Stainless steel

ACTON predicts range development

Stainless steel fastener specialist Acton recently completed a two year expansion project, which has taken its warehouse capacity up to 33,000 spaces. Acton embarked on the project when its warehouse was working at full capacity and was holding back the firm’s development.

After previous expansions in 2003 and 2007, Acton moved to use up every last bit of available space at its L’Horme site for its new 10,000 m² warehouse. It’s not just about more space; Acton’s new warehouse offers better ergonomics and safety measures for its workers and the new logistic organisation has paved the way for range development and service enhancements.

BUMAX > Extreme fastening performance

BUMAX’s 109 A4 fastener can cope with extreme conditions, which is among the reasons CERN has opted for it while it replaces all the fasteners within its Geneva-set Large Hadron Collider. BUMAX will supply 130,000 fasteners to CERN each year of a (two year) maintenance project which will upgrade the high-tech particle accelerator to an energy of up to 14 trillion electron volts. The fasteners will be subjected to temperatures of -271.3 °C - colder than the vacuum of space - as the collider’s several thousand magnets are chilled to boost the energy of the accelerating particles.

Technifast’s custom solutions

Bespoke stainless steel component specialist Technifast has 30 years’ experience in manufacture, often where ‘off the shelf’ standard fasteners are not an option.

A specialist in stainless steel 303 and marine grade stainless steel 316, Technifast has in-house capabilities to manufacture special turned parts to a drawing or a sample part, to a diameter of up to 32mm. The firm also has the flexibility to add features such grooves, air flats or non-standard threads to create a truly custom-made component. From one-off prototypes to large batch production, Technifast has proven experience across a range of industries including automotive, aerospace, medical and marine.

WASI > Optimisation through Kanban

WASI’s vast stainless range can be supplied via the process-optimising WASI Kanban service - supporting trouble-free production in the process and value chain.

WASI Kanban is a customer-specific C-parts management system where standard and special parts are integrated into the delivery system. For users, this results in lower circulation levels, maximum reliability of supply and low effort in procurement.

Providing C-parts at the right time, at the right place and in the right quantity and quality, WASI Kanban is adapted for each customer thanks to an experienced project team who cover everything from analysis and planning to system implementation.


Bosch > Robots get to grips with flaws

The long arms of IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) are now reaching into the inspection sector thanks to Bosch’s new ViPAS, which couples AI with visual inspection. Equipped with a gripper arm, cutting-edge camera tech and intelligent software, ViPAS inspects a diverse range of components, from screws to pumps. It compares the images recorded with stored information and classifies the parts either as “OK” or “not OK” (i.e. faulty). Thanks to a clever learning system, the system can be trained with sample images.

Gi-HALO picks out bearing surface cracks

Michigan’s General Inspection has recently installed a HALO inspection system for a bolt maker in Spain. Equipped with eight cameras, this HALO provides 360° dimensional inspection, 360° visual defect detection, crack detection, recess inspection and recently developed bottom cameras for bearing surface analysis. The standard HALO utilises four cameras that produce 8 images through a patented light sequencing process. HALO measures all profile features including; threads, lengths, diameters, tapers, angles, straightness, perpendicularity and concentricity with back lighting. Simultaneously, HALO detects surface defects such as; dents, scratches, knurl damage, thread nicks and patch quality/presence with front lighting positioned from the top and bottom.

Additionally, two cameras positioned from the top are used to detect cracks and recess defects, bolstered with a special lens and Gi’s software algorithms for optimum crack detection. Meanwhile, two cameras mounted from the bottom provide bearing surface inspection, detecting defects using Gi’s sophisticated algorithms, advanced lighting techniques and a special “unobstructed view” part handling technique.

Vision Engineering

Vision Engineering has recently launched the Deep Reality Viewer – DRV-Z1 – the world’s first globally patented digital stereo 3D viewer which addresses the disadvantages of sensory isolation and disorientation so that operators can work more comfortably for longer; wear their own prescription glasses and interact freely with colleagues.

Pitched as a ‘game changer’, the DRV-Z1 is the latest from the family-run and globally focused business, which was founded in 1958 by Jaguar racing team engineer Rob Freeman. Vision Engineering sells into four main vertical markets; electronics, aerospace, automotive and medical devices and its unique ergonomic technology improves operator comfort thus reducing employee absenteeism, the firm says.

Foundrax runs bespoke testing solution

Brinell hardness testing specialist Foundrax has shipped a second bespoke system for the intricate inspection of automotive suspension components to a full-service supplier of aluminium and plastic automotive solutions in Mexico. Foundrax was commissioned to test suspension parts being produced for a prestigious German car manufacturer. The challenge was the extremely tight space available for the hardness test, as specified by the car manufacturer, hemmed in on three sides by vertical sections and almost no test area to work with.

Foundrax developed a uniquely customised BRIN400B; a rugged, shop floor Brinell hardness tester with customised automatic Brinell microscope to carry out fully automatic indentation and hardness measurement without operator influence on the test or the results. It includes custom features like an extended indenter in order to access the restricted space and an external BRINtronic microscope with a special narrow nose to enable the customer to measure their indentations.