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On the right track for measurement

The Bowers Group has supplied CoMech Metrology with a range of measurement solutions for the rail industry.

Based in Derby, CoMech specialises in the calibration, design, manufacture and supply of safety critical measurement equipment primarily to the rail sector, but also to the automotive, aerospace and general engineering industries.

As part of CoMech’s calibration services for gauges used in the rail sector, the company was keen to improve its level of efficiency in order to keep up with increasing customer demand. The gauges are typically used for train maintenance, therefore decreasing the turnaround time of calibration services was a high priority, as well as important for ensuring that trains are safe, and the rail network runs efficiently.

Bowers Group provided CoMech with a Trimos V4 700 height gauge to aid in the measurement of bespoke rail gauges. This vertical measuring instrument, universally recognised for its ease of use and high-quality manufacturing has enabled CoMech to successfully speed up its measurement of rail gauges. The co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) at CoMech is in very high demand, therefore the Trimos enables quick, simple measurement that takes demand away from the CMM for simple measurements requiring high levels of accuracy.

Hannah Jones, technical development engineer at CoMech (pictured) comments: “The Trimos V4 height gauge is really simple and we use it every day. Bowers Group gave us some great training; we managed to pick it up in about an hour. It’s a simple process but can also be used for more complex measurements, and there so many useful features.”

Bowers Group also supplied CoMech with a Sylvac M3 dial gauge calibrator which is used to calibrate gauges. Suitable for testing dial gauges, plunger type and test indicators, the unit can be used in the vertical and horizontal position, providing direct status from the instrument during checking and sending measured results directly to the software.

Ms Jones explains: “The Sylvac M3 digital indicator testing stand has enabled us to reduce the calibration time of dial gauges significantly, allowing us to meet quicker turnaround times and support ongoing customer requirements. It’s working really well for us and we are very confident in its accuracy.”

Bowers Group also provided CoMech with a Baty R14 FT2-E profile projector to improve its inspection capability of train wheel profile gauges. This bench mount profile projector features a 340mm screen and combines high accuracy non-contact measurement and inspection with a large 175mm x 100mm measuring range.

Ms Jones adds: “The Baty R14 projector is efficient, clear and easy to use. Not only does it enable us to carry out more measurements – the Fusion software means that overlays are no longer needed, which is a massive time saver.”

The horizontal light path configuration means that CoMech can secure the wheel profile gauges to the workstage and measure their consistency and accuracy. The profile projector also enables CoMech to free up the CMM, therefore carrying out more measurements.

CoMech also uses the Baty Fusion software which combines ease of use, advanced edge detection and graphical reporting. Particularly useful is the profile scanning capability which automatically traces the profile of a part. The resulting data-point cloud can then be compared to a pre-toleranced DXF master for best fit analysis. Reports are then generated automatically, and can even be duplicated as an Excel workbook for email.

CoMech’s extensive knowledge of the rail industry is a result of many years’ working with some of the world’s leading brands. The company has a fully equipped, specialist laboratory with on-site inspection equipment suitable for large volumes of production components.

Its research and development laboratories house a wide range of inspection equipment and provide a variety of services including calibration of measuring equipment, and repair and re-engineering services in addition to the design and manufacture of rail gauges.

The company regularly receives instruments requiring calibration services from customers, including bespoke rail gauges, dial gauges, micrometres and callipers.