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Godrej found a solution in the QC20-W telescoping ballbar system by Renishaw, which identifies machine errors easily with a high degree of accuracy.

Image: Renishaw

Test & Measurement Better accuracy – key for quality performance

Aug 31, 2016

Accuracy and on-time delivery are key requirements for the tooling industry. The article highlights the application of a laser system and a telescoping ballbar system, analysing how it can aid the tooling sector by saving time, money, reduce scrap and achieve a high level of accuracy.

Godrej, a household name in the Indian market, has international presence in The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Founded in 1935 as a captive tool room, the Godrej Tooling Division commenced commercial operations in 1993 and manufactures press tools, die casts and special-purpose machines, jigs and fixtures. With revenues exceeding Rs 1.2 billion, the company caters to the tooling needs of Toyota, TATA, Honda, GM, Maruti Suzuki and Siemens, amongst others.

Godrej, India’s largest tooling solution provider, has unsurpassed capabilities in the manufacture of complex dies, with 15-20% of its products being exported around the world. As part of its Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) initiative, Godrej follows PQCDSM (Productivity, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety, and Morale) and Kaizen guidelines. The main objectives of its TPM initiative are to reduce down time to zero and ensure on-time deliveries. Therefore, maintaining the accuracy of its equipment, including CNC and EDM machines, with high precision calibration equipment is essential.

Precision is key

In the early days, Godrej’s evaluation of accuracy was difficult to obtain. National Aerospace Standard NAS979 tests (standardised cutting tests for CNC milling machines) were performed by a highly skilled expert as part of machines commissioning. These tests were problematic and time-consuming to carry out. In 1996, Godrej purchased Renishaw’s ML10 laser system after hearing about the quality of the product and was impressed with its accuracy and reliability. Furthermore, Godrej was surprised how simple it was to use and avoided expensive errors common in the NAS test.

Although the ML10 only measured 9 parameters, as compared to 13 in NAS tests, the improvement in results quality was more important than the parameters left undiagnosed. The data reading was instant and easy to analyse. Godrej soon realised that the Renishaw laser system would save time, money and reduce scrap. Its accuracy prompted Godrej customers to specifically request ML10 certification. “The product is rugged and stable. There has never been an instance of product failure,” shared S M Nayak, Senior General Manager, Godrej Tooling Division.

Godrej has since upgraded to Renishaw’s XL-80 laser system designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, reducing the need for a highly skilled expert. “We requested training from Renishaw which was completed in a week. They have an immediate response time,” shared Nayak. The XL-80 laser measurement system offers high performance calibration for motion systems, including CMMs and machine tools.

Meeting new challenges

As a part of its expansion, Godrej Machine Tools purchased multiple CNC machines in its tooling division. This posed new challenges as the machines needed to be tested for additional parameters like circular interpolation and drive tuning. Godrej found a solution in the QC20-W telescoping ballbar system by Renishaw, which identifies machine errors easily with a high degree of accuracy. It directly determines servo mismatch, geometric accuracy, squareness, positional errors and reversal spikes in all 3 planes (xy-yz-zx). The adoption of QC20-W ballbar, testing Godrej’s down time and rejection rates, have reduced to 5%.

Delivering results

In the tooling industry, quality parameters are critical and customers expect a product life span of 10 years. Through its adherence to the highest quality & accuracy standards, Godrej has been able to deliver products with a life span of 1,25,000 cycles, far ahead of the industry norm of 50,000 cycles.

Godrej’s customers in defence, aerospace and nuclear application industries request audits during the manufacturing process to ensure quality measures are being maintained and insist on seeing ballbar certificates for the machines. Nayak elaborates, “Godrej has improved its quality norms, boost in-house capabilities, competence and confidence and has also reduced costs with the help of Renishaw products.”

Beyond savings to revenue generation

Die and mould customers choose Godrej because of the long life span of its dies resulting from their tightly controlled quality parameters. The customer demand for high quality and precision measurement prompted the company to provide laser and ballbar certifications. Now, Godrej offers calibration services to others, generating an additional revenue stream. Godrej’s manufacturing facility is equipped with state-of-the-art CNC, EDMs and jig boring machines. Nayak states, “High precision calibration of these machines with a Renishaw laser or ballbar is key to quality and reliable performance.”

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