The company Alutec, a member of the international group Aluthea (www.aluthea.com), is specialised in the foundry of light alloys. Its main area of activity is related to electrical material. Alutec also works directly with the most important European car manufacturers and their subcontractors. Approximately 80 people each year convert 1000 tonnes of aluminium alloy and manufacture 400 moulded models. The manufacturing run lie somewhere between 100 parts a year and 1000 parts a day.
The manufacturing process of an aluminium foundry is broken down into 3 very simple stages: the material must be smelted, poured manually with the help of a sampling ladle or a robot into a metallic mould and then stripped from the mould after solidification. The result is a die casted part. Heat treatment enables improving the mechanical features of alloys by means of modifying the metallurgic structure.
Guaranteeing the alloy’s quality and facilitating management in addition to the best working conditions are the leitmotifs of Alutrec. It is therefore not surprising to discover a spectrometer for regular monitoring of the chemical composition of alloys or even a machine park comprised solely of electrical furnaces that ensure metallurgic quality and working conditions. Managing all manufacture stages internally such as machining and painting is as essential as customer service.
To better meet the demands of prime contractors, Alutec has had an engineering and design structure for several years. Engineers, together with the customer, design the products and all the necessary tools (mould, trim die) which are useful for their industrialisation. Alutec also performs computer-simulated loading to ensure the quality of the parts produced.
The methods department performs the initial smelts that enables industrialisation of the tools. Verifying compliance with the computerised file and plan enables technical verification of the part to be manufactured. A TESA measuring column has been used in the past for the initial measurements. However, Alutec has for some time now wanted to invest in a tool that guarantees the result in addition to increased productivity for this kind of measurement. Even if the column was very useful and simple to use, it did not meet the company’s new requirements and customer restrictions. The manager recalled the performance of a measuring arm having attended a ROMER
demonstration more than ten years earlier. It was this measuring arm that therefore prevailed when the company had to choose between repairing the old column or looking for another solution.
Alutec got in touch with two companies via their website about its purchase. The first commercial representative knew their product specifications perfectly but was neither able to give us a demonstration on our own products nor convince us… The Hexagon Metrology representative listened to us first before proposing and showing us the product really adapted to our requirements, that is, a ROMER Multi Gage. Its quality-price ratio, ergonomy as well as its flexibility and automatic recognition of its sensors won us over. Some of our suppliers also use ROMER arms, recalls Mr. François Forrat, Alutec Technical Manager.
The ROMER Multi Gage today enables monitoring compliance 10 to 20 minutes after casting. Importing the CAD (computer-assisted design) file saves a lot of monitoring time. Four people have been trained on the ROMER Multi Gage to enable flexible use. The tool is intuitive and simple to use. The simple set up and usability of Multi Gage make it the ideal tool for our engineering and design department where nobody has any pressure metrology training, confirmed Mr. Forrat, who also pointed out that the arm opens up new possibilities and can have other applications in our society. Having a portable tool will enable subsequently integrating this into machining or the acceptance test. Having a tool that can evolve is a sizeable advantage.