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High Speed Roundness Testing of Bearings

As bearings are used across a myriad of applications within virtually every industrial sector, our familiarity with them means that we can easily take these meticulously engineered components for granted. The critical functions performed by bearings, together with the intense demands placed upon them necessitates the application of the most stringent production standards and the operation of rigorous quality control systems.

As a world leader in the field design and manufacture of super precision ball bearings for the global aerospace industry, the Plymouth, England based Barden Corporation manufactures super precision bearings in P4 (ABEC7) quality and above to the highest possible standards. The Barden Corporation's reputation for technical excellence within each of its manufacturing facilities, means that the company's bearings are used in areas, where there is a need to meet critical tolerances, operate at high speeds and provide reliable performance under the most demanding operating conditions.

Quality permeates every aspect of the company's business. Barden's Plymouth plant is certified to both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, as well as aerospace standards AS9100 and AS9120. The company applies exacting, self-established standards and uses a range of premium quality test and measuring equipment to ensure the delivery of reliable, quiet, smooth-running ball bearings that exhibit exceptional characteristics.

The Surtronic-R100 roundness form measurement system.

Typical of The Barden Corporation's ongoing investment in the hi-tech plant's quality system is the recent investment in state-of-the-art roundness measuring instruments from Leicester, Englan-based Taylor Hobson.

Derek Pitcher, The Barden Corporation, Plymouth Facility QA Coordinator, explains. "We currently employ 15 Taylor Hobson Talyrond instruments to ensure that the roundness and form of our output meets the most demanding of standards. We also use six Taylor
Hobson Talysurf instruments to help guarantee that correct surface finish parameters are adhered to.

"Our Taylor Hobson equipment has proven to be exceptionally accurate and able to provide repeatable, extremely precise results when used by personnel within our Quality Department or production workers on the shop floor.

"Given the popularity of Taylor Hobson products within the precision bearing industry, during the final development stage of the company's recently launched Surtronic R-series, I was asked to take a pre-launch loan model for evaluation. Although the supplied Surtronic R-series proved to be a first-rate instrument, I was happy to suggest several minor improvements which were consequently implemented by Taylor Hobson.

"To help keep pace with the current high demand for our products and to avoid the potential for bottlenecks within our inspection procedures, we took delivery of a new Surtronic R-series a couple of months ago. Impressed by Taylor Hobson's 'leap' in technology and the new instrument's outstanding performance, I recently placed an order for a second model. "The Surtronic's rapid throughput system allows us to keep pace with our high-volume of 'first-off' bearings and undertake continuous sample batch roundness measurements.

The sturdy nature of the Surtronic instrument means that it is able to deliver extremely precise results within shop floor environments, throughout our three shift working pattern. "As our new Surtronic R-series instruments have an ingenious quick loading method and rapid operating systems, they are able to handle a high volume of extremely precise roundness measurements. Not only does the precise roundness measurements generated by our Surtronic R-series instruments help us in our quest for zero defects, the generated data allows us to improve our production processes." Taylor Hobson is a globally renowned manufacturer of precision measuring instruments that perform at nanometric levels of resolution and accuracy. The well known company's roundness/cylindricity measuring instruments allow sub-micron analysis of precision components in fully or semi-automated CNC operation.

Prior to the launch of the advanced new Surtronic R-series, Taylor Hobson worked in close cooperation with end users across a wide range of industries including precision bearings, automotive and aerospace engineering. This thorough consultation process focussed on the development of key roundness measuring attributes for today's precision industries. The result of this invaluable feed-back and the innovative work of Taylor Hobson's R&D Department is a high-quality range of roundness testing products that are robust enough for shop floor use, yet have accuracy specification applicable to the most demanding inspection environments.

Taylor Hobson's rapid throughput system ensures that that higher sampling rates are achieved, Surtronic R-series instruments are able to accurately check three parts per minute including set-up time. Although many times faster than traditional benchtop roundness systems, the Surtronic R-series experiences no loss of precision or accuracy. Full ISO compliant measurements can be taken with ±25 nm accuracy and 6 nm gauge resolution.

Exhibiting the same robust attributes as Taylor Hobson's existing range, the Surtronic R-series was designed for constant 24 hour, 7 days a week operation within demanding shop floor environments. Through the use of Taylor Hobson's patented gauge orientation system, changing instrument orientation from roundness to flatness or internal to external measurement mode, takes just a few seconds. Whist ease of use is further assured through the use of the X-sight, touch screen software platform and an intuitive navigation system.


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