A Precision Decision


Winbro Group Technologies (WGT) is a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced machines and technologies based on non-conventional processes. The group’s high-technology machine systems produce holes and forms in components used in the most demanding parts of aero and industrial gas turbines, as well as in high-precision applications in the semiconductor, fuel cell and medical industries. Winbro’s non-conventional machining processes include high-speed EDM drilling, laser drilling, cutting, ablation and welding, in addition to creep-feed grinding and ECM.

Based in Shepshed, UK, WGT also have a manufacturing centre in Rock Hill, SC, USA. Following seven years of close collaboration, in November 2019, WGT became part of Quaser Machine Tools, Taiwan.

Complementing the group’s sales of advanced machines and technologies, WAM (Winbro Advanced Machining) was launched in 2007. WAM provides a wide range of first-class machining facilities that can be used to manufacture customers’ components. WAM certifications include ISO9001 2015, AS9100 Rev D, Accreditation with NADCAP for non-conventional processes, in addition to independent accreditation with many blue-chip OEMs.

Given the nature of the demanding industries served by Winbro, the quality of its products and services are of paramount importance. In addition to frequently updating its staff’s skills in this vital area, the business invests in advanced inspection equipment, including advanced Mitutoyo Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs). The most recent addition to Winbro’s Mitutoyo CMM collection is a state-of-the-art Mitutoyo CRYSTA-Apex V CNC CMM.

Dr Alan Duffield, Winbro Group Business Development Manager, explained the purchase and use of the group’s CMMs. “We pride ourselves in being at the forefront of machine and process development, offering a comprehensive range of systems and technologies which deliver the performance and precision demanded by global industry. In addition to enjoying a first-class reputation for their high-precision, speed of operation and efficiency, our machining systems are renowned for their outstanding reliability and long lasting characteristics.

“To ensure the continued premium quality of our technologies we use a range of advanced inspection equipment. Although, the high-precision workhorses of our quality function are our collection of Mitutoyo CMMs, including 3 Crysta-Apex S574 models and our recently installed advanced CRYSTA-Apex V CNC CMM.

“Since we first started using Mitutoyo CMMs in 2014, we have enjoyed outstanding service from each of the machines and have received excellent back-up from the staff of Mitutoyo UK. Therefore, when the need arose to further increase our inspection capacity to keep-pace with ever rising production levels, we again contacted Mitutoyo.

“Consequently, we were pleasantly surprised to see the impressive technical developments in areas such as accuracy, performance, speed, and versatility, made in the company’s recently launched CRYSTA-Apex V models. As it suited the size range of the parts we manufacture, we placed an order for a CRYSTA-Apex V CMM with an xyz capacity of 500 x 700 x 400mm.

“Following a trouble free installation and operator training, our new, highly-efficient Mitutoyo CMM is now making a major contribution to our important quality control work. In addition to accurately measuring one-off parts, our operators are able to load multiple parts onto the new CMM, recall pre-written programs and instigate fast, fully-automatic, CNC inspection routines. In addition, to providing the levels of precision that we need, the speed of inspection and flexibility of our CRYSTA-Apex V CMM has increased our inspection efficiency levels.”

The latest generation Mitutoyo CRYSTA-Apex V series CNC CMMs are designed to deliver outstanding accuracy, speed, and versatility. Thanks to multi-sensor flexibility, including vision, laser, surface finish and scanning probe technologies, the advanced new CMMs are able to undertake an extensive range of measurements across a wide variety of workpieces. In addition, speedy V series CMMs improve users’ overall inspection productivity. CRYSTA-Apex V Series CMMs leverage IoT (Internet of Things) for the advanced management of production and quality information. In addition to being ideal for today’s quality control needs, the advanced CMMs are future-proof, as they are designed with the ‘smart factory’ in-mind.

As Winbro’s new CNC CMM is situated within a production environment it helps that all CRYSTA-Apex V models use a real-time temperature compensation system. In the past, the accuracy of CMMs could not be guaranteed unless they were installed within temperature controlled environments. CRYSTA-Apex V CMMs’ temperature compensation feature guarantees accuracy under temperature conditions of 16-26 °C. The advanced system measures the temperature of the workpiece and that of the measuring machine, then calculates what the measurement value would be at 20 °C, before outputting the value as the precise measurement result.

The high drive speed and rapid acceleration of CRYSTA-Apex V CNC CMMs dramatically reduces total measuring times. The innovative CMMs allow users to freely set measurement paths along three-dimensional forms, enabling intricate workpieces to be measured along their curved surfaces and contours. High-speed measurements are unaffected by processing accuracy or misregistration by the real-time correction of path errors caused by differences between workpieces and design values.

Complementing the V series impressive hardware, Mitutoyo offer an extensive range of application software for generating measurement programs automatically and for performing evaluations using CAD.

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