As the fiscal year comes to a close and companies start spending the last of their yearly budgets, we at Raytech have gotten some requests for some one-off custom quality control equipment. I thought I’d discuss how we go about tweaking a design or coming up with something new for a specific application.
Custom Gages in the Past
As detailed on our Custom Measuring Machines page, we’re not at all opposed to building quality control equipment that isn’t one of our standard models. Most of the time, these custom machines come about at the request of a customer. They introduce us to a measuring application that we weren’t aware of, and we build a quality control tool that fills that need. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a basic frame and table top, but with a specific hole pattern for some fixturing. In other cases, it’s an addition to one of our standard machines in order to measure a certain feature.
Wide Flat Really Long Wood Parts
One of the applications we’re working on is for a window and door manufacturer. They’re needing to check the lengths of wood parts that are 12″ wide and 200″ long. Our standard Barstock Table has supports and angles designed for checking parts that fit in a 6″ circle. For this application, we’re taking our standard Barstock table and turning the mechanism on its ear (if it had ears). By using the table top to support the material and the bearing rail to act as a backstop, we can keep the long wood parts aligned to the measuring axis and accurately check the lengths. While this design wouldn’t work well for round parts (they’d keep rolling off), it will be excellent for wood parts, or flat plastic, vinyl, or extruded pieces.
Thin Electrical Steel
Another client is slitting and blanking thin sheets of electrical steel. Our typical Single Axis Table uses a hard contact probe that sandwiches the part between the probe and a stop. With these thin flexible sheets, we’re concerned with distorting the material. So, we’re considering a non-contact laser mechanism to ensure consistent quality control for this application. A nice side effect is, the laser will also measure displacement vertically, so we can check the edges of these sheets for distortion.
Bring Us Your Custom Quality Control Needs
If you need to improve the quality control in your manufacturing process, contact us. Explain what you’re making and what you’re having problems measuring and let us offer a solution to your needs.