High accuracy and speed for large steel part measurement

Vemec finds the right efficiency and precision in Hexagon’s DELTA gantry-type CMM

Gantry coordinate measuring machine inspecting a large steel part. PC-DMIS metrology software is also shown on a computer screen.

Vemec is a leading company in the development, production and processing of components for the textile machinery sectors, machine tools, marble and glass processing plants, agricultural machinery and special machinery. Based in Ardesio in the province of Bergamo in Italy, Vemec has over the years specialised in the production of large-sized welded steel parts for companies that do not have facilities for the production of these.

During their growth, Vemec decided to focus on the production of larger parts as they understood the importance to work with high quality machine tools and measuring systems. To keep the complete manufacture of these parts within the walls of their factory, Vemec sought out reliable production and measurement systems that offered quality assurance for larger dimensions and enabled the team to efficiently meet customer demand.

In the early 2000s, Vemec took the first step in enhancing quality with the purchase of a laser scanner. In 2010, the company further optimised the accuracy and speed of their inspection operations with a GLOBAL coordinate measuring machine (CMM), offering a longitudinal measuring volume of three metres. While the GLOBAL CMM met the accuracy and speed requirements for a number of applications, Vemec wanted a system that could deliver similar accuracy and speed levels for parts too large for this bridge CMM.

After a consultation with Hexagon, Vemec purchased the DELTA gantry-type CMM, which measures parts of up to 8.5 m and at the required high accuracy.

A DELTA Gantry coordinate measuring machine from Hexagon inspecting a large steel structure. Due to the size of the DELTA, a specially-designed measuring room was needed. As this was the first gantry CMM Vemec had installed, Hexagon’s Torino Special Systems Team oversaw the project to design the measuring room in partnership with a specialist metrology-facility design company. With reinforced foundations needed for the CMM, Hexagon provided the drawings for the foundation block and worked with the customer to ensure the measuring room had all of the specific requirements. On completion of the measuring room, the DELTA was in installed in 2016.

Previously, Vemec was measuring small machine  tool parts up to 3 m, but now the DELTA enables  the measurement of parts four times longer.  In addition, DELTA offers more accuracy than needed for the customers’ requirements and has also sped up production by gaining an extra shift.

With the DELTA’S high accuracy, Vemec achieves right-first-time measurement, driving productivity and gaining an extra shift.

“Previously we had to work, measure, rework, measure, rework, measure. Now it’s just work, measure” comments Walter Colleoni, Quality Manager. “The DELTA has given us the opportunity to approach markets we weren’t able to previously. For example, now we can meet the quality specifications for companies that produce high precision machine tools and milling machines.

”Using PC-DMIS metrology software has made the operator’s job easier too. Previously, operators measured manually, but now they are working with the 3D model automatically-generated within PC-DMIS, speeding up the process with faster measurement. 

The DELTA has given us the opportunity to approach markets we weren’t able  to previously

PC-DMIS is easy to use and professional,” comments Walter. “The software’s graphic display is very effective and intuitive, enabling us to deliver easy-to-understand feedback to the quality control operators who have to supply the production offsets for machine tools.”

After the installation of the DELTA, training was conducted on site by the Hexagon team. A further training session was carried out one month after the installation for other operators, helping to enhance Vemec’s capacity.

With a Hexagon hardware maintenance agreement and software maintenance agreement in place, the DELTA will benefit from having the most up to date software and servicing, with the DELTA being calibrated once a year. With these assurances in place, Vemec can be confident that their quality efficiency will be sustained for the future.