Qualiturn projecting a Quality image with Mitutoyo
With a history stretching back over 100 years, the classic profile projector remains an indispensable piece of metrology equipment. Amongst other reasons, the profile projector’s enduring popularity is due to its continuous technical evolution. Over the past century a wide range of beneficial innovations have enabled this mainstay of shop-floor and quality department inspection to remain at the cutting-edge of metrology developments. For example, the introduction of automatic edge detection helped to remove operator subjectivity, whilst the adoption of linear encoders improved profile projectors’ measuring accuracy. A further leap forward was the introduction of digital readouts, making the precise measurement of linear and angular features much easier and enabling the efficient generation of detailed inspection reports.
As a leading designer and manufacturer of optical measuring systems, Mitutoyo has remained at the forefront of profile projector developments and has recently introduced a further major technological innovation in the field. Rather than utilise traditional halogen lighting, the advance new Mitutoyo PJ-Plus profile projector series make use of superior LED illumination. Now, in addition to several other advantages, images projected under LED illumination are much sharper and easier to inspect.
Hertford based Qualiturn Products Ltd is an enthusiastic early user of Mitutoyo’s advanced, new PJ-Plus profile projectors. Qualiturn provides a full range of subcontract machining services, including precision CNC turning and milling. To keep-pace with increasing demand for the company’s services and to ensure the continued high-quality of its output, Qualiturn has invested heavily in a range of modern, high-yield CNC machine tools. The company has also installed cutting-edge robotics and automation systems that allow highly efficient lights-out production. To enable the high-volumes of components passing through the company’s busy quality department to be inspected precisely and efficiently, Qualiturn use a range of advanced quality control equipment.
Having been a user of profile projectors for many years, after witnessing a demonstration of Mitutoyo’s advanced new PJ-Plus profile projectors, Qualiturn Products Ltd Managing Director, Nick Groom promptly placed an order for two units.
Nick Groom explained. “Although we were happy with our existing relatively modern profile projectors, after seeing a Mitutoyo PJ-Plus profile projector being used to inspect a range of fairly complex, precise components, I was amazed to see the difference that the inclusion of LED lighting made to the crispness of the images on the projector’s screen. Also, as the regular replacement of halogen lights following lamp burnout has always been a down-side of using previous generations of profile projectors, I was happy to discover that the use of LED illumination delivered extended service life and reduced running costs.
“Now in regular use, our two new PJ-Plus models are proving very popular with our quality personnel. In addition to the use of LED lighting reducing eye fatigue, improved screen images enable easier and more precise component inspection. In addition to helping us to ensure the continuing quality of our output, the ease and speed of use of our new Mitutoyo profile projectors has further improved our levels of inspection efficiency. So impressed have we been with the outstanding performance of our two new profile projectors, I have recently placed an order with Mitutoyo UK for an additional three PJ-Plus models.”
With a resolution of 0.001mm/.0001”, PJ-Plus profile projectors are heavy-duty, bench-top units that are designed to provide accurate, reliable measurements within manufacturing environments and other areas where conventional profile projectors struggle to cope. Suitable for use by experienced quality personnel or by production staff, PJ-Plus projectors feature an intuitive operation system that enables precise dimensional and angular measurements to be achieved with ease.
In addition to delivering much sharper images, Mitutoyo’s adoption of an LED illumination source has eliminated the need for a cooling fan to be used in the projector’s main unit and drastically reduced the potential for the ingress of oil mist and dust into the instrument. The possibility of oil adhesion to the profile projector’s internal mirror, lens and light source has also been considerably reduced.
LED Illumination offers a further range of benefits, including improved durability, longer lamp life and a reduction in the rate of illumination decline by approximately 50%. Also, main unit power consumption has been lowered from 400W to 60W.
The new Mitutoyo profile projectors deliver enhanced on-screen images and maintain high optical performance even when used in harsh industrial environments.
Rather than use a conventional 2-step method, a much more efficient illumination control adjustment system is now used. The ‘stepless’ arrangement delivers improved images by allowing lighting levels to be set to precisely harmonise with the surface texture and colour of the workpiece under inspection.
PJ-Plus profile projectors feature a built-in digital XY counter mounted on the front of the machine. The digital counter displays XY axes and angle readings using high-intensity LEDs and a large character display for easy of viewing. Providing improved ergonomics and faster readings, operators can also view the readout directly on the projector, rather than looking at an auxiliary DRO. All inspection results can be easily downloaded to computers, data loggers and printers.
Now available on PJ-Plus profile projectors, Mitutoyo’s advanced touch-screen interface with M2 software. This easy to use, feature rich system combines a familiar user experience with up to date touch screen conventions.