Metrology technology

Online Editor

Jayden Allen explains how the oil & gas sector can reap the benefits of the latest metrology solutions.

Metrology is an ever-expanding field, with progress being made all the time, from game-changing technological advances to new software developments and updates. It can be challenging to keep up with technical progress and it pays to seek some expert advice before investing in new metrology solutions.

A well-known authority in the sector is the UK-headquartered Manchester Metrology. The business continually invests in the latest innovative hardware to ensure it can offer the customer the best that is on the market. Within the oil and gas industry, the company supports projects from manufacturing to installation. Its equipment and engineers have supported manufactures to achieve design intent on products, which then reduces timescales for assembly.

The company conducts full 3D scans of working areas to give the customer the ability to obtain dimensions and to plan where they can add additional assemblies. Customers can add their designed product to the CAD model to ensure it will fit into already busy areas (a particular challenge at offshore sites).

Manchester Metrology provides on- and off-site inspection, scanning and measurement services, as well as in-depth training for software such as CAM2 & Polyworks. Its extensive stock also allows the firm to hire out metrology equipment such as portable co-ordinate measurement machines (CMMs), laser trackers, 3D scanners and laptops with metrology software installed and ready to go. This allows the company to answer any metrology need a customer may have.

What’s new in metrology?

The company recently invested more than £600,000 in the latest metrology technology to keep it one step ahead of the competition. New purchases include a CMM with incredible accuracy; it is able to scan parts with a minuscule +/-0.003-0.005mm margin of error.

CMMs offer the ultimate solution for components that require the highest accuracy. Manchester Metrology has a range of bridge CMMs (small, medium and large), all of which can run both PC-DMIS and PolyWorks software. The flexibility of size and software allows the company to use each machine for its individual strengths. With a maximum part volume of 2.5m x 2m x 1m, it can accommodate a wide variety of parts. All machines can be programmed online or offline and can run one off or multi-piece inspections. With the use of CAD models, complex geometries and shapes can be compared to their nominal position or surface. Once programmed, the CMM offers automated inspection with little input needed from the operator. Inspection programs can also be optimised to ensure the quickest and most efficient run times. The firm’s CMM has been tasked with scanning the features of gas tank liner kits for customers in the oil and gas industry. Its CMM engineer was able to run a program for a single gas tank liner and repeat it for the rest – the high accuracy of the CMM was able to detect the smallest metrical difference between the kits.

As well as stocking innovative technology and providing efficient service, the company is also an official reseller of the Peel 3 3D scanner. This is a professional-grade 3D scanner for an incredibly low price – making it a popular choice for engineering applications. Weighing less than 1kg, the Peel 3 is capable of scanning structures with incredible accuracy and displaying them on a computer using CAD. Manchester Metrology sells and hire the Peel 3 alongside several other pieces of equipment. One of its Peel scanners was recently used to scan a boiler and its pipework to assist with an installation, which generated some highly positive customer feedback.

Jayden Allen is with Manchester Metrology.

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