Case Studies: Trading Up
Danville Metal Stamping Co. (Danville, IL) was founded in 1946 as a manufacturer of basic stamped parts. Since that time, the company has successfully built a reputation as a high-quality fabricator with extensive know-how and experience as a producer of sophisticated gas turbine and aerospace components. The company employs approximately 450 people involved in forming and hydroforming, computer numerical control (CNC) and laser machining, and joining technologies, as well as added capabilities in welding, heat treating and vacuum brazing.
Danville’s coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is a vital part of its manufacturing process, and as the complexity and size of the components produced have increased, the company recognized the need for a larger CMM with a higher degree of accuracy to replace the one it had been using, which had ongoing accuracy and repeatability issues. Danville also was becoming frustrated by the CMM software it had been using, which also was beginning to negatively affect production and delivery schedules.
Searching for a New SolutionDanville began to survey what was available in new equipment as well as new software. “When we attended the Quality Show in 2007 we discovered Xspect Solutions (Wixom, MI), their OpenDMIS software and the new Wenzel CMMs that they sell and service,” says Scott Bean, Danville’s lead CMM programmer. “The ruggedness, inherent accuracy and variety of features of the Wenzel CMMs were ideal for the level of measurement we require for our aerospace components. Their OpenDMIS software was exactly the kind of product we were looking for as well.”
OpenDMIS software integrates computer-aided design (CAD) data with the CMM programming and measurement process, providing operators with a high level of power, precision and productivity. The software has drag-and-drop features from the database area into the adjacent programming window that automatically generates the underlying DMIS 5.0 code together with probe and alignment definitions. The kind of complex CMM programs that Danville works with can be created in a few minutes and simulated, using the simulation and collision avoidance tools standard in OpenDMIS. After implementing OpenDMIS software, Danville realized a 20% savings in programming time vs. the software it had used before.
“We scheduled a visit to the Xspect Solutions/Wenzel facility in Wixom, MI, and ultimately came away with two new Wenzel machines both equipped with OpenDMIS software,” Bean says. “One machine is a large Wenzel LH 15.20.12 bridge-type machine with a measuring envelope of 1,500 by 2,000 by 1,200 millimeters, and a smaller LH-8.10.7 with a measuring range of 800 by 1,000 by 700 millimeters. Each machine has a maximum 3-D measuring speed of 700 millimeters per second with maximum acceleration of 2,000 millimeters per second squared.”
The CMMs are equipped with Renishaw TP20 probing systems and Danville added HT400RC wireless teach pendants to eliminate tedious keyboard interaction necessary with conventional CMM teach pendants. Danville wants to add scanning probes to the machines to speed up the measuring process for many of the airfoil components they produce.
“Because Xspect Solutions was able to take our existing CMM machine in trade, we were able to purchase both machines for what we typically would have paid for just one machine,” adds Bean. “In addition, we have been very pleased with the training program that Xspect Solutions offers. To date we have had two of our four measuring technicians trained on OpenDMIS and our other two will soon follow.”
- Xspect Solutions Inc.