The majority of technical ceramics are hard and brittle which makes complex machining a particularly difficult task. Even for the most experienced in this field, an in-depth material knowledge coupled with a sound understanding of manufacturing design and machining tools is essential to ensure the highest quality end product at the most competitive price.
But even with major investment and the advent of the most modern multi-station machining centres allowing 4th and 5th axis operations at Precision Ceramics Headquarters in Birmingham, manufacturing is only half the process.
Despite how well-finished a component may look and feel, it still needs to go through an extensive inspection process before being released to the customer. And nowadays, visual inspection is simply not enough to guarantee quality.
It’s the same for the majority of engineering materials – metal; plastic; composite; ceramic – where undetected hidden flaws and cracks can result in product failure and, in turn, cause costly and time-consuming breakdowns and, in the very worst case scenarios, major catastrophes.
Precision Ceramics, as our name implies, is not only expert in the manufacture of technical ceramics, our inspection facilities are also second to none with CMM, Laser and Dye Penetrant Crack Detection Systems all operating side-by-side to ensure ultimate product quality and a safe, long and trouble-free service life for the products we supply.
Right: A Precision Ceramics Quality Control Engineer carefully checks the geometrical characteristics of a Macor Machinable Glass Ceramic component using the Aberlink Axium ‘too’ coordinate measuring system.
One of the most recent additions to our quality control facility is a sophisticated coordinate measuring system (CMM) which we use to check the physical geometrical characteristics of ceramic components.
In a temperature controlled environment, the Aberlink Axium ‘too’ CNC provides fast, accurate and reliable results to 3 microns accuracy with X & Y axis travel up to 600mm.
Measurements are defined by a Renishaw RTP20 motorised head functionality with integral TP20 touch-trigger probe.
The automated indexing of the RTP20 allows the integral TP20 probe to be moved to 168 repeatable positions in 15-degree increments using both the A and B axes, requiring a one-time only qualification for each stylus position and thus ensuring fast and accurate throughput for ceramic component inspection.
Optical Measurement System
Our quality control systems are further enhanced with a Keyence IM6120 optical measuring system. With this amazing new technology from Keyence, any of our Quality Control staff can walk up to the device, place a component on the stage and push a button to take hundreds of measurements in seconds!
The compact and ergonomically designed TESA-VISIO 300 GL allows further scope in optical measurement providing measurements that are rapidly and easily executed.
In this day and age, visual inspection is simply not enough to guarantee quality. At Precision Ceramics, we are confident that the systems we have in place will always guarantee the highest level of quality in all the ceramic components we supply.
Renishaw – http://www.renishaw.com
Keyence (UK) Limited – http://www.keyence.co.uk