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Falcon CNC a "Gem" for Inspecting Diamond Tools
Falcon CNC inspection system.

Based in Mentor, Ohio, the Mastertech Diamond Products Company designs, manufactures and distributes a comprehensive range of high-quality cutting tools that are capable of undertaking the most challenging of machining applications. In addition to producing a wide variety of standard format tools, Mastertech is able to manufacture and design specialized tools and inserts to customer specifications.

Mastertech specializes in the production of diamond tooling for cutting aluminum alloys and other non-ferrous materials. Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) inserts and cutting tools are rapidly replacing carbide cutting tools in many nonferrous machining applications, and Mastertech's expertise in the field ensures that the company is kept busy satisfying the burgeoning demand for these extremely cost-effective cutting tools. The company's PCD products deliver increased metal removal rates, faster cycle times, reduced scrap levels, tighter dimensional control and improved component surface finish. Further improving the efficiency of Mastertech's PCD and CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) inserts and cutting tools, the company now offers customized, laseretched 3D chip breaker geometries. The company's advanced chip breaking geometries help overcome the problematic build-up around tools and workpieces that can be encountered when turning aluminum and other non-ferrous materials.

The company's laser-etched 3D chip breakers give users a long list of advantages, including extended tool life, reduced tool breakages, improved surface finish and increased machine tool utilization. The nature of the challenging industries supplied by Mastertech means that the quality of the company's products is of paramount importance. To help ensure the continued delivery of premium quality cutting tools and inserts, in addition to utilizing a range of state-of-the-art machine tools, Mastertech also makes regular investments in the best available quality control technology.

Precise Dimensions Needed
Mastertech Production Manager, Kathy Miner explained: "As it is vitally important to precisely adhere to the dimensional specifications of our cutting tools and inserts, we use a range of sophisticated, non-contact inspection technologies in our climate controlled facility. This advanced metrology capability also allows us to verify the absolute accuracy of the complex geometries of our products.

"An increased demand for our products has led to a potential bottleneck in our busy inspection department. To avoid the possibility of inspection hold-ups and to help guarantee our fast delivery times, we recently carried out a search for an efficient measuring technology. The required system needed to provide extremely accurate and repeatable results in 3-axis, across our range of high precision measuring applications. In addition, given our ever increasing volume of work, we also wanted a measuring system that had an increased level of automation.

"Having thoroughly investigated the available alternatives, we purchased a Falcon CNC non-contact measuring system from Vision Engineering. Although the other systems performed adequately, the Falcon ticked all of the boxes on our wishlist and proved the easiest to use. It was also a bonus that the advanced Vision Engineering option was one of the least expensive systems that we considered.

"Now in constant use, our new Falcon CNC has freed up an employee from standing in front of a comparator and inspecting each cutting tool or insert. Most of our products are now simply loaded on to a pallet and, as the machine does the inspecting, the employee is free to perform other duties.

"The flexibility of the Falcon allows us to quickly recall our part programs and to perform very accurate, multiple cutting-tool inspection routines in a rapid CNC mode. Among other

characteristics, we measure features such as Radii, I.C., H.O.B. dimension, angles, height and centrality of holes to I.C."

Ergonomic Microscopes
Vision Engineering Inc. is a leading edge manufacturer of ergonomic stereo microscopes and non-contact measuring systems. Since its formation in 1958, the company has become one of the world's most innovative and dynamic microscope manufacturers, and now has offices across North America, Europe and Asia. Engineers and scientists worldwide use Vision Engineering's systems for a wide range of general magnification, inspection and measurement applications, in the electronics, industrial and life science markets. More than 300,000 units have been installed worldwide to date.

Vision Engineering's Falcon CNC incorporates over 50 years of proven optical experience in a powerful 3-axis non-contact video measuring system. Falcon delivers cost-effective, accurate results with class-leading simplicity and is suitable for both shop floor quality control and for manufacturing inspection applications. Vision Engineering's Falcon system is compact and has a range of advanced technical capabilities. It can undertake tasks from simple, single feature operation to multi-point video edge detection. Advanced features include: high resolution indexed zoom optics that provide high-precision and flexibility, a large field of view enabling easy sample orientation and progressive motorized Z-axis control.

A high precision NLEC-calibrated measuring stage ensures accurate results in X & Y axes, while unique camera iris control and SLEC calibration ensures accuracy and repeatability of Z-axis results. Falcon includes surface and substage iris aperture control, controllable quadrant LED illumination and both high and low magnification lens options as standard. Vision Engineering offers Falcon CNC customers a choice of PC-based measurement software, or a powerful and intuitive touch-screen video microprocessor, making Falcon suitable for both multi-user shop-floor use and advanced manufacturing inspection applications.

Kathy Miner concludes, "As the Falcon CNC is so easy to use and Vision Engineering's software is so intuitive, our operators had a very short learning curve before they became proficient in the system's operation. Our Falcon CNC is now making an excellent contribution towards ensuring the absolute quality of our products, as it can quickly inspect large amounts of high precision work in a CNC mode, we anticipate a rapid return on our investment."

Contact: Vision Engineering, 570 Danbury Rd., New Milford, CT 06776 860-355-3776 fax: 860-355-0712 Web:

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