Carbide Component Manufacturer Improves Part Inspection with ShapeGrabber

Background:

Around the globe, Casmet sintered tungsten carbide components are hard at work in industries that include oil and gas, mining, water well and geothermal drilling, forestry, agriculture, and precision manufacturing. As a reliable source of precision-manufactured, high quality tungsten carbide components, Casmet Supply has a reputation for helping manufacturers meet or exceed their customers’ demands for dependable, high-performance products.

Producing complex-shaped products – such as drill bits, saw tips, burr blanks, and punch dies – in a variety of sizes, Casmet sought out an automated 3D scanner that could inspect and measure its products quickly and accurately.

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Situation:

“We wanted a scanner that would help us check our shipments,” recalls Adam Graham, General Manager of Casmet Supply. “We produce a lot of different shapes, such as conical shapes with dome tops or chisel points, that can’t be accurately measured by hand. We also make custom-engineered carbide components that need to be extremely precise.”

Carbide is a challenging compound to work with, which adds to the challenge of producing consistent parts.

“The carbide itself needs to be mixed with a binder, pressed, sintered and then ground to make these complex shapes,” adds Graham. “The pressed shape then shrinks about 20% when it’s put in the sintering furnace, so we need to carefully measure the final product to ensure that it meets the customer’s exact specifications.”

Although the company had used standard, manual measuring equipment such as calipers for years, it was very interested in obtaining an in-house industrial scanner. “Steve Martin, the owner of our company, is very forward-thinking and wanted us to investigate 3D scanners to learn how they could help us to further improve our processes,” says Graham.

Solution:

To measure its small, complex components, Casmet purchased a ShapeGrabber ai310 3D scanner, which is ideal for small to medium, complex-shaped parts where speed, complete coverage and ease-of-use are important.

Today, thanks to the ShapeGrabber scanner, Casmet can quickly ensure that its parts meet all specifications. The ai310 captures millions of data points from even the most complex-shaped part in minutes, and the resulting point cloud can be quickly compared directly to a 3D CAD model or to a known good part.

“The level of automation is excellent,” says Graham. “We check all production parts and now have a digital record for any issues that might arise with customers,” says Graham. “We can now easily check – and double check – our dies, and perform first article inspection to ensure that everything meets specifications.”

Casmet has also been impressed by the support and assistance provided by ShapeGrabber. “In the past, we’ve bought equipment that required us to do all of the assembly and learning without any assistance from the vendor,” notes Graham. “That wasn’t the case with ShapeGrabber, and they’ve really helped us get the most out of the scanner.”

Casmet Supply Ltd. operates out of Penticton, British Columbia, and is a reliable source of precision manufactured, high quality tungsten carbide components. Casmet offers a full range of carbide grades and grain sizes in both Cobalt and Nickel binders, and can deliver carbide products in as-sintered or precision-ground form. www.casmetcarbide.com