Better Quality Through Design
When you think of Design for Assembly (DFA) things like parts reduction and the ability to simplify the assembly process undoubtedly come to mind. And Boothroyd Dewhurst (dfma.com), the company that is essentially synonymous with “Design for Manufacture and Assembly” has released a new version of its DFA product simplification software, DFA 10, which does focus on the reduction of parts count, on creating “single, multifunctional components with significantly improved performance-to-cost ratios,” according to the company.
What’s more, according to Dr. Geoff Boothroyd, co-founder of Boothroyd Dewhurst, “Another of the principal objectives of DFA 10 was to properly incorporate years of research carried out at University of Rhode Island on the handling and assembly of large or heavy parts—meaning those parts that could not generally be reached and manipulated by the assembly worker using one hand. This important work is now incorporated into DFA 10 in such a way that questions about part orientation and symmetry that do not affect the results have been eliminated and replaced with automatically incorporated research data.”
Which is to say that there is simplification of the approach to performing the DFA analysis work.
There is another factor in all this that shouldn’t be overlooked. While there are benefits such as reduced part count, which potentially means everything from reduced inventory to faster assembly operations, there is the likelihood that there is improved quality.
Consider: Fewer parts, means fewer possibilities for things to go wrong in assembly. Designs that are predicated on the ease of assembly means better assembly.
Which means that DFA can also result in DFQ.
The DFA 10 software from Boothroyd Dewhurst is not only beneficial for designing assemblies to achieve improved performance-to-cost ratios, but also as regards better assembly quality due to reducing the number of parts and complexity of build in the product.
On-Site Surface Roughness Measurement
While surface roughness measurements can be critical in production operations, one of the problems associated with making those measurements is that the parts are being made in the machining line while the measurements are made in the metrology lab. Which isn’t always convenient. Or timely.
Jenoptik (jenoptik.com/industrial-metrology) has developed the W10, a portable surface roughness measuring system that’s capable of checking more than 40 roughness and waviness parameters as it can be fitted with an array of probes and accessories.
The traverse unit, which handles the probe, is ergonomically designed to fit into a user’s hand. It is approximately the size of a telephone handset (151 x 50 x 55 mm). And the base unit, which includes a color touch screen and optional printer, is about the size of a business telephone base unit (224 x 226 x 70 mm). It weighs just 275 g (9.7 oz).
The W10 can track eight separate measurement programs, up to 100 separate profiles, and offers a total storage capacity of up to 10,000 completed measurements. The lithium-ion battery in the traverse unit is capable of making more than 800 measurements per charge.
The device is designed so that it can measure perpendicular to the part, traverse to it, or overhead. There is a support prism that precisely locates or shafts from 10 mm in diameter, and which also serves to protect the inductive skid probe in measuring bores from 12 mm in diameter. There are built-in, extendable tripod legs that allow the device to be mounted on a surface.
The W10 has a measurement range/resolution of 320 µm. The maximum traverse length is 17.5 mm.
The Jenoptik W10 is designed to be used on the production line or in a machining cell. The measuring unit is brought to the part, not vice versa, yet the measurement capability is lab-like.
The entire W10 package can be readily fitted into a case smaller than a briefcase. It combines portability with precision.
Comparing the Actual to the Digital
Heidenhain (heidenhain.us) has developed a new software system that provides the means to measure and determine parts profiles within tolerance zones, with an optional capability to comparing the measured part with a 3D model. The IK 5000 QUADRA-CHEK PC software system can be used with new coordinate measuring machines or retrofitted for existing equipment.
To use the optional 3-D Profiling system, a 3D model is sent to the PC running QUADRA-CHEK with IGES or STEP. Then the part is measured. The system fits and compares the digital and actual model within the IK5000, such that the overall profile and individual point results can be tolerance, printed, and exported as required.
IK 5000 is PC-based inspection software that can be used for 2D and 3D measuring tasks. Its optional 3-D Profiling feature allows comparison of the measured part with the CAD model in the PC.