Measuring instruments supplier B&R Metrology introduced new products to its portfolio to counteract the decline in enquiries for metrology products as manufacturing and engineering companies navigate Covid-related impacts, and to pursue new sales tactics and increase its online presence.
As a result, the company has continued to provide metrology solutions and services that meet companies’ requirements.
B&R Metrology director Bryn Labuschagne explains that its metrology solutions meet manufacturers inspection and traceability needs and enable manufacturers to produce thousands of identical, sophisticated parts and equipment.
“Without being able to produce standardised and precise parts, we would not have mass production, and without mass production, the manufacturing industry would be a different place.”
B&R Metrology has been providing metrology solutions for various industries, such as the commercial production industry, since 2015. This includes testing and designing automotive components, solutions aimed at the efficient functioning of large machinery, and solutions for factories that use rotating equipment during the manufacturing of their products.
New to the Range
B&R Metrology introduced high-tech solutions developer Scantech’s Simscan three-dimensional (3D) handheld scanner in the metrology field for high-quality 3D scans of detailed parts in most environments.
The scanners can be used for inspection and reverse engineering. As one of the only hand-sized 3D scanners currently on the market, they offer portability and detailed scans, regardless of how narrow or restrictive the environment is.
They offer simple, single-handed control and the ability to record the detail of any complex surface with 0.020 mm of accuracy.
The Simscan has been popular in the local market since its introduction to B&R’s portfolio in October 2021, with its price, fast lead time and ability to be used in most work environments making it appealing to B&R Metrology clients, says Labuschagne.
Further, software company VShaper’s range of 3D printers, consisting of the 270; 500 and 5AX machines, has also recently been added to the B&R Metrology portfolio.
Labuschagne says the company noticed a gap in South Africa’s 3D printing market for an industrial-specification 3D printer that could service various industries and not only the hobbyist, entry-level printers that were being sold.
“Since adding it to our range, there has been increased interest for industrial 3D printers, as well as increased demand for the 3D printing services we offer using a VShaper printer.”
The 270 and 500 printers have standard, pro and medical options.
The standard options use a range of lower-temperature printing filaments, while the pro range has the option of high-temperature printing filaments. The medical options for the 270 and 500 variants feature a printing chamber with a ultraviolet sterilisation light and a sealed acid-resistant steel working chamber.
Additionally, the 500 range features a dual-nozzle printing system that allows for the printing of soluble support material. The material can then be dissolved after the printing process using an alkaline aqueous solution.
These printers are suited to printing products in the moulding, automotive, aviation, military, education, design and medical industries.
The VShaper 5AX machine is VShaper’s flagship printer and features a rotary-tilt work platform that allows for five-axis 3D printing, says Labuschagne.
It includes a multi feeder, which allows for using different filaments in the printing of one model.
The printer’s high temperature material processing enables it to use filaments such as polyether ether ketone and polyamide filled with carbon fibre enrichment. These filaments have great chemical resistance and high temperature resistance allowing its use in the aerospace, medical and automotive industries. The printer also features an automatic printing head change.
B&R Metrology is also a reseller of UK-based manufacturer LK Metrology’s coordinated measuring machines and freedom arms.
The LK coordinated measuring machines allow for dimensional, positional and surface measurements in one system. The LK Altera coordinated measuring machines have a “superior ceramic design and near-perfect stiffness-to-weight ratio, with great resistance to temperature shifts”, explains Labuschagne.
Its advanced multi-sensor-ready technology optimises the machines and allows for broadening the application scope to include the use of new materials and components to user requirements without additional wiring or controllers.
LK Metrology guarantees the original positional accuracy specification of its coordinated measuring machines for ten years.
The machines also offer granite tables with ceramic Y and Z guidelines, S-axis 0.1 μm scale and a raised X-axis guideway that provides fast dynamics temperature compensation.
The LK Freedom Arm offers users either a six- or a seven-axis portable measuring arm with touch probe and laser scan technology for quality control, reverse engineering, on-machine verification and 3D modelling.
It is available in three models, with three different levels of accuracy and several different sizes.
The LK Freedom Arm features WiFi connectivity and battery power for portable measuring and scanning. It has infinite rotation and zero gravity counterbalancing for easy and light movement, while the repeatable probe connection allows for swapping probes and laser scanners without having to recalibrate them.
The carbon-fibre tube construction makes the arm stable and strong, even under challenging conditions.
Since introducing these products, B&R Metrology has experienced an increase in enquiries, sales and 3D printing services, concludes Labuschagne.