For Rigibore's automated solution Zenith, accurate in-process measurement is paramount to manufacturing a precision finish bore. Renishaw's probing excellence plays in a key role in facilitating the closed-loop tool compensation cycle to run without stopping the machining process and without manual intervention.
The manufacturing industry, across all sectors, is facing the challenges of meeting shorter lead-times and machining to ever tighter tolerances. Therefore, the call for autonomous systems that deliver solutions to these problems today to drive productivity and ensure the production of perfect components grows ever louder. These calls are being heard and the groundswell of the Industry 4.0 revolution has resulted in advanced machining solutions and innovation such as Rigibore's Zenith coming to the forefront.
By integrating Rigibore's ActiveEdge fine boring tools with in-process measurement the Zenith system enables the machine control to automatically compensate for tool wear; drastically reducing machine downtime by eliminating operator intervention. Customers from across industry sectors such as automotive, aerospace, wind power, marine and injection moulding are now benefitting from accurate and repeatable bore sizes. While the Rigibore ActiveEdge tools are responsible for the final cut, this would not be possible without the role that Renishaw probing plays in this unique solution's success.
"The accuracy of the finished bore is completely reliant on the measurement provided", comments Rigibore chairman Roger Bassett. "The measured value of the previous cut is sent directly to the machine control, where Rigibore macros monitor the measurement against predetermined tolerance limits and if necessary, a cutting-edge compensation is applied". In some high-precision applications the difference between a good part and a bad part is a matter of microns and in some cases if a bore is out of tolerance after machining, the part is not reworkable and therefore must be scrapped. These fine margins emphasise the importance of Renishaw's probing system's unrivalled performance and repeatability in delivering measured values, providing the right information for the ActiveEdge tool's cutting edge to be compensated.
Through the introduction of an automated solution, users will unlock a more productive machining process, eliminating lengthy machine downtime caused by manual inspection, tool setting and adjustment. A recent project in the automotive industry saw the introduction of Renishaw probing eliminate the need for the part to be removed and checked in an inspection room. Renishaw's Inspection Plus software provided a comprehensive range of probing cycles to check for size, bore runout and ovality in a matter of minutes. Then, in combination with Zenith's ability to adjust the tool's cutting edge anywhere in the machine, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual adjustments that risk operator error, cycle time was reduced significantly. The result of the utilisation of this superior level of automation saw productivity increase by 30%, allowing this manufacturer of high-volume components to meet critical lead times demanded by its customer.
The Zenith closed-loop boring solution operates through a continuous cycle of boring, measurement and adjustment to ensure bores stay between a predetermined upper and lower tolerance limit. This level of autonomy can only be achieved by trusting smart manufacturing technology to deliver accuracy and repeatability. The combination of probing from Renishaw and micron accurate adjustment from Rigibore, will ensure a bright future for precision machining.
Precision probing cycles by Renishaw (left) deliver an accurate measurement value to adjust the ActiveEdge tool (right) for the finish bore.
Based in the UK, Renishaw is a world leading engineering technologies company, supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It has 5,000 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.
For the year ending June 2019 Renishaw recorded sales of £574 million of which 94% was due to exports. The company's largest markets are the USA, China, Japan and Germany.
Throughout its history Renishaw has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 13–18% of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering. The majority of this R&D and manufacturing of the company's products is carried out in the UK.
The company's success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen's Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.
Further information at renishaw.com