Cognitens WLS400A and WLS400M voted products of the year

The readers of the US magazine “Photonic Tech Briefs” (PTB) have chosen Cognitens white light measurement systems as one of three products of the year 2011.

The PTB readers have voted for the Cognitens WLS400A and WLS400M white light measurement systems as one of three “Products of the Year 2011”. This award goes to the most significant new introductions to the photonics engineering community.

Digital stereo vision
The manual Cognitens WLS400M and the automated Cognitens WLS400A, Hexagon Metrology’s white light measurement systems, use digital stereo vision technology to generate 3D data. Customers can choose between a portable configuration and an automated system, which can be operated with all common industrial robots. The Cognitens WLS400M is the only high-performance 3D white light scanner that can be used in handy mode. The products include LED technology, which enables a broad variety of surface finishes to be measured or reverse engineered.

Dimensional metrology information
Cognitens dimensional measurement systems help improve engineering and manufacturing processes in automotive and other manufacturing industries. Based on innovations in 3D non-contact measurement technology, Cognitens solutions help increase efficiency during critical stages of preproduction, launch, ramp up and mass production. Cognitens provides tools and processes for capturing, analyzing and distributing highly meaningful dimensional metrology information to support different industrial engineering activities such as tooling, part production, assembly, quality and process control. Cognitens, founded in 1995 is today part of Hexagon Metrology group, the world’s largest measurement technologies company.

Hexagon Metrology Services Ltd.
World Headquarters Office
Cedar House
78 Portsmouth Road
Cobham, Surrey
KT11 1AN
Great Britain
Tel: +44 (0)20 7068 6580
Fax: +44 (0)20 7068 6581

CERN relies on microtechnology machining

With its 10’000 users – staff, researchers, colleagues from other institutes etc., the European Organisation for Nuclear Research CERN, which is headquartered in the canton of Geneva, Switzerland, is the largest research centre for particle physics in the world. At CERN, wide-ranging fundamental physics research activities are carried out with the help of a series of accelerators, including the LHC (Large Hadron Collider).

One of CERN’s very interesting research projects is the study of a new accelerator concept, the CLIC (Compact Linear Collider), an electron-positron machine 48.3 km long and with a centre-of-mass energy of up to 3 TeV. The new concept comprises a linear two-beam accelerator in which the counter-rotating beams interact at a designated collision point in the centre of the machine.

High precision machining
And this is where Kern Micro- und Feinwerktechnik comes into the picture. One of the key components for this project is a part manufactured by Kern: the PETS (Power Extraction and Transfer Structure), an 800 mm long copper rod made of highly conductive, oxygen-free copper with a high-precision, toothed comb profile. Eight of these copper rods (PETS) running parallel to one another are installed in an octagonal arrangement. An electron beam is then passed through this arrangement at the speed of light and some of the beam energy is extracted in the form of high-frequency microwaves. This power is then used for the acceleration process as such in a second parallel accelerator, with the copper surfaces being exposed to huge electromagnetic fields in the process.

Fully hydrostatic
To reach the very high precision needed, Kern offered its star performer – the Kern Pyramid Nano! Faced with this very demanding challenge, the machine’s key innovations come to the fore, i.e. its completely hydrostatic guides and drives. These run on a constantly controlled 15 µm thick hydraulic oil cushion. The Kern Pyramid Nano is one of the very few milling machines in the world on which the workpiece is not moved by mechanical components. Positioning accuracy is only possible if the friction is equivalent to zero – as is the case with the Kern Pyramid Nano.

KERN Micro- und Feinwerktechnik GmbH & Co.KG
Olympiastr. 2
DE-82438 Eschenlohe
Tel +49 (0)8824 9101 281
Fax +49 (0)8824 9101 124
[email protected]

We will detail this success story in one of our next issues.


Tornos improves its production equipment for the watchmaking sector

The Swiss manufacturer of machines designed for high-precision production, has reaffirmed its commitment to the watchmaking sector by introducing new equipment which promises to improve manufacturing possibilities.

During a press conference held in Moutier yesterday the company reaffirmed its position in the watch making sector.

A supplier to the watchmaking industry since 1880, the machine manufacturer is set to present its new products at the Tornos watchmaking open days to be held from 6 to 10 February 2012 in the company’s historic buildings.
The Chamber of Public Economy of the Bernese Jura will take this opportunity, once again, to join the many stakeholders in the watchmaking industry for this second micro technology working breakfast which will focus its attention on the challenges of verticalisation.

