Laser Technology Meets Crisis Manufacturing
Nikon Instruments Nexiv VMR
Hobson Motzer Inc., established in 1912 and now based in Durham, Connecticut, frequently tackles projects that other companies can't handle. Hobson develops sophisticated manufacturing processes and designs tooling to produce exacting parts for companies worldwide.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD), of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, the world's largest manufacturer of hypodermic needles, asked Hobson to quickly produce millions of delicate needles for the smallpox vaccine.
The inspection metrology had to be noncontact because of the product's delicacy, and was required over high volumes. Hobson ran three manufacturing machines 24 hours a day. It became increasingly difficult to keep up with production volumes using normal toolmaker's microscopes because of the huge number of parts requiring inspection.
To solve this problem, Hobson selected Nikon Instruments' Nexiv VMR CNC video measuring system, which reduced a 15-minute manual inspection down to four minutes, freeing the inspector to perform visual inspections in parallel with the automated inspection. "The system was a huge first for us," says Frank Dworak, president of Hobson Motzer. "Previously, we had used either optical comparators or toolmaker's measuring microscopes to inspect products." Nikon's laser inspection system represents the ultimate in high-precision vision-based measuring.