Five Axis CMM Inspection System Halves Measurement Times

Leader in five-axis turbomachinery production quickly adopts new five-axis Renishaw inspection system, gains faster throughput, greater CMM utilization, and programming reductions from days to hours.

Constantly changing surface geometries, pin-wheeling shapes and tight, intricate features make turbomachinery components - impellers, blades and blisks - some of industry's most complex and exacting shapes. TURBOCAM International achieved leadership in this specialized field by mastery of five-axis machining and five-axis programming software. However, efficient inspection of ever increasing numbers of complex parts was frustrated by slow, tedious, stop-and-go measurement inspection on a legacy 3+2 axis coordinate measuring machine (CMM).

Early adopter of revolutionary CMM scanning technology
Changing 3-D part geometries required many different probe orientations, plus frequent stylus and tip changes for difficult to reach features, explains Dave Romaine, Quality Assurance Manager. "We would have to stop the CMM and calibrate each re-orientation of the probe. That was compounded as we inspected multiple blades around a part."

As five-axis experts, TURBOCAM staff were quick to see the potential of a revolutionary scanning system from Renishaw that makes possible automated, programmable five-axis measurement at speeds and accuracies never before possible by CMMs. The Renscan5 scanning system offered the capability for continuous five-axis interpolated motion, comparable to TURBOCAM's five-axis machine tools.

In January 2007 TURBOCAM became one of the first adopters of the new Renscan5 continuous five-axis inspection capability. Installed on a new Wenzel LH8.10.7 bridge-type CMM at the company's Dover, New Hampshire, USA plant, Renscan5 transformed part measurement and inspection from a bottleneck to an enabler.

CMM measurement times reduced by at least 50 percent
High-speed continuous probing routines are reducing programming time, set-up time and measurement time by 50 percent and more. Besides faster throughput, Renscan5 time-savings allows the taking of many more data points for greater measurement precision and frees up CMM time for qualification of turned blanks and in-process checks before final machining passes.

Those powerful advantages led TURBOCAM in early 2008 to become the first company worldwide to add a second Renscan5 CMM, a larger Wenzel LH10.12.8, this time at a new facility in nearby Barrington. In this new facility, Renscan5 is an "essential resource" says Romaine, that is being developed to support higher-throughput production generated by around-the-clock, reduced-staff manufacturing.

XSpect Solutions, now part of Wenzel, did the installation of Renscan5 on both the new CMMs.

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