Optical measurement expands automation in production
With its high-performance stamping tools, Stepper, one of the technology leaders in the stamping sector and known worldwide for introducing modular tool construction, produces up to several billion contact parts per year. For quality assurance, the tooling expert has been relying on Bruker Alicona for many years. Stepper is now further expanding its automation in production with Bruker Alicona measuring systems in use 24/7.
Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting
Automated measurement process
Components of new batches only have to be taught-in once on a reference part, each additional component is automatically checked.
Die measurement with InfiniteFocus
3D measurement of a die, performed with Bruker Alicona’s high-resolution optical measuring system InfiniteFocus.
Leader in the stamping sector
Stepper stamping tool to manufacture contact parts for the automotive industry. 16,100 contact parts per minute can be produced.
Integration of InfiniteFocus
Alexander Geiger (left) and Marcel Heisler, Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting. The Bruker Alicona system is integrated in the production process, measurements are performed automatically.
CAD-CAM interface for metrology integration
Stepper is using the optional CAD-CAM interface to integrate Bruker Alicona metrology in the design phase. Measurement series are defined in the CAD data set of a component and a simulation provides a preview of the measuring process.
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"Only when the tool is running, money can be made!”
When a tool is used to make seven plug connections simultaneously at 2300 strokes per minute, 16,100 contact parts are produced every minute. For Marcel Heisler, Head of Laser Ablation and High-Speed Cutting at Stepper, one thing above all applies to this throughput: "We need to measure, measure, measure!” The demands of its customers, who are mainly from the automotive industry, are high. "The automotive industry has always demanded maximum precision and productivity," says Heisler. This has to be in line with the tool life because only tools that are outstanding in terms of material, surface quality and accuracy can manufacture the demanding geometries of micro components with consistently high precision. Heisler sums it up in a nutshell: "Only when the tool is running, can money be made.” To ensure the quality of its pressing and bending dies, Stepper for years has been relying on quality assurance by Bruker Alicona.
How Stepper succeeds with Bruker Alicona solution
Dimensional accuracy & surface finish measurement
- Accurate, fast and universal optical 3D measuring instrument for tolerances in the µm and sub-µm range
- Components are measured area-based and with high resolution independent of size, material, geometry, weight and surface finish
- A number of proven and new features combine the functionalities of a roughness measuring system (Ra, Rq, Rz/Sa, Sq, Sz) with the characteristics of a coordinate measuring machine