To help companies build exceptional time pieces
Following the revival of the mechanical movement which characterised the beginning of the 21st century, many watchmaking brands looked to develop their production equipment and to extend their manufacturing capacities, particularly those required for the production of watch movements. Tornos’ expertise meets these extremely stringent needs, while currently offering a very high machining rate.

A link between past and future
At the show, the Moutier-based manufacturer will present its EvoDECO 10, EvoDECO 16, Micro 8 and MultiSwiss turning machines as well as the flexible CU1007 machining centre. Alongside these latest generation machines, an engraver will give a demonstration of classic decorative techniques. This traditional art will put the latest innovations in terms of machines into perspective, whilst exploring the links between tradition and modernity in the field of watchmaking. Professionals from the watchmaking industry who are interested in discovering the new developments on offer from the Moutier-based group can still sign up for the event by contacting Tornos.

A visit there is a must for those involved with watch industry.

Tornos SA
Brice Renggli, Marketing Manager
Tel: +41 79 528 29 78
Fax: +41 32 494 49 03
[email protected]

Honing for Dummies

In Europe the series of publications “…for Dummies” sell like hot cakes. Not that buyers are considered as stupid, far from that …but it is a way to say that these books are addressing consumers who do not know the subject. They aim to make people informed and efficient very simply. The new modular MVRL 160 vertical honing machine by Pemamo follow this trend and allows everyone to be able to master the micron scale simply and without prior knowledge.

The MVRL 160 machine was presented at the EMO in 1-spindle configuration and equipped with a 2-position rotary table. Depending on needs, this version may be underequipped. For this reason, the company continued its developments and will present a 2-spindle configuration with a 6-position rotary table at GrindTec.

More possibilities
Mr. Grimm says: “Our customers wished to have more possibilities, for example, roughing-finishing or brushing in the same machine. The two-spindle version answers perfectly to this desire.” The spindles are totally independent and allow many combinations of operations. The machine is modular and a three-spindle version is also available. Mr. Decker adds: “In addition we offer many possibilities at the level of support for parts, from simple cross table to 2, 4 or 6-position rotary tables and even a linear transfer system”.

For everyone
To be able to work with such a modular machine, adaptable on request, offering the accuracy of the tenth of a micron is a dream comes true for many companies. What about its manipulation and programming? Mr. Decker says: “Loading and unloading of the machine are performed in hidden time, and changes of set-ups require a few minutes only. The machine is ideal for the realization of batch sizes between 1’000 and 300’000 parts”. This for a reduced investment compared to some “big solutions” available on the market.
“There is no CNC programming to perform; we have developed an expert system that allows anyone to guarantee perfect work within the accuracy of the tenth of a micron. According to machining and production conditions, the operator is guided across a very visual and intuitive interface” adds Mr. Grimm. The system includes all the know-how of Pemamo and makes it available to all operators.

Pemamo SA
Chemin de Prapion 3
2520 La Neuveville
Tél. 0041 32 751 44 55
Fax 0041 32 751 54 68
[email protected]

We will come back on this modular honing machine soon.

Delcam adds new strategies for roughing and turn-mill to FeatureCAM

Delcam has launched the 2012 R2 release of its FeatureCAM feature-based CAM system, which includes important new strategies for roughing and turn-mill operations, alongside a range of more general enhancements to allow faster toolpath generation.

Delcam’s new FeatureCAM release supports turning with live tooling.

The main addition to FeatureCAM 2012 R2 is a series of new strategies for 2.5D roughing.  These include a continuous spiral option to minimise wear on the cutter and machine tool, high-speed roughing options, including trochoidal machining and Delcam’s patented Race Line Machining, and “tear-drop” moves to clear corners more smoothly.  In addition, more styles of leads and links can now be used to give greater overall efficiency for the toolpaths.

Stepovers for 2.5D mill roughing can now be set as large as the tool diameter itself.   Previously, stepovers were limited to 50% of the tool diameter and, if this limit was exceeded, the toolpath would leave stands.  The new algorithm supports larger stepovers by providing extra moves automatically to clean up those stands.

Other milling improvements include an option to add an extra profile pass exactly at the base of flat pockets, the ability to use face-milling tools with chamfered edges to machine chamfers as well as faces and so minimise the number of tools needed, a choice of right- or left-handed thread-milling tools resulting in either climb or conventional machining of the thread, and the ability to reduce calculation times by saving boundaries as curves if they will be needed for subsequent calculations.

