Editor's note: This article is sponsored by Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology.
When 70 percent of your parts are designed in-house and most of your quality inspection measurements are needed for first article inspection, short part programming times are essential. DeZURIK Incorporated, a leader in the valve industry, needed newer metrology software with improved functionality and additional features.
DeZURIK, located in Sartell, Minnesota, is a global leader in manufacturing water and wastewater treatment valves as well as pulp and paper valves, chemical and petrochemical valves, mining valves and other process industry valves. They have been using a Brown and Sharpe CMM (coordinate measuring machine) system for 11 years for various quality measurement processes including machining process changes, troubleshooting and product development.
Keith Feddema measuring shaft assembly for a butterfly valve.
In 2010, as DeZURIK was expanding, they had a need for decreased part programming times and reduced operating costs. They were also due for a software upgrade on their current measurement system. This upgrade decision coupled with a new employee with previous ZEISS CALYPSO metrology software experience prompted them to look at other options. Cone and angle measurement complications were of special interest and they were curious as to how CALYPSO would handle these measurements.
After software demos and cost comparisons, DeZURIK decided to purchase a CALYPSO software upgrade from Carl Zeiss. CALYPSO would easily work on their Brown and Sharpe CMM, would decrease part programming time and would cost less than an upgrade on their previous software. Affordable software courses and technical support was readily available for employees who wanted training to transition into the new software.
DeZURIK is now able to use CALYPSO software for even more measurements in various applications. Since 70 percent of what they manufacture is designed in-house, the majority of their CMM measurements are taken for first article inspection on parts from their suppliers. DeZURIK wasn’t able to handle many first article inspections with their previous software because of the longer part programming times. They also measure parts to guide the CNC machines with process changes, for troubleshooting and product development. Their typical target tolerances are + five thousandths of an inch and their parts range in size from half an inch to 144 inches in diameter.
Keith Feddema using CALYPSO metrology software.
The CALYPSO software has proven to be very user friendly and easy to use. “With our previous linear programming code setup, if you didn’t write the part program, you really had to study it to determine where the measurements were coming from,” says Keith Feddema, quality engineer at DeZURIK. With CALYPSO’s object driven measuring tasks and visual metrology, it has been much easier for multiple operators to use the new software programs. In addition, their part programming time has been reduced by 50 percent. “One of our previous measurement challenges was with complicated angles and cones. With the improved functionality in Calypso, we are able to study these angles and cones with different calculation tools. Once we are confident with the results, CALYPSO’s measurement plans are easy to organize, with no complex code.” As a result, they are now catching many more supplier parts with errors during first article inspection than previously.
The 3D graphics in CALYPSO have been a great tool for improving communication between quality inspection and R&D. “We can print out the graphics and explain to our engineers exactly how we got a measurement. We can even highlight measurements,” states Keith. With their previous software, they had to print the whole screen so data was difficult to read and it couldn’t be highlighted. It’s now easier to manipulate data for various types of communication, including custom CMM reports for customers. As DeZURIK grows and adds more people to their quality department, they look forward to using additional software features including the importing of drawing characteristics from CAD.
One surprise for Keith Feddema was how quickly he was able to learn CALYPSO software after 11 years of operating the previous metrology software. He recently attended the CALYPSO basic training course at Carl Zeiss in Maple Grove, Minnesota. “I walked out of that training with all of my questions answered,” says Keith. “Trainers were able to easily answer questions relating to systems with non-ZEISS hardware.” DeZURIK currently has two employees trained on CALYPSO software with plans to send two additional operators to Carl Zeiss.
Looking into the future, DeZURIK wants to continue using CALYPSO software and also purchase a gantry CMM to handle their larger, 144 inch in diameter parts.
“Ease of programming and 3D graphics have increased our use of our CMM tremendously,” states Keith. “We now use our CMM on a daily basis and for more types of measurements than we could before.”