Mitutoyo CMM aids Artemis Quality

Based in Loanhead near Edinburgh, Artemis Intelligent Power is the world leader in Digital Displacement ® hydraulics, an exciting technical innovation that offers a radical increase in efficiency and power, in addition to reduced emissions, across a wide range of hydraulic applications. Artemis, a joint venture between Danfoss (the majority owner) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, works closely with leading industry partners to further develop its advanced technology and to bring ground-breaking, sector-specific applications to market.

The company’s core technology – a highly flexible, digitally-controlled hydraulic pump – is ideal for use across a range of demanding sectors, including offshore wind, road transport, rail and off-road machinery industries. The company’s Digital Displacement hydraulics can be delivered as a ‘straight swap’ for conventional hydraulic pumps or can be integrated in new ways for applications including hydraulic transmission systems for buses, or energy recovery and recycling for trains.

To help satisfy rising demand for the company’s technology, work is currently underway on a new multi £million manufacturing facility alongside Artemis’s existing Loanhead HQ. The new plant will produce high-tech digital hydraulic pumps and motors for off-road vehicles. Due to the challenging applications the company’s Digital Displacement technology is used for and owing to the harsh environments it is often employed in, Artemis pursues a rigorous quality administration regime. Given the impressive output of the company’s prolific R&D team and the need to quickly and accurately measure each iteration of newly designed or developed components, a search was recently made for an advanced CNC Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) that could deliver the company’s required levels of precision and fast feed-back. In addition to current R&D inspection tasks, the chosen CMM needed to have the capacity to keep-pace with anticipated levels of production from the company’s new manufacturing facility. After considering several CMMs from alternative manufacturers, a high-accuracy Mitutoyo’s STRATO-Apex 7106 CMM was purchased and installed.

Fergus McIntyre of Artemis Intelligent Power explained. “As a commercial ‘spin-off’ of pioneering work performed at the University of Edinburgh, Artemis Intelligent Power has been involved in developing Digital Displacement hydraulics for over a decade. Based in our 3000m2 R&D facility, our 70--strong team work closely with Danfoss, a major Tier 1 manufacturer of hydraulic components, and many OEMs of construction and material handling equipment, on collaborative projects.

“Our technology provides a dramatically faster response, typically ten times faster than existing systems. Also, by replacing conventional hydraulic pumps with one which is controlled by computer, new possibilities of system control, diagnostics and automation are enabled. “As we will soon be significantly ramping-up our production volumes, to ensure that our Quality Department can keep-pace with our manufacturing output, we recently searched for a precise, fast operating CNC Coordinate Measuring Machine. Although a couple of the machines we looked at satisfied some of our criteria, the only CMM that ‘ticked all of our boxes’ was the high accuracy CNC STRATO-APEX CMM from Mitutoyo.

“Not only did the STRATO-APEX 7106 have the ideal x,y,z, 700 x 1000 x 600 mm capacity, that would accommodate the range of components we manufacture, it provided the high-accuracy capabilities that would enable the inspection of our components, many of which have challenging dimensional specifications.

“It helped our decision that the STRATO-APEX CMM was easy to operate and that Mitutoyo UK have an excellent reputation for the customer service they provide. Soon after the machine’s installation and operator training, our staff quickly mastered the CMM’s controls and software.

“Given our projected increase in the production of our Digital Displacement technology and the large volumes of parts that will need accurate inspection, not only will our new Mitutoyo CMM help take care of our current R&D and goods inward inspection needs, the CNC CMM’s impressive operating speed should ensure that it will remain ‘future-proof’ and able to handle the increased output from our new production unit.

“To ensure that we fully exploit our STRATO-APEX CMM’s advanced CNC capabilities and fast operating speed, we will continuously add to our already written library of component inspection programs. This will enable us to load, from a single part, up to a large batch of components, onto our new CMM’s bed, recall the relevant program and to instigate a rapid, fully automated inspection routine.”

Mitutoyo Coordinate Measuring Machines are available in a wide range of sizes and accuracy classes covering practically every precision 3D measuring application. In addition to each CMM representing an excellent investment in terms of productivity, versatility and quality of construction. As the world’s largest metrology manufacturer, Mitutoyo provides its customers with unmatched levels of training and service support.

To ensure maximum performance and longevity, each Mitutoyo CMM component is designed using the latest CAD techniques and manufactured from materials best suited to its purpose. The availability of a wide range of contact and non-contact probes enables numerous types of measurement tasks to be performed. Mitutoyo’s impressive CMM hardware is complemented by the company’s easy to use, yet comprehensive analysis software that interprets measurement results in the timely manner so essential for keeping up with today’s fast-paced production. The Mitutoyo STRATO-APEX 7106 CMM, as purchased by Danfoss/Artemis, is a cutting-edge, high-accuracy CNC CMM that allows users to obtain accurate measuring results at lightning speed. The STRATO-APEX CMM series boasts ultra-high precision scales on each axis, the innovative CMMs have multi-sensors capability and are able to perform high-performance scanning. As CMMs are often required to operate close to, for instance machine tools, Mitutoyo’s STRATO-APEX series uses an anti-vibration system to reduce the impact of nearby sources of vibration.