Metrology expert Bowers Group has supplied Moog Controls Ltd with an ACCRETECH Surfcom Roughness and Contour Detector to measure critical components involved in the manufacture of servovalves.
Based in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, Moog Controls Ltd manufactures Moog Servovalves for all industrial applications, including the aerospace industry. Servovalves are electrohydraulic, continuously acting valves that transform a changing analog or digital input signal into a stepless hydraulic output (flow or pressure).
Used in aircraft fuel control systems, motion control systems, and landing gear systems, the critical components manufactured by Moog Controls Ltd have tight tolerances and require the highest level of accuracy and quality. The surface finish of the component is imperative to the quality of the finished part, as surface imperfections typically lead to stress on the component. The accurate measurement of the surface finish is, therefore, very important.
In order to measure critical components involved in the manufacture of servovalves, Moog Controls Ltd had been using a 20 year old Taylor Hobson Talysurf. Unfortunately, there were some problems occurring when the Talysurf was being used to measure surface finish of the component. Due to the small size of the parts, and the manual intervention required during the measurement process, the probes would regularly break. Replacing them was costing Moog approximately £12,000 per year.
Moog Controls Ltd were, therefore, looking for options to improve on this technology, and were keen to find a new measurement solution for the measurement of the radius of the flange and head part of the component, as well as the surface finish.
Moog Controls Ltd contacted Bowers Group, which supplied the company with an ACCRETECH Surfcom 2000SD3-13-N Roughness and Contour Detector. The large measurement area and hybrid detector enables the accurate capture of contours and surface roughness in a single measurement. Measurements can be performed quickly, simply and accurately, without having to keep changing probes, making the Surfcom highly efficient in this application.
The Surfcom also has the advantage of being fully automatic and hands free; the CNC programme facilitates the measurement process and minimises operator intervention, reducing the capacity for errors.
In addition, Bowers Group supplied Moog Controls Ltd with a number of bespoke probes that were specially manufactured by Bowers to meet their needs. Specially manufactured fixtures are used for each component, ensuring the accurate and repeatable profile measurement of each component.
Moog Controls Ltd typically manufactures the components in batches of 600/700, with first offs and one component per shift measured to ensure quality. The Surfcom takes around 10 minutes to run each CNC programme, which is a similar length of time to the old method carried out by the Talysurf. However, the Surfcom can record multiple measurements in one run, making it much faster and significantly more cost effective, especially when the cost of probe breakages is considered. The Surfcom also enables Moog Controls Ltd to print out results in one collaborated document, which is a great visual aid for determining whether measurements are within tolerance.
Gurpreet Singh Gill, CMM Roaming Inspector at Moog Controls Ltd said: “The Surfcom certainly meets our needs here at Moog. We are very pleased with the accuracy the machine provides, and the programme software works very well.
We considered various metrology companies to meet our measurement requirements, but we chose Bowers Group for its excellent customer service and our previous good relationship with the Bowers sales team. If we have any questions, or we need any further help, we are confident that Chris or Ryan at Bowers Group will be more than equipped to help us.
The Surfcom will soon have paid for itself when the cost of broken probes caused by the Talysurf is taken into account, saving us over £12,000 per year.”
With a long history in the design and manufacture of aerospace servovalves, Moog Controls Ltd is the recognised leader in servovalve technology for all aerospace applications that require precision motion control. The company manufactures electrically operated servovalves that control the flow of hydraulic fluid to actuators on launch vehicles. Servovalves provide precise control of position, velocity, pressure and force with post movement damping characteristics.
Moog Servovalves have a robust design heritage for performance in extreme environments, operated by transforming a changing analogue or digital input signal into a smooth set of movements in a hydraulic cylinder. The term servovalve describes a valve design with bushing spool assembly, characterised by high precision metering edges.