Expanding the business is Metrolab’s every day focus. Its Managing Director Yogesh V. Amte worked in international automobile product and process design over the last past 12 years and tells us, “When creating Metrolab, we were looking for a strong, quality partner focused on innovation and with great local support to help us fulfil our vision”.
“We chose Hexagon from all the other options in the market to pursue our strong vision to partner with a company offering more than only hardware. Our contact person at Hexagon always comes with a concept and a solution. Hexagon today offers a whole range of the best innovative technologies.”
Metrolab started with the acquisition of two ROMER Absolute Arm systems, then added a Leica Absolute Tracker for parts larger than four metres, followed by an ROMER Absolute Arm with Integrated Scanner and finally a Global Advantage coordinate measuring machine (CMM) and a Croma. “The Global Advantage with its fixed scanning probe offered a great new vision into high-accuracy gear inspection and casting machine component inspection. And being able to almost link all the solutions using the same software platforms is a real advantage”, explains Mr Amte.
Thanks to Hexagon, our measurements are fast, accurate and reliable. As a fixture manufacturer, Metrolab mostly use their CMMs for calibrating fixtures, but they have begun offering services in third-party validation and component verification as well. The measurement data received is used to tune the fixtures to the best possible accuracy and to improve the production process. Tolerances on the fixtures are close to 50 microns and to within 25 microns for component measurements.
“Every customer who walks in should go back with the best solution. Hexagon is the perfect one-stop solution offering both quality check and manufacturing performance, from hand tools to laser trackers, measuring arms to stationary machines, scanners and software,” says Mr Amte. “Hexagon offers the best technology. They offer the best reliability. I worked with almost all systems in my career. The ease of use of the products is excellent. The ROMER Absolute Arm for example offers the best encoder and repeatability. I used to use other portable arms but had issues with repeatability.”
Metrolab also appreciate Hexagon’s proactivity in offering and explaining new technologies, going far beyond normal suppliers focused on selling their catalogue products. New acquisitions mean regular new innovations that the fixturing manufacturing industry will be able to use and implement. They were for example excited to hear about the MSC acquisition; crash tests will be compulsory in India in the very near future and the simulation of product distortion solutions will be the perfect solution for Metolab’s existing customers.
“Having a long-term strong and innovating partner is great but the quality of the local team and support is crucial too. Hexagon’s employees in India understand our needs and can offer various options and solutions. Each project is different and each of them is adapted to our customers’ needs. Hexagon is not only helping us moving ahead in the technology but is also offering us a great service based on trust and flexibility. If we need to borrow a machine for a big project, need help for programming or need support for a customer demo, Hexagon is always present and supportive.”
And this supportive relationship works both ways: “We bring sometimes customers to Metrolab for live demos,” says Akshay Singh, Hexagon Sales Manager for the Pune region. “With Metrolab, we have no longer a customer-supplier relationship but are now real business associates, complementing each other to grow with a lot of exciting projects”
Automation and Industry 4.0 factory lab are the next keywords and areas of focus for the Pune company. Mr. Amte proundly explains, “My past experience from automation as well as Hexagon’s expertise brought the automation concept into the company a few months ago. Hexagon supported us in installing a Leica T-Scan 5 automation cell and organising three open houses around the topic, with a very good response from our large automotive and aerospace customers. Concrete projects are already planned with both large robot manufacturing as well as smaller local robot suppliers.”
Metrolab is planning the implementation of Q-DAS and Vero solutions in line, together with a VMC machine. Hexagon will help combine these solutions together under one single smart factory roof. This would be the first showcase in India featuring the full integrated solutions for a digital operation factory. And this will not only be a demo concept; Metrolab will use this new 4.0 factory for their actual production. This is the best proof of concept both companies can jointly offer to their customers.
“ If we want to be at the front of innovation, we have to have a partner that is also number one and can help us concretely move on to the smart factory concept. We follow the Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence idea with sensing, thinking and acting.” says Mr. Amte. “We need the best partner to fulfill our exiting and ambitious development projects, such as automation or our smart factory. It’s a journey that we want to take with Hexagon with speed and confidence.”
The company has also started prototyping in silicon. These are functional prototypes that can be used for example directly in cars. They plan some investments into SLA and SLS 3D Systems (Stereolithography and Selective Laser Sintering) in the future. “With every new idea that the customers think about developing, we sit together and try to find the best quality solutions. Those meetings offer us the opportunity to brainstorm on new development ideas from both sides”, says Mr Singh. “We show them existing solutions we are developing all over the world to get inspiration and then help our customer to choose the best one.”