Wayland Additive’s picture

By: Wayland Additive

Metal additive manufacturing (AM) is a process with demanding requirements for in-process material management, specifically with regard to the use of powdered metals. The Calibur3 system from Wayland Additive, enabled by the NeuBeam process, not only redefines how the electron beam (eBeam) process can be applied in a more stable and flexible way, but also offers a number of unprecedented powder-dispense capabilities for metal AM. 

The Calibur3 system allows users to measure powder dispensing and flow to optimize powder usage and extend overall powder recycling to achieve greater economies of scale. (There is an animation here.)

Wayland Additive has brought knowledgeable personnel on board to further the development of the NeuBeam process, the Calibur3 system, and the capabilities they can offer. Specific attention has been given to the disciplines of material science and mechanical engineering.

Alessandro Messina’s picture

By: Alessandro Messina

A challenge that occurs with the latest generation of electric motors is optimization of the component manufacturing in terms of efficiency, quality, and costs.

Electric motors are a critical factor in the unprecedented global growth trend toward e-mobility. This fast diffusion of electric vehicles on a large scale puts an increased expectation of component reliability on the manufacturers. This in turn has implications for the quality-control and process-control requests of the production chain.

To meet the high-quality requirements for an e-motor, both in mobile and stationary use, measurement and testing technology must be applied systematically during the production process: first to meet the demand for safety and performance, and second to shift production toward higher quality.

Sabine Terrasi’s picture

By: Sabine Terrasi

In yacht and boat building, the most commonly used materials are composites. By combining the positive properties of at least two components, composites often have outstanding features—some of them even specially adapted to their respective areas of application.

It is hardly surprising that they are also used for high-performance applications in the aerospace industry, power engineering (e.g., wind turbines), medical technology, sports equipment manufacturing, and in the automotive industry.

However, wherever there are bindings, these can “break”—be it through external influences or material fatigue. Regular tests are therefore indispensable. The iX-600 portable inspection system from UNX Technologies in Taiwan provides contactless inspection of multilayer composites, even for large surfaces. It uses image processing to detect weak points that are invisible to the human eye. In addition to a thermal imaging camera, a uEye board-level camera with autofocus from IDS Imaging Development Systems is used.

George Schuetz’s picture

By: George Schuetz

Inspection is often subject to the management team’s efforts at cost control or cost containment, as is the case with most other areas in modern manufacturing operations. Although it’s sound business judgement to maximize the value of every dollar, it also means that hard choices must be made when selecting handheld gauges.

For example, issues as diverse as training, personnel, throughput requirements, manufacturing methods and materials, warranties, the intended end-use of the workpiece, and general company policies on gauging methods and suppliers may influence both the effectiveness and the cost of the inspection process.

Furthermore, many companies have moved inspection out of the lab and onto the shop floor. By having the gauging at the point of manufacture, bad parts can be found immediately, and corrections can be quickly implemented to prevent others from being made.

Sabine Terrasi’s picture

By: Sabine Terrasi

Strong price pressure combined with high-quality requirements—the beverage and bottle industry faces the classic dilemma of many industries. This is also the case in the quality control department of SOLOCAP, a French manufacturer of plastic caps.

SOLOCAP is a subsidiary of La Maison Mélan Moutet, “flavour conditioner since 1880” and manufactures all types of plastic caps for the food sector at its industrial site in Contrexéville, France. Among them is a top-class screw cap suitable for any glass or PET bottle. Thanks to a clampable lamella ring arranged around the bottle collar, it enables a simple, fast, absolutely tight, and secure seal. However, the slats must be reliably and carefully checked for cracks, tears, and twists during production. This is the only way to guarantee absolute tightness.

But reliably detecting cracks and micro-cracks on plastic caps in 40 different colors and shades running at high speed on a production line is a real challenge, and SOLOCAP's previous inspection system could not meet these high requirements.