And many more
The new release of FeatureCAM also includes improvement in:

  • Roughing on turning equipment with live tools
  • Turn-mill programming
  • Support for cylindrical interpolation
  • Simulation module
  • Direct cutting and pasting of models between FeatureCAM and Delcam’s PowerSHAPE
  • Ability to create machining configurations on a network as well as on an individual computer

For further information
Peter Dickin, Marketing Manager
Direct phone: 0121 683 1081
[email protected]

Delcam plc
Small Heath Business Park,
Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK

Why not consider exhibiting in Spain in 2012?

Yes there are many exhibitions in Europe and all around the world, and choosing one or another to exhibit may be tricky. Biemh targets not only Spain he offers opportunity to be connected to the world. Surface area booked for 2012 is 11% up on equivalent figure at this time 2 years ago.

Machine-tool and associated industry companies from 14 countries have already booked space for the next Biemh Machine-Tool Biennial, scheduled to take place on May 28 – June 2, 2012 in Bilbao (Spain).

Spain moves…
February will see the activation of an on-line meeting arrangement program that has proved to be a great success at other events.  Via this section of the website, accredited visitors to Biemh 2012 will be able to file direct requests for meetings with those exhibitors that interest them.

…to become an international platform
The saturation of nearby markets due to the crisis is driving more and more companies to consider internationalising their business or raising their profile abroad as a key part of their commercial strategies.  With this in mind the organisers of Biemh 2012 are focusing their efforts on a campaign to attract foreign specialists with purchasing capabilities in those countries earmarked as strategically important by exhibiting companies.

Top priority is currently being given to Brazil, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, China, India, Mexico and Russia, though Turkey, Chile, Colombia and Argentina are also considered attractive in view of their good economic situation and Peru, Morocco, Algeria and Angola are seen as reference points for specific sectors such as energy, mining and hydrocarbons.  All these countries are included in the programme of promotional trips, which started with three visits in October, to reinforce the event’s brand image and establish co-operation agreements with importers, distributors and sectoral associations of machinery users.

Going to Spain is less expensive than to Brazil
Brazil is the world’s fourth biggest vehicle manufacturer, and is currently experiencing growth, as a result of which it currently offers highly interesting opportunities.  Demand for machine-tools in Brazil is strong and getting stronger, particularly for special turnkey machines, so the Biemh commercial team has developed a customised promotion plan with the most representative organisations in the sector there.

Want to know more?
Phone (+34) 94 40 40 031/00
Fax (+34) 94 40 40 001
[email protected]

Proto Labs Expands Cool Idea! Award to the European Union

After seeing the success of the first Cool Idea! Award program, Proto Labs, the world’s fastest manufacturer of CNC machined and injection-molded parts, has announced the expansion of its program to include the European Union in 2012.

The Cool Idea! Award, which launched in the United States last year, gives product designers the opportunity to bring innovative product ideas to life. In addition to the expansion, Proto Labs has also increased the award amount from $100,000 to $250,000 worth of prototyping and short-run production services.

To help create new products
“The response to Cool Idea! has been incredible, so we knew we wanted to expand the program’s reach,” said Proto Labs founder and CTO Larry Lukis. “We’re committed to supporting designers and the development of new ideas, and we can’t wait to find out what kinds of ideas we’ll see from a new crop of innovators!”
The Cool Idea! Award was created with the belief that there are many great product ideas that don’t get off the ground due to lack of resources and funds. Unlike other awards that recognize products or innovative design after the product has already launched, the Cool Idea! Award program helps designers take their product idea or part from a 3D CAD model to its first-run production stage with Proto Labs proprietary Firstcut CNC machining and/or Protomold injection-molding services.

Who can enter the Cool Idea Award?
In order to be eligible for consideration, Cool Idea! Award applicants must demonstrate the benefits of their product to the end-user and explain what makes it a cool idea.
Cool Idea! Award recipients make up a wide range of industries and product offerings.

Past winners include:

  • Don Ladanyi, TruFlavorWare: flatware to help alleviate metal sensitivity for chemotherapy patients
  • Rice University, R-one Robots: swarm robots to improve engineering literacy
  • Whirlwind Wheelchair International, RoughRider: highly durable wheelchair to handle rough terrain
  • Matt Nestor, QuicKaddy: magnetic hex key case to easily store and remove a tool
  • Andy Miller and Tess Bakke, SkyLight: adapter device that connects smartphones to microscopes to digitally capture and share scientific images

For more information about the Cool Idea! Award, visit