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Machine Manufacturer Puts Fowler Tools & Technology to the Test

St. Louis, MO - For both its large and smaller rotary transfer machines, Hydromat, Inc. relies on high precision measuring equipment from Fowler not only to manufacture these versatile machines but also to supply metrology systems to its extensive group of customers across the country that allows them to make their own quality checks.
Hydromat's high volume production rotary transfer machines benefit substantially from Fowler/Trimos height gages, Bowers bore gages, statistical process control SPC Express Software and Fowler Endura shop-hardened PC to provide real time data collection with these results:

  • Improved accuracy of machining
  • The ability to apply the same measuring force with each new measurement
  • 40% faster quality checking
  • High accuracy, reproducibility
  • Electronic data transfer

Unique Instrument

In its own production of transfer machines Hydromat uses the Fowler Trimos height gages primarily to verify its own process consistency. "This instrument is unique," says Quality Systems Manager Dan Ammons, "because of its point-to-point height verification capability, its ability to self-calibrate, and to fix center lines of diametrical locations. Because less calculating is involved, we save a lot of time when you compare the results with the standard height gages we used to employ.

He also commented on the device's 2-axis, X/Y capability, and the ability to check both squareness and perpendicularly as well as depth. Heart of the unit is a Sylvac non-contact capacitative measuring system. "Another advantage for us," he continues, "is to be able to use the height gage as a presetter for tooling."

Overall Quality
Hydromat has become increasingly concerned with overall quality, Ammons says, and has taken great pains to install a company-wide calibration system for all measuring and test equipment used to verify machine components and output throughout its various processes.

Just now, certification is underway to the QS/TE 9000 supplement, which the company expects quite soon. It will make Hydromat the first US machine tool supplier so registered, Ammons claims. "This should greatly enhance our industry reputation," he adds, "beyond the ISO 9001 registration we achieved two years ago."

Extremely useful for parts with as many as 20 holes have been the Fowler/Bowers HoleMatic pistol grip bore gage and the Sylvac electronics installed in fixtures for checking inner and outer diameters, respectively, the latter particularly for checking runouts and concentricity's, Ammons added.As a supplier of rotary transfer machines to companies such as Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, and many production houses across the country, Hydromat relies strongly on the reliability and maintainability of its equipment and has new plans to protect its position as a quality leader.