Emily Newton’s picture

By: Emily Newton

Food manufacturers must carry out numerous specific processes to check that the foods they produce and distribute are safe for consumers. Analytical testing plays a vital role in meeting that goal. Here’s a look at how such examinations raise food quality and purchaser trust.

Checking foods for pathogens

Food manufacturers engage in microbial testing to look for the presence of viral and bacterial pathogens. Such examinations analyze the food for contamination or possible spoilage.

“Ideally, we want a test method that does not waste time or resources generating false-positive results [i.e., good specificity] while being able to detect even a single viable pathogen in the sample [i.e., high sensitivity],” explains Thomas Jones, a Safe Food Alliance senior director.

A false positive could result in food getting rejected and discarded when there are no genuine issues with it. Conversely, false negatives may mean tainted items reach consumers and make them ill.

Quality Digest’s picture

By: Quality Digest

Located in Butler, Wisconsin, Accurate Pattern has specialized in wood, metal, and plastic patterns, tools, fixtures, gauges, prototypes, and models since 1985. Technologies and services include CAD design, manual and CNC machining, wood and metalworking, painting and welding, plastic fabrication, and form services such as design, engineering, and production job shops.

Originally known as Accurate Pattern & Model Inc., the company was founded by brothers Bruce and Brian Williams in February 1985. Accurate Pattern supplied its first customers with precision patterns for urethane-molded parts. In 1986, the company was incorporated, and Bruce became president. In November 2007, Accurate Pattern moved to its current location, a plant featuring 19,000 sq ft of shop and office space and 5,000 sq ft of mezzanine. Bruce has used Exact Metrology products throughout the years to ensure accurate, reliable results.

Bruce met Dean Solberg, Exact Metrology co-president, when he was looking to buy an Elm CMM/layout machine with PC-DMIS software. Solberg was in contact with a sales representative at Elm Systems and helped Accurate Pattern by setting them up with the right machine, configuration, and software.

Optical Gaging Products OGP’s picture

By: Optical Gaging Products OGP

The RGM Watch Co. was founded by American watchmaker Roland G. Murphy. His career and interest in horology (the art or science of timekeeping devices) began as a teenager while working part-time for a clock company. Later, he enrolled in the Bowman Technical School of Watchmaking, and in 1986, Murphy was accepted into WOSTEP (Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program).

After finishing WOSTEP, he worked in product development for the Hamilton Watch Co. until he founded the RGM Watch Co. in 1992.

Roland G. Murphy

RGM Watch sales are conducted on a personal, one-to-one basis. Customers who visit the company are often greeted by Murphy himself, who openly shares his passion for classic watch design, innovation, and craftsmanship as he discusses the custom design features that are often requested. RGM employs a team of 11 people and produces “a few hundred” watches a year, priced from $3,500 to $95,000, depending on design and material.

John Toon’s picture

By: John Toon

Using X-ray tomography, a research team has observed the internal evolution of the materials inside solid-state lithium batteries as they were charged and discharged. Detailed 3D information from the research could help improve the reliability and performance of the batteries, which use solid materials to replace the flammable liquid electrolytes in existing lithium-ion batteries.

The operando synchrotron X-ray computed microtomography imaging revealed how the dynamic changes of electrode materials at lithium/solid-electrolyte interfaces determine the behavior of solid-state batteries. The researchers found that battery operation caused voids to form at the interface, which created a loss of contact that was the primary cause of failure in the cells.

Mark Esser’s picture

By: Mark Esser

Alot has changed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) during the past 120 years. For one thing, we were known as the National Bureau of Standards for the first 87 years of our existence. Then, in 1988, we became the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to reflect our agency’s expanding mission and a renewed emphasis on boosting the competitiveness of American industry.

But as much as things change, they also stay the same. While much of our early work has been baked into the American economy, NIST continues to be a world leader in advancing measurement science. We still provide many of our original services, though the techniques and technologies have evolved.

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