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Jamco Aerospace uses two Carl Zeiss coordinate measuring machines for quality assurance

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article image Ronald Lee measuring main landing gear rib on the MMZ 20/50/15
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A leading manufacturer of structural components for the aerospace industry is employing two coordinate measuring machines from Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd for quality assurance.

Realising the importance of incorporating advanced quality inspection equipment into their manufacturing processes to stay competitive, Jamco Aerospace invested in two scanning CMMs from Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology (IMT) to ensure the precision of these processes.

Jamco Aerospace is a manufacturer of complex, structural components typically used in the aerospace industry, and caters to major clients such as Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and the US government. Operating a full service machining and airframe sub-assembly facility, the company receives 95% of their orders from the aerospace industry.

Seeking to stay competitive in their industry and to comply with their ISO 9001/AS 9100, Rev. B certifications that require significant process documentation, Jamco decided in 2006 to invest in more efficient quality inspection equipment that was comparable in size to their previous CMM but with better measuring technology.

Dr Jack Lee, CEO of Jamco explains that the key is to improve quality throughout the entire manufacturing process using appropriate scanning inspection technology.

Jamco chose the Carl Zeiss CONTURA G2 10/21/6 VAST XXT RDS with scanning technology as the best fit for their inspections. In addition to being robust and the right size for their parts, the CMM features an articulating probe designed for measuring small features and lots of angles, with the ability to reach 20,736 positions in 2.5-degree increments.

The scanning technology allows Jamco to get much more information in a shorter amount of time than with their previous touch-trigger CMM, bringing down manufacturing costs by improving efficiency.

The CONTURA G2 is used to measure typical parts such as structural bulkheads or fittings used in aircraft for in-process and final inspection. Parts are inspected on the CMM after any initial finishing processes, before moving on to turning or milling processes followed by a second inspection. A final inspection is done after all processes or assembly are completed.

Following an increase in the number of orders as well as parts, Jamco decided to invest in a second CMM. They liked the CONTURA system with the VAST XXT RDS articulating probe but wanted a larger machine to more efficiently handle larger aerospace parts such as bulkheads, longerons, ribs, webs and frames, while keeping the same CALYPSO software and ZEISS quality.

Jamco purchased a large gantry CMM, an MMZ 20/50/15 in 2011, which not only measures larger parts, but also large lot sizes of smaller parts.

Jamco appreciates the simplicity and user-friendliness of CALYPSO software. Ronald Lee, Quality Control Manager at Jamco explains that it helps ease the process for operators, especially in setting up a part or programming from CAD models. Thanks to the software, operators can spend more time measuring than programming.

Key benefits for Jamco from Zeiss scanning CMMs:
  • More customers added with improved quality inspection accuracy and efficiency
  • Allows Jamco to reach their targeted tolerances that are all within 5 ten-thousandths of an inch
  • Gathers about 1000 points in just 1 to 2 minutes against the previous 100 points in 2 to 3 hours collected by the touch-trigger CMM
  • Currently measures approximately 30 parts a day, each measuring about 12 inches long
  • Allows operators to multi-task while inspections are running for greater efficiency
  • AutoRun feature used for larger orders of about 40 parts for automatic inspection in single lots
  • Confidence to do more inspections and projects, and to measure bigger parts

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