Case Studies: Portable, In-Process Measurement
Based in Puyallup, WA, Hydraulic Repair and Design (HRD) is a full-service repair facility. With a focus on hydraulics, HRD can repair, remanufacture or create a variety of hydraulic components including pumps, motors and valves, and cylinders.
HRD measures OEM and aftermarket parts that range in size from 0.25 inch to 24 inches and can have tolerances up to ±0.0002 inch. In the past, HRD used calipers and micrometers, but found that these instruments were unable to inspect critical features. It occasionally even used an outside source for coordinate measuring machine (CMM) services, but that was neither economical nor efficient for time-sensitive projects.
HRD needed an effective inspection program that would afford it the flexibility to inspect parts on the shop floor-in real time-to qualify incoming inventory from suppliers and rework existing inventory.
A New Way to InspectHRD turned to Faro Technologies Inc. (Lake Mary, FL) and its Faro Gage-Plus, a portable CMM. HRD began using the gage on a daily basis, as it provides flexibility and durability, as well as accuracy up to 0.0002 inch, competing well with stationary CMMs that were too expensive and complex for HRD.
The gage is intuitive enough that with minimal training HRD’s shop-floor personnel were able to quickly produce precise results. Instead of taking a part to a CMM in a climate-controlled room, the gage is mounted directly on the machine that produces the part to verify that it has been made correctly. If the part is not within tolerance, corrections can be made quickly, reducing production downtime.
As the operator guides the gage’s tip along the surface of the part, a laptop computer records the measurements. Detailed reports are created that can be used by HRD to prove that outgoing and incoming parts are up to specification, thus reducing scrap, re-work and labor costs.
Made specifically for shop-floor personnel, the gage is accurate enough for advanced measurements including statistical process control (SPC) analysis and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T). It can perform first article inspections or create custom routines for repeat part measurements. All of HRD’s measurements are now automatically recorded, and comprehensive reports can be generated.
ROIBefore acquiring the gage, HRD did not have an adequate quality control process in place. The investment in setting up an inspection process with the gage was far less than if they had purchased a stationary CMM.
The gage enables HRD to avoid problems by identifying them early in the process. The company also can use the gage to inspect and rework many parts that were once considered unusable, saving the cost of purchasing new parts. Projected cost savings are more than $4,700 per month.
“For what we do here at HRD, the Faro gage is the perfect tool and the price was right,” says Quality Systems Manager Ken Smith. “When everyone sees it in action, they are totally blown away.
“Faro did an excellent job in answering all of our questions,” says Smith. “We threw every part we could think of at them and were impressed with how quickly and easily the gage performed as advertised. I estimate it will be six months for us to show our ROI.”
- Faro Technologies Inc.