Mitutoyo at Skar’s Service

In addition to the quality of the capital equipment being considered by potential purchasers, the standard of the customer services provided by prospective suppliers is also a major consideration when procurement decisions are being made.

Having earned an excellent reputation for the quality of the company’s famous measuring products and also for its comprehensive range of support services, Mitutoyo satisfies both the precision needs and the customer service requirements of its UK customer base. The effectiveness of the wide range of the support services offered by Mitutoyo UK can be illustrated by the assistance given to Skar Precision Mouldings prior to, during and following the recent installation of an advanced Mitutoyo Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) at the business’ Hadleigh, Suffolk based premises.

Established in 1969, over the past 50 years Skar Precision Mouldings has grown to become one of the UK’s largest injection moulding businesses. The company has an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the plastic injection moulding process and can advise on design for manufacture and efficient production and assembly. To help keep pace with high demand, Skar operates 35 high-yield machines with a tonnage range from 22-450 and a maximum shot weight of 2.4kg, on a 24 hour/5 days per week production cycle.

muk-skar-405x275.jpgGiven the nature of the challenging sectors it serves, Skar administers a stringent quality assurance regime and ensures that strict control and monitoring procedures are built into every aspect of the business’ activities.

Amongst other areas, the company specialises in the high-precision injection moulding of components for use in medical equipment and has been awarded approved supplier status by some of the biggest names in the global medical sector.

The requirement to undertake high-precision inspection routines and to provide detailed inspection reports related to complex components produced for a multi-national manufacturer of medical analysis equipment, recently prompted the search for a suitably accurate CMM. Having considered the offerings from several leading metrology companies, a high-accuracy CRYSTA-Apex S CMM with an X,Y,Z capacity of – 500mm x 700mm x 400mm, was purchased from Mitutoyo UK. The CRYSTA-Apex S 574 model, as purchased by Skar, is an advanced CNC CMM that guarantees a maximum permissible length measurement error of E0, MPE = (1.7+3L/1000) μm.

As the Mitutoyo CMM arrived before the completion of Skar’s new temperature controlled inspection facility, the company took advantage of several of Mitutoyo UK’s range of customer service provisions. Paul Chaplin, Quality Engineer and CMM Programmer at Skar Precision Mouldings explained. “We are one of the longest established plastic injection moulding companies in the UK and provide an expert service to companies throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. Our precision moulding services meet or exceed the highest standards for quality. We are experienced in a wide range of thermoplastic materials and are able to meet the needs of customers involved in the most demanding of industries.

“Quality assurance and monitoring processes are built into every aspect of our work. We are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certified, and our quality management system incorporates full material batch traceability. We can also provide quality plans, Sample Inspection Reports (SIR), process capability studies and inspection documentation as required. Amongst other tasks, our well-equipped inspection department undertakes the precise and detailed inspection of manufactured parts’ complex features and geometries and compares them to their 3D CAD models.

He continued. “As we had experienced a delay in the completion of our new inspection department and were unable to make use of our newly delivered CMM, the wisdom of dealing with Mitutoyo soon became evident. Due to the volume of components that needed to be precisely measured, prior to the CMM’s installation, Mitutoyo UK’s Measurement Services Department provided us with a very efficient sub-contract service. The department inspected and delivered all our fully inspected critical parts on-time, along with the required comprehensive inspection reports.

“Once the building work on our new facility had been completed and our CMM had been installed, to ensure that we were able to make instant use of the machine, Mitutoyo supplied the part programs that we needed and ensured that myself and a colleague received in-depth training. Although we have found the CRYSTA-Apex S CMM easy to use, it helps that on the rare occasion that we have a problem, Mitutoyo staff are always on hand to provide useful support.

Paul Chaplin concluded. “In addition to supplying an advanced, very accurate CMM that was ideally suited to our needs, given the issue we had with our delayed inspection facility, we were very impressed with the wide-range of efficient support services we have received from Mitutoyo UK.” As the world's leading manufacturer of precision measuring equipment Mitutoyo offers a huge range of products, from micrometers and calipers to hardness testers, vision measuring systems and 3D Coordinate Measuring Machines. Mitutoyo CMMs are available in a wide range of sizes and accuracy classes to cover practically all precision 3D measuring applications.

Mitutoyo products are supported by a range of first-class customer services. For example, Mitutoyo’s Measurement Services Department supports businesses across a wide range of sectors when their QA inspection demand exceeds in-house capacities and outside help is the most timely and effective way of meeting their measurement and inspection challenges.