IMTS 2016 Measures Up

Not only did IMTS 2016 attract more than 115,000 registered attendees (slightly higher than the 2014 show), but it also “measured up” by presenting a wide variety of new technologies for gear inspection. Everything from handheld measurement tools to shop floor CMMs as well as tried and true dedicated inspection equipment gave gear manufacturers plenty of options for measuring parts. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the technologies Gear Technology editors saw at the show:

Gleason Presents Multi-Sensor Metrology System

The brand-new GMSL series of machines from Gleason ( offers the latest advances in metrology systems within a compact design. The new system features six axes of motion for gear and complex form measurement with options like integrated Barkhausen inspection and/or surface roughness measurement, as well as a new, full-form scanning capability. The ability to integrate multiple sensors on a common platform offers the capability of several machines in one.gleason-barkhausen

Mahr Goes Mobile

Mahr Federal ( introduced the MarSurf PS 10 during the show. The PS 10 is a handheld measuring unit that works like a smartphone. It is intended for quick roughness testing in and on a machine while in production, according to Andre Hofmann, applications engineer at Mahr Federal.

The range of measuring applications is expanded by removing the drive unit and operating it separately from the display. It also supports small diameter parts during the measurement cycle. Optional probes for different measuring tasks allow for the measurement of gears and deep measuring points such as in grooves or bores. The large battery pack recharges in 1.5 hours and enables over 1,200 measurements per charge.

Measuring data from the MarSurf PS 10 can be saved in several formats as finished measuring records with no additional software. However, combining the unit with the Mahr eStick wireless data transmission allows for seamless data collection with MarCom software. mahr1

Wenzel Focuses on Durability and Precision

With its broad range and small footprint, Wenzel’s ( WGT 280 is easily integrated into existing processes. Additionally, the measuring volume allows simple loading and easy operation of the gear inspection machine. The rotary table can be loaded with parts up to 50 kg in weight and up 280 mm in diameter.

The WGT 280 gear inspection machine is equipped with a Renishaw SP600 scanning probe allowing the measurement of gears starting with a module of 0.5 as standard. For the accurate measurement of shafts, the WGT 280 can be equipped with a tailstock. Z-axis measurement capacity is 500 mm.

During the development of the WGT 280 Wenzel focused on one of its core competencies, the highly precise finishing of the best metrological proven material – granite. The base plate and linear guides are manufactured from Impala dark granite and finished by hand. The combination of granite and air bearing technology realize the durability and high precision of the gear inspection machines. wgt280

Mitutoyo Touts Shop Floor CMMs

Over at Mitutoyo (, highlights included CMMs that gear customers should consider purchasing over dedicated inspection equipment. What are the benefits of these machines in today’s market? First, there are investment considerations. A CMM machine equipped with a rotary table, high-speed scanning probe head and gear checking software can cost significantly less than traditional gear inspection machines. Second, some of these CMMs boast technology that allows them the luxury of being placed out on the shop floor next to the machine producing parts. Technologies such as temperature sensors and vibration dampening options challenge temperature changes and machine vibration to obtain repeatable and accurate measurements.

Want to learn more about Mitutoyo’s complete line of inspection equipment? The company announced the latest edition of its comprehensive product catalog during IMTS. For ease of use, customers can flip through color-coded product sections of Mitutoyo’s 6,500+ products including hand tools and instruments, form measuring equipment, hardness testing machines, coordinate measuring machines and vision measuring systems. mitutoyo1

Marposs Displays In-Process Monitoring for Gear Hobbing

Artis, a division of Marposs (, has developed a system for in-process monitoring of gear hobbing that not only helps detect tooth breakages and other failures, but also—and perhaps more importantly—allows the gear manufacturer to optimize tool usage, improve cycle times and accurately predict downtime for tool changes.

The system uses sensorless technology, according to Bernd Kalinowski, sales project manager for Artis. The system’s digital torque adapter (DTA), which, via a software interface to the machine’s PLC, reads data from the axes of the spindles.

This data allows the system to identify the point at which tool wear becomes a problem. Rather than changing out the tools based on number of parts or the tool supplier’s recommendations, the tools can be run until the system detects tool wear. In a major automobile manufacturing facility, this has proven to result in 16-17% tooling cost savings, Kalinowski says. “You can not only monitor wear, but also predict when the machine will need to be stopped.” This ability to plan downtime results in increased machine availability and overall output. marposs_cmt

Laser Inspection of Gears by Nikon

The Nikon HN-C3030 ( is a non-contact gear inspection system that offers fast scanning of gears in a wide range of sizes, says Dennis Freimark, sales applications engineer for Nikon Metrology, Inc.

A wide range of sizes and types of gears can be accommodated, Freimark says, noting that the system can inspect even very small gears (0.3-0.5 module) that a touch-probe system would be unable to inspect. At the same time, the machine’s worktable can handle larger components as well (up to 30 kg).

High-speed digital transform processing enables surface point clouds to be acquired at the rate of 120,000 points per second. What this means, Freimark says, is that a full scan of all tooth surfaces on an automotive bevel gear can be completed in about five minutes.

Tooth profile error and lead error reports can be displayed in the same formats as conventional gear measuring systems.

The machine can be equipped with an optional thermal regulator, so that it can be used outside the lab, right on the production floor. It also has optional software for the inspection of hobs. nikon-laser-inspection

To see more products that were on display at IMTS 2016, visit

About Matthew Jaster 16 Articles
Matthew Jaster, Senior Editor, has a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and has 15+ years of writing and editing experience in automotive, manufacturing, engineering, law and arts and entertainment.