KPM UK Quality ‘In the Round’ with Mitutoyo

0395KPM_01_lo.jpgEstablished in 1968 the Precision Machinery division of Kawasaki has been at the forefront of hydraulic technology and development for nearly 50 years. The Kawasaki brand is synonymous with quality and innovation in hydraulic pumps, motors, valves and complete systems across the whole spectrum of applications.

Located in Plymouth, Kawasaki Precision Machinery UK Ltd (KPM UK) is the centre for Sales, Engineering and Manufacturing for Kawasaki hydraulic components and systems, including the world famous Staffa radial piston motor, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For more than six decades the Staffa name has been synonymous with radial piston hydraulic motors, the motors’ hydraulically balanced construction combined with Kawasaki's no-compromise approach to quality result in excellent levels of reliability and performance.

As the pistons and cylinders and other ‘round’ parts of Staffa products have extremely challenging dimensional tolerances, KPM UK recently searched for a roundform system that could enable attributes, including roundness, straightness, flatness, concentricity, coaxiality, perpendicularity and runout to be measured to extremely demanding levels of accuracy. The answer to KPM UK’s needs was found in a top of the range Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme RA-H5200CNC, CNC Roundness/Cylindricity Measuring System.

David Surcombe - KPM UK Measurement Technician explained. “Although our existing roundness and form checker remained in good working order, we were aware of the progress made in roundness checking technology in terms of usability, speed and accuracy. Also as a larger, heavier product was about to be added to our Staffa range we needed a machine that could not only accommodate these new bulkier parts, but also remain future-proof if further even larger products were introduced.

“Given the demanding geometric, dimensional and surface finish specifications of many of our components, we compiled a comprehensive list of features that we required from our new roundness, form and surface finish checker. We then compared the specifications of the available machines to our technical requirements. Having dismissed many of the available units as they did not have the levels of accuracy or list of features we needed, we then considered the top of the range offerings from three leading metrology companies.

“Although two of these premium models had some of the features we were looking for, the Roundtest Extreme from Mitutoyo proved to be the ideal machine for our needs. Although our decision was based on specification and not price, the Mitutoyo machine also proved to be the least expensive of the options.

“Following a trouble free installation of the Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme RA-H5200CNC and on-site training, we were soon able to master the system and to perform complex component checks. It helped that Mitutoyo’s Roundpak software is very intuitive and simple. As the vast majority of our inspection routines are carried out on the same families of parts. We have already written many part programs with the help of Roundpak’s easy to use off-line programming function.

“We are now able to load a component on to the Roundtest Extreme and make use of the machines advanced self-centring ability, this considerably speeds-up the part loading process. We then recall the relevant program and instigate a fully automatic, fast CNC measuring routine. On completion, in addition to presenting all of the relevant accurate dimensional, geometric and surface finish information, Roundpak’s clear graphics provide an instant visual indication of the status of all of the features being inspected. We are then able to download and archive this information.


“When compared to our older machine, in addition to enhanced precision and additional functions provided by our new Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme, its impressive speed has increased the throughput of roundness and surface finish work in our busy inspection department.

“As our new Roundtest Extreme has a maximum workpiece diameter of 680 mm and a weight capacity of 80 kg, not only is it capable of inspecting our new, larger parts, it should also be able to accommodate all future anticipated parts.”

Mitutoyo offers a wide range of high-quality instruments for measuring roundform geometry on the shop floor, quality control room or laboratory. Mitutoyo’s Roundtest is a sophisticated, highly accurate system capable of both form and surface finish measuring. A linear scale incorporated into Roundtest machines’ X-axis, enables measurement to be taken while tracking the workpiece surface. This capability is most effective when measuring a diameter difference involving a displacement that exceeds the detection range of the probe, or a taper that can only be measured with a slider/column movement. Semi-automatic centering and levelling of the workpiece on the air-bearing equipped turntable, via the AAT system, helps ensure easy setups. Whilst Mitutoyo’s powerful ROUNDPAK analysis software completes the comprehensive package.

The top of the range Mitutoyo Roundtest Extreme RA-H5200CNC, CNC Roundness/Cylindricity Measuring System, as purchased by KPM UK, is an innovative measuring systems capable of automated measurement with independent/simultaneous multi-axis CNC control.

In addition to delivering outstanding measuring accuracy and reliability, Mitutoyo’s CNC models also provide excellent inspection throughput. Roundness and surface roughness measurements are both available from a single measuring system therefor workpiece resetting for roughness measurement is not required. In addition, roughness measurement is possible in the axial and circumferential directions.

Mitutoyo’s top of the range system boasts a turntable rotational accuracy of radial: (0.02+3.5H/10000) μm and is capable of measuring roundness, cylindricity, concentricity, coaxiality, axis-element, axis-axis, flatness, parallelism, perpendicularity, runout, total runout, straightness, inclination and taper.

Mitutoyo’s Roundpak software includes an off-line measurement procedure programming function. On-screen, virtual 3D simulation measurements can be performed with an integrated off-line teaching function that allows a part program to be created without an objective workpiece.

The probe and the holder unit of the Roundtest Extreme can be accurately represented in the simulation making the prediction of collision risks and warning alarms possible.

3D simulation screens (work-view windows) can be generated after entering CAD data (in IGES, DXF form) and text data.