shafts, in seconds. The system can be configured to check machined parts surfaces and render a go/no-go signal.
According to the companys press release, the process doesnt add time to production cycles and permits 100% checking.
$BE#(Because it is impossible to distinguish finely machined surfaces with the naked eye, we developed the OPTI-Scan laser checking system as a cost-effective method for 100% checking whether a precision surface has been properly machined,$B!&(Bsays an IMPCO spokesman.
The OPTI-Scan can be installed within a machine tool or as an offline check. Lasers are arranged around a part fixture, each aimed at a machined surface of a workpiece. The system is first shown a pre-finished master part and then a properly finished master part to illustrate the difference. Results are instantly displayed on a control panel, and the quality of the reflected light indicates whether a surface has been correctly finished.
In one of the first applications, the OPTI-Scan was installed as a station in a production microfinishing machine and used 21 laser heads to check all machined journal surfaces of a six-cylinder diesel engine in less than two seconds. According to IMPCO, the engine producer will use the system to assure that all surfaces are finished before the crankshaft proceeds to assembly.
Unlike with conventional contact gaging, surfaces do not need to be cleaned before checking with OPTI-Scan. Shop-hardened and reconfigurable for different parts, the system can operate in typical shop conditions.
$BE1(Brecision journals, as on a crankshaft, are finished to submicron accuracy and its impossible to assure visually that theyve all been processed, yet it is essential that properly finished components are released for assembly into an engine or the engine will prematurely fail,$B!&(Bsays the IMPCO spokesman.
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