Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division is launching a new coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that masters the typical challenges of measuring sensitive components, such as the lens assemblies of a smartphone camera. This measurement system enables quality checks to be carried out up to four to six times faster than conventional methods, with sub-micron accuracy.
The constant demand for high-value products assembled with precision from delicate materials, such as smartphones and other wearable technologies, is driving electronics manufacturers to verify large volumes of sensitive miniaturized components with high precision. For example, the plastic tube of a smartphone lens has a diameter of 7 mm, with a manufacturing tolerance of the order of 1 to 2 microns. The precise geometrical shape of these components is of great importance, as any misalignment will result in distorted photos and a dissatisfied user. Quality control of a number of samples may be sufficient in some applications, but in the field of lenses, every element of the assembly must be checked to guarantee perfect quality.
With a length measurement accuracy of 28 microns, the Leitz PMM Gold - the letter "P" in the name stands for precision - is Hexagon's most accurate metrology system. With this new machine, optical verification of a lens tube takes less than five minutes, requires only one person to position the parts, and does not come into contact with fragile components during measurement. This CMM not only achieves faster measurements, but also uses non-contact sensors that are particularly sensitive to geometric deviations, which can play a crucial role in validating the quality of precision components. Up to seven layers of material, for example, are required to produce a single smartphone camera lens. It's clear, therefore, that even small variations in surface quality can dramatically alter results.
Profilometers traditionally used to inspect sensitive electronic parts, such as smartphone camera lenses, often deform components during measurement, and are characterized by a cycle time of 20 to 30 minutes per part due to the stringent positioning requirements. Although highly accurate, another disadvantage of the profilometer is that it can only be used for final quality control, whereas non-contact inspection is possible at every stage of assembly.
Product Manager Svenja Schadek explains: "As a leading supplier of CMMs, Hexagon has a wealth of experience in meeting the needs of manufacturers facing new productivity and quality challenges. As part of our R&D, we have developed an extremely accurate, more compact CMM, which enables our customers to bring their brand-new consumer products to market faster, thanks to rigorous inspection of large series of parts, validating their manufacturing processes."
The ability to switch quickly between optical and low-force tactile tools is a major advantage of the Leitz PMM Gold, as precise measurement of components with deep cavities or detailed features can become difficult without styli. With its low-force probing, the new CMM keeps fragile surfaces intact, while the optical sensor enables rapid non-contact inspection. The CMM's automatic sensor replacement system enables easy switching between measuring heads and sensors, and quickly switches from one to the other when measuring different part features.
Specially designed for ultra-precision manufacturing, the Leitz PMM Gold is 30 % smaller than competing machines, reducing floor space. Available worldwide today, the CMM offers ideal features for ultra-precision inspection of precision gears for electric vehicles, as well as for checking other precision components, calibrating gauges and reference parts.
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