GF AgieCharmilles - Intelligent Tool Measurement

In the highly competitive field of producing optical products and molds for light-emitting diodes (LED), Taiwan’s Hong Yang Precision Industry Co., Ltd relies on GF AgieCharmilles’ award-winning Intelligent Tool Measurement (ITM) system to achieve and maintain tool accuracy.

More success
Established 30 years ago as a mold company, Hong Yang Precision Industry Co., Ltd has factories in both Taiwan and China, with the Taiwan facility primarily producing die products for LED and precision opticals.

GF AgieCharmilles’ Milling and EDM technologies are important factors in the company’s success, said Ching Xu, Hong Yang Mold and Die Department Chief. He said GF AgieCharmilles’ ITM system helps make it possible for Hong Yang to live its vision of innovation and progress.

Hong Yang’s fleet of GF AgieCharmilles machines include a MIKRON HSM 400 LP Precision high-speed milling center which was especialy conceived for high precision applications. Additionally the machine is equipped with ITM which allows best possible machining repeatability.

“We chose GF AgieCharmilles’ ITM because it uses optics to measure, guaranteeing more accurate measurement,” Xu said. “In our process, we work about 16 hours per day and we are always using ITM to measure and check our cutting tools.”

Hong Yang is so satisified with ITM’s results that it’s the company’s only means of tool measurement.

“We do not measure our tools on a measuring machine before we put them in the tool changer. We measure out tools directly by ITM,” Xu said. “The operation guidance is helpful because we sometimes recheck settings data with the operation guidance.”

Exceeding expectations
Stanley Lee, Milling Application Engineer with Agie Charmilles Taiwan Ltd, said enabling its partners’ ability to meet and even exceed their customers’ expectations for precision was at the heart of ITM’s development.

“Our ITM system is unique worldwide and a true leap forward for tool measurement. Tool accuracy has always been extremely important to manufacturers of complex, intricate and highly precise parts, but to a large degree accuracy was limited to the accuracy of available measuring equipment,” Lee explained. “For example, traditional measuring technologies such as the laser are prone to pollution and this can lead to inaccurate measurement results. ITM guarantees accuracy by using optical tool measurement at full spindle speed.”

Available on GF AgieCharmilles’ range of high-speed milling machines, ITM does not just measure one single point; it optically inspects the whole tool contour. Afterward, the detection the effective contour is compared to the nominal outline by ITM. Based on that, the system is able to locate pollution (chips and drops of coolant) and to digitally clean the tool before the measurement is made. The MIKRON HSM 400 LP Precision equipped with ITM provides incomparably accurate measurement of the tool’s geometry and typically offers an absolute Z-reference and tool radius below range of +/- 1 micron in the process.

“Since its introduction, the smart machine module ITM has offered many of our customers new levels of precision,” said Lee, adding that ITM was the top winner at the Prodex innovation awards in 2010.

Measuring for excellence
For the 1,200 employees of Hong Yang Precision Industry Co., Ltd, excellence comes down to the tiniest details – and GF AgieCharmilles’ ITM system continues to meet their customers’ most challenging requests.

“In the production of dies for LED, poor measurement of the tool surface means the die cannot be used because it doesn’t fit,” said Xu. “We have found that dies produced with GF AgieCharmilles technology are of highest accuracy and quality.”

In an increasingly competitive market place, high accuracy and quality are not negotiable, he said.

“GF AgieCharmilles’ Swissness means, to us, high precesion and high quality. GF AgieCharmilles is always here for us with ongoing services and application support,” Xu said.

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