The Simetra FTP from Zygo Corp
29 Apr 2003
The Simetra measurement tool is the world's first 3D optical interferometer capable of relational measurements between planes. It's designed for in-process geometric dimension and tolerance verification.
Initial target applications include advanced fuel injectors, anti lock brake systems, precision seals and other industrial components with critical interplanar geometries, These parts and assemblies require extremely tight tolerances, so manufacturers appreciate anything that ensures quality and reduce scrap while increasing production.
A brand new approach
The Simetra can simultaneously measure distances between planes, It can assess flatness, thickness and parallelism concurrently, or you can set it to measure flatness, step height and parallelism between multiple planes, also at the same time. This unique design has several patents pending.
The Simetra is so different that it's not a direct replacement of anyone metrology tool. It can replace many tools because of its ability to measure multiple parameter at the same time, The Simetra Series handles the work of tactile (contact) and air gauges that measure only one parameter. It also replaces optical instruments that may be limited in flexibility or performance.
The 3-D aspect is key
Other measurement tools, such as profilemeters provide 2-D data by dragging a stylus across the part surface. This limits the amount of data per unit time, Three-dimensional measurement delivers greater process knowledge. The Simetra scans through both sides of the entire part concurrently and can display up to 8,000 data points per side in about 10 seconds. You can see the 3-D flatness of both sides of a part, not just 2-D profile lines.PERFORMANCE
- Resolution Flatness: 0.01 µm
- Thickness: 0.01 µm
- Parallelism: 0.01 µm
- Accuracy Flatness: 0.10 µm
- Thickness: 0.30 µm
- Parallelism: 0.15 µm
- Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility Flatness: 0.10 µm
- Thickness: 0.30 µm
- Parallelism: 0.15 µm
- Measurement Time (data acquisition and processing) Less than 10 sec
- Throughput (measurement and handling) > 140 parts per hour (operator-dependant)
Although the Simetra's maximum field of view is 75mm in diameter, its broadband wavelength light source makes it relatively insensitive to surface and material type. The only part complexity limitations are that planes being measured need to be nominally parallel and parts must be a few millimeters in size.
Designed for factory-floor installation, the Simetra can be used with automated part sorting and integrates well with automated assembly cells.
Cost savings expected
Following extensive beta testing, the first Simetra Series instruments have been shipped. Production improvements and cost savings have yet to be documented although one of Zygo's first customers anticipates at least a 2% increase in yield, or line productivity. On a high-volume line, this would result in a payback period of a few months.
Savings are expected from increasing the number of good parts or assemblies produced, as well as reduced rework and scrap. Additional anticipated savings arise from the Simetra's ability to link with automated part sorting. Rapid and accurate part sorting is essential to assembly operations, For example, on fuel injectors, if parts don't fit together properly, the finished injectors will fail leak tests, and then have to be reworked or scrapped.
The Simetra represents a leap forward in the quality and quantity of in-line metrology from limited tactile to high-density optical data. This can result in tremendous economic benefits to manufacturers of critical-tolerance parts and assemblies.
Further details of the ZMI range from Lambda Photometrics Limited, Lambda House, Batford Mill, Harpenden, Herts AL5 5BZ, UK. Tel +44 (0)1582 764334 Fax +44 (0) 1582 712084. email@example.com click here to go to the Simetra page
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