Precise Measurements in a turning-milling Machining Centre
- Measuring Components

Production Metrology from BLUM at Tries

Tries, based in the German town of Ehingen, believes in having full control of production and assembly processes in order to deliver uncompromising quality. Especially since hydraulic components are often very complex in nature and demand high precision manufacturing techniques. Measuring systems from Blum-Novotest – for example as the basis for unmanned milling and turning production –play a key role in advanced CNC machining operations.

Components such as the highly complex valves and control blocks developed by Tries place the highest demands on the machining accuracy of the approximately 30 machine tools installed in Ehingen. “The machines are becoming increasingly complex and expensive, so it is more and more important that they produce around the clock,” explains Matthias Bachhofer, Technical Production Manager at Tries. “But minimally manned or even unmanned production only makes sense if the parts are continuously checked and critical dimensions are measured.” This is why a growing number of machines have been equipped with measuring systems that are able to carry out measurements during the process and, if necessary, stop machining or correct parameters.

Tries has been putting its trust in Blum-Novotest products for a number of years now. Touch probes for measuring workpieces are used primarily on turning machines, while laser measuring systems or tool setting probes for tool measurement and monitoring are used on milling machines, in addition to touch probes. A typical automated machine for the unmanned machining of small, complex parts is the DMG Mori Sprint 65. It is equipped with a bar feeder for 3-metre bar stock and is used for the production of valve housings. The installed BLUM touch probe is a TC54-10 T, where the T stands for Turning. This is a special variant for use in turning machines. It is particularly robust and designed for the extreme speeds and conditions found in these machines. An additional highlight of the touch probe is the face-geared shark360 measuring mechanism. The very high probing speed of 2 m/min ensures extremely short measuring times and high throughput.

For larger components like rotary joints, Tries operates a DMG Mori CTX beta 1250 TC 4A.. When it comes to workpiece measurement, Tries relies on the TC60 probe with radio technology from BLUM. Due to the BRC radio technology, it is ideally suited for the turning-milling machining centre, as it reliably transmits signals from the touch probe to the receiver despite a lack of visual contact – caused by the large swivel head. In addition, it is designed for maximum measuring speeds of up to 3 m/min and the harshest conditions and is, therefore, perfectly suited for large-scale production.

The machines are pre-installed with standard measuring cycles that the CNC programmer can use to initiate measurements. Alternatively, BLUM offers the Quickstart Software package – a comprehensive collection of measuring programs – whose functionality goes far beyond that of the built-in standard programs and also meets the high requirements of the turn-mill machines used at Tries. The Quickstart Software also allows measurements at both spindles of the machines, which would otherwise not be possible. In this case, the BLUM Software guarantees very fast measuring processes – which is extremely important to achieve the desired machine throughput rates.
The probe systems are ideal for a wide range of measuring tasks. For example, prior to machining large turned and milled parts, the workpiece zero point is automatically determined and transferred to the machine. Be it entire valve blocks or small valve sleeves – specific dimensions are regularly checked on almost all components after production to ensure consistent high quality.

Most of the milling machines at Tries are equipped with LaserControl measuring systems from BLUM. Laser measuring systems are indispensable in production, and the tool is measured after each machining operation to detect any tool breakage. The portfolio of various touch probes and laser measuring systems is further enhanced with two Z-Nano tool setting probes that are used on a Matec machining centre with two tables. This allows machining on one table and the clamping and unclamping of workpieces on the other. The Z-Nano also permits very high probing speeds in order to keep measuring times as short as possible.

Due to the excellent experience with BLUM’s production metrology, Tries has decided to use only measuring systems from Blum-Novotest on new machines. “After all, measurements carried out with BLUM products allow us to save a significant amount of time. Measurement is integrated into the machining process and runs without any external intervention,” explains Matthias Bachhofer. “This not only offers advantages in terms of quality, but also increases the productivity of production. We are firmly convinced of the quality delivered by BLUM products!”