Falcon CNC - A "Gem" for Mastertech Diamond Products


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 customers' own
specifications.

Mastertech specializes in the production of diamond tooling for cutting aluminium
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. Mastertech'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, laser etched
3D chip breaker geometries. Mastertech'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 tools 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.

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 lead 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."

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, whilst 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."

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