Konecranes Machine Tool Service Purchases Advanced Laser Metrology Equipment from API

April 30, 2015 (Springfield, OH) – Konecranes Machine Tool Service has acquired new equipment to further advance its ability to serve the aeronautical and aviation industries.

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Konecranes Machine Tool Service recently invested approximately $300,000 in machine tool metrology equipment from Automated Precision Incorperated (API). The new API Radian laser tracker and four new 6-D laser systems enable Konecranes Machine Tool Service to capture multiple data points that are required to correct for positioning and geometry errors in just one setup. The actual time saved by the new technology can be measured in days.

While machine tool rebuilding or remanufacturing projects can routinely take four to six months to execute, emergency service callouts are often for items that can be fixed in one day or less. This is where the shortened data collection time offered by the new equipment benefits the customer and provides the most value. Konecranes Machine Tool Service specializes in turnkey service, combining the diagnostic function with the expertise to take immediate corrective action.

“With this state-of-the-art equipment from API we can set it up one time, position the reflective mirror in front of the laser, shoot one run and capture six different freedoms of movement. In the past we needed to make several setups in order to capture the same data,” says Harold Schoch, Vice President, Technical Services, Region Americas for Konecranes Machine Tool Service. “This equipment allows us to harvest all the data we need in one day or less, while traditional systems require two or three days,” he continued.”

API is one of the premier laser manufacturers working in concert with control manufacturers to perfect Volumetric Error Compensation, a large machine tool calibration system which improves tool accuracy up to tenfold. This solution ensures that the movements of the machine tool across all six degrees (x, y, z, pitch, yaw and roll) are accurate over the machine’s entire working volume, regardless of the number of axes or machine complexity. This technology has been embraced by the aviation industry, as it has reduced calibration downtime from a few days to a few hours.

“All machine tools that are manufacturing products have a certain accuracy standard for the product they make,” says Schoch. “When you start machining wingspans on commercial airliners that are up to 200 feet long, accuracy is so very important. Just the curvature of the earth can throw tolerances off.”

Fourth-generation machine tool builder Schoch says Konecranes Machine Tool Service is a leader in the industry in its ability to assess the data and take corrective action to remedy problems.

“There are a number of companies who promote and sell their services as calibration specialists,” says Schoch. “They can tell the customer how accurate or inaccurate his machine is. What they don’t possess is the ability to take the data and make the right corrective action. This is the critical difference between Konecranes Machine Tool Service and other providers. We are one of the most reputable companies in the world–with both state-of-the-art equipment and the ability to apply these assets to help support our customers.”