Muffett ‘gearing-up’ for Precision
Muffett Gears can trace it origins back over 100 years. Remaining in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the town it was established in, the business has grown into what is now a world-class manufacturer of precision gears and related components. The company is now based in a 3,500 square meter, high-tech production facility that, due to a policy of continued investment, is equipped with a range of state-of-the-art CNC turning, grinding, milling and specialist gear cutting machine tools.
In addition to continuingly updating its advanced manufacturing plant, given the demanding nature of the business’ large domestic and overseas customer base, the management of Muffett Gears makes regular investments in cutting-edge quality control equipment. The company’s most recent addition to its quality department is an advanced Crysta-Apex S9106 CNC Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) purchased from Mitutoyo UK.
Explaining forthcoming company changes and the reasons for the recent CMM purchase, Muffett Gears Director, Mark Jagelman said. “Our business continues to grow and to develop new markets and we now supply customers, not only with precision gears and gearboxes, but also with a much wider range of engineering services, including electro/mechanical assemblies. As a result of our continuing company development, to more accurately reflect our much expanded range of activities, in 2021 we will change our trading name to Muffett Engineering Solutions.
“We hold a range of globally recognised accreditations and we administer a comprehensive quality management system. Our skilled staff adhere to the specified levels of precision demanded by our customers and follow all stipulated procedures. As we increasingly manufacture for export, we can also adapt our precision gear engineering to meet international standards.
“The production of precision gears and associated components requires exceptional levels of precision to be applied and the most exacting quality standards to be observed throughout all stages of production and assembly. To ensure that we abide by the highest quality standards our staff perform exhaustive in-process checks, then prior to dispatch, thorough final inspection routines are undertaken. Many of these inspection routines are performed on a CMM, although, we recently decided to replace our existing CMM for a range of reasons. For instance, the machine needed an upgrade that was due to cost approximately £50,000. In addition, we thought that our old CMM’s running costs, including training, services and calibration were becoming exorbitant”.
Mark Jagelman continued. “After investigating various CMM brands and models, a successful demonstration of a Crysta-Apex S9106 CNC CMM at Mitutoyo UK’s showroom convinced us that this high-specification machine was ideal for our needs. In addition to providing the levels of precision that we were looking for it also had the speed of operation that could keep-pace with the high volumes of work passing through our busy quality control department. It also helped that the Crysta-Apex S9106 has a X,Y,Z measuring volume of 900mm, 1000mm, 600mm, ideal for the size of components and assemblies that we manufacture. In addition to measuring large, one-off parts, because of the CMMs generous capacity, it is also able to inspect multiple smaller components in automated CNC, mass-measurement routines.
“When making key equipment purchases, in addition to studying the features of the equipment we are considering, we always take into account the levels of after-sales support provided by each potential vendor. Therefore, it helped our decision that, in addition to extolling the virtues of the company’s own Mitutoyo CMM, a major customer of ours, spoke highly of the services provided by Mitutoyo.
“Our customer’s endorsement has proven correct; we enjoyed a trouble-free CMM installation and our quality control personnel have received fist-class training from Mitutoyo UK. Mitutoyo’s staff also generated a number of part programs that enable our new CMM to be put into immediate use. As our Mitutoyo CMM has proven so easy to use, our staff soon became proficient in its use, although, on the rare occasion they need help, Mitutoyo’s telephone technical support staff are always on-hand to provide a quick solution.
“Our new Mitutoyo CMM’s ability to accurately and rapidly inspect a large batch of components has further improved our quality control department’s efficiency levels. Our inspection staff are now able to load the CMMs bed with multiple components, quickly recall the relevant part program and instigate a fully automated inspection procedure. On completion, a detailed inspection report related to each component can then be generated.
“In addition to the Crysta-Apex S9106 CMM accuracy specification making a significant contribution towards guaranteeing the continued quality of Muffett Gears output, its speed of operation is now ensuring the efficient throughput of work in our quality department. The speed of operation of our new CMM will become ever more important. As, in the run-up to Brexit we have already benefited from business’ reshoring their work and we expect to soon receive further contracts to undertake work that was previously undertaken overseas.”
The advanced CRYSTA-Apex S9160 CNC CMM, as purchased by Muffett Gears, was designed and constructed using Mitutoyo’s unmatched experience in CNC CMM technology. Featuring lightweight materials, the high-accuracy machine benefits from a cutting-edge machine structure that delivers a range of advantages, including outstanding motion stability and impressive levels of precision, in addition to rapid acceleration and speed of operation. Besides being ideal for use in temperature controlled inspection departments, the CMM’s innovative temperature correction function allows it to perform accurate measuring routines in less than perfect situation, such as within production environments. As well as point-to-point measurement, Crysta-Apex S series CMMs are able to perform both contact and non-contact scanning functions.
CRYSTA-Apex S CNC CMMs use MCOSMOS, a feature rich, easy to use analysis software that interprets measurement results in the timely manner so essential for keeping up with today’s fast-paced production.