(Taylor Hobson) -- Because bearings are used across myriad applications within virtually every industrial sector, we can easily take these meticulously engineered components for granted. The critical functions performed by bearings, together with the intense demands placed upon them, necessitates the application of the most stringent production standards and the operation of rigorous quality control systems.
As a global leader in the field design and manufacture of super-precision ball bearings for the aerospace industry, Plymouth, England-based Barden Corp. manufactures bearings in P4 (ABEC7) quality and above to the highest possible standards. Barden’s reputation for technical excellence within each of its manufacturing facilities means that the company’s bearings are used in areas where there is a need to meet critical tolerances, operate at high speeds, and provide reliable performance under the most demanding operating conditions.
Quality permeates every aspect of the company’s business. Barden’s Plymouth plant is certified to both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, as well as aerospace standards AS9100 and AS9120. The company applies exacting, self-established standards and uses a range of premium quality test-and-measuring equipment to ensure the delivery of reliable, quiet, smooth-running ball bearings that exhibit exceptional characteristics.
Typical of Barden’s ongoing investment in its quality system is the recent investment in state-of-the-art roundness measuring instruments from Leicester, England-based Taylor Hobson.
“We currently employ 15 Taylor Hobson Talyrond instruments to ensure that the roundness and form of our output meets the most demanding of standards,” says Derek Pitcher, the Plymouth facility’s QA coordinator. “We also use six Taylor Hobson Talysurf instruments to help guarantee that correct surface finish parameters are adhered to. Our Taylor Hobson equipment has proven to be exceptionally accurate and able to provide repeatable, extremely precise results when used by personnel within our quality department or production workers on the shop floor.”
“Given the popularity of Taylor Hobson products within the precision bearing industry, during the final development stage of the company’s recently launched Surtronic R-series, I was asked to take a prelaunch loan model for evaluation,” Pitcer continues. “Although the supplied Surtronic R-series proved to be a first-rate instrument, I was happy to suggest several minor improvements that were consequently implemented by Taylor Hobson.
“To help keep pace with the current high demand for our products and to avoid the potential for bottlenecks within our inspection procedures, we took delivery of a new Surtronic R-series a couple of months ago. Impressed by Taylor Hobson’s leap in technology and the new instrument’s outstanding performance, I recently placed an order for a second model. The Surtronic’s rapid throughput system allows us to keep pace with our high-volume of ‘first-off’ bearings and undertake continuous sample batch roundness measurements.”
The sturdy nature of the Surtronic instrument means that it is able to deliver extremely precise results within shop floor environments, throughout Barden’s three-shift working pattern. “As our new Surtronic R-series instruments have an ingenious quick-loading method and rapid operating systems, they are able to handle a high volume of extremely precise roundness measurements,” says Pitcher. “Not only does the precise roundness measurements generated by our Surtronic R-series instruments help us in our quest for zero defects, the generated data also allow us to improve our production processes.”
Prior to the launch of the advanced Surtronic R-series, Taylor Hobson worked in close cooperation with end users across a wide range of industries, including precision bearings, automotive, and aerospace engineering. This thorough consultation process focused on the development of key roundness measuring attributes for today’s precision industries. The result of this feedback and the innovative work of Taylor Hobson’s R&D department is a high-quality range of roundness-testing products that are robust enough for shop floor use, yet have accuracy specification applicable to the most demanding inspection environments.
Taylor Hobson’s rapid throughput system ensures that Surtronic R-series instruments are able to accurately check three parts per minute, including setup time. Although many times faster than traditional benchtop roundness systems, the Surtronic R-series experiences no loss of precision or accuracy. ISO-compliant measurements can be taken with ±25 nm accuracy and 6 nm gauge resolution.
Exhibiting the same robust attributes as Taylor Hobson’s existing range, the Surtronic R-series was designed for 24/7 operation within demanding shop floor environments. Through the use of Taylor Hobson’s patented gauge orientation system, changing instrument orientation from roundness to flatness, or internal to external measurement mode, takes just a few seconds. Ease of use is further ensured through the X-sight, touchscreen software platform and an intuitive navigation system.