Wednesday, March 15, 2017

One gear to rule them all


Good news, everyone: gear inspection just got easier! This has to do with the implementation of the Gear Data Exchange format, and you don’t need your GED to use GDE. The GDE format has been developed since 2003 and is described most recently in the relatively short VDI/VDE 2610 standard.

The purpose of GDE is to have a universal format that describes all geometric parameters for cylindrical gears which can then be easily transferred between design, manufacturing, and quality departments. The format is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) Version 1.0 which is easily able to be implemented to already existing database applications. In a sense, it can be thought of being the DMIS for gears.

Imagine a recipe where, across the world, anyone can decipher what the meal is supposed to look like at the end no matter if you grow the food, package the food, or cook the food. This same advantage will make it possible for gear data to be easily transferred and interpreted faster and with less mistakes no matter what software, machine, or controller you’re using. This is because GDE eliminates errors and unnecessary delays such as entering data manually incorrectly from a part print whose resolution is low from the way it was sent electronically.

Now, GDE has come to your favorite software: TGear! TGear is not only able to read in .xml files but it can also output your programs into .xml files as well. The .xml files themselves are so well structured and organized with ASCII text that even novice users can identify mistakes easily.

To give you an idea of the simplicity of a GDE file, the main sections are “Identification”, “Geometry”, and “Inspection”. These sections are, of course, broken down into further subsections as needed in order to completely describe all pertinent gear parameters. Further information can be input in a “User” section as well if necessary. VDI regularly updates “complete” structure files (.dtd) files which you can think of as empty GDE files that can be used as the basis to create your own GDE files as you see fit to describe your gear. You can download the latest files here and you can open  them in the simplest of text editors like ‘Notepad’.


If you would like more information about GDE, a sample file, and to see how it is implemented in our gear software, please don’t hesitate to contact me at mmarks@wenzelamerica.com or check out our website here. Happy measuring!

Mariano Marks



Monday, March 13, 2017

What’s New Pussycat? Whoa, Whoa Whoa!


Every year the Wenzel sales staff from around the world descend on Wiesthal, Germany for a week of training and product introductions. With 2016 being my first time to the sale conference and I was floored by the new technologies I was introduced too. 

What technologies you may ask? Well, it’s top secret, but it will be released at the 31st annual Control Show this May 9-12 in Stuttgart. Wenzel will be in hall 5 at booth 5102 and we hope to see you there!  What I can give you now is a review of our current offerings and what they are best used for so you can appreciate the changes when they come. 




LH Generation CMM

The LH CMM is Wenzel’s flagship CMM hand builtd in Germany. It has high accuracy, smooth drives and thick granite. This system is perfect for scanning or measuring precision parts large or small. The LH has the widest range of sizes from a shop floor 5.6.4 to a very large 15.60.12. It also has the most options when it comes to probing. An SP80 or PH10M with an SP25 are great options although but the REVO is its specialty. 






CORE

CORE is an optical CMM system with 5 or 6 axes that is typically 5 times faster than a tactile measuring machine. The CORE is ideal for turbine blade inspection, medical implant measurement, or any other parts with polished surfaces and sharp edges. This machine is shop-hardened and has a small footprint. 

The CORE machine can measure blades and other parts from 1” to 80” tall and, unlike other non-contact systems, it can be calibrated to ISO 10360 just like a CMM. The CORE uses a high intensity spot of light to measure parts instead of a traditional tactile probe.  It is very fast, accurate, repeatable, and reliable.




XO CMM

The XO CMM gives customers a lower cost option to the LH CMM that features the accuracy and quality that customers have come to expect from Wenzel. These CMM’s have granite bearing ways and work best with a PH20 or PH10. Choose an XO to measure machined components, stampings or tooling with the precision of a 2.5micron system. 





exaCT Computed Tomography System



The exaCT Computed Tomography machine uses x-rays to produce three-dimensional representations of the scanned object both externally and internally. This opens a whole new world of metrology including assemblies, porosity, internal dimensions, and non-destructive testing. 

It is important to note that the exaCT is more than a lab device. It is a metrology grade device manufactured by a metrology company. This means the software is easy to use, provides powerful dimensioning tools, and correlates with your CMM. Did I mention they fit on a desk?

What do I like?
What I like is simple… Everything! I know it sounds cheesy but I am proud of the equipment I represent and I am excited for the future of our product lines. Do you make basic parts or are you on a budget? Then choose (or “go for”) an XO. If you make defense/aerospace parts, a LH is perfect. If your turbine blades and blisks need quick measurements, then the CORE is the solution! Do you want the fastest and most robust CMM in the world? The LH with a 500mm/sec scanning REVO head is the answer. No matter what your measurement task, chances are we have a solution. You just need to ask.


If you would like more information regarding Wenzel, please call 248-295-4300 and ask for a sales person. You will be directed to your personal representative. 

Scott Romain
Regional Sales Manager Midwest

Are We There Yet?

Development. A concept crucial to the success of individuals and companies alike. Personal development is something we should all be striving for as we go through life. 

Schooling, training, job opportunities, travel, the list goes on and on. As a company that is committed to the future, Wenzel has teams all over the globe whose sole purpose is cutting edge product development. 

As you may know by now, we have recently released new versions for both of our Metrology software, OpenDMIS 6.5 and Quartis R15. 

Both these releases have added important new functionality, and robustness to the previously available products. One of the crucial benefits to you, the customer, when considering a company like Wenzel - is our ability and willingness to listen to customer feedback and apply it to our software. 

One example of our short development chain involves a customer who had experienced a problem scanning parts with a PH-6 (which isn’t typically used in scanning applications) due to limited software function and support for that specific probe type. 

With a few emails to the development team, we were able to ensure that full PH-6 support was included in the next software release - only taking a few short months to complete. 

Occasionally we are able to provide patch updates (depending on software and issue) even quicker. This kind of ability to affect change for our customers is generally unheard of in the industry. 

The development cycle, while unique to each software, has been designed with the customer and their requirements in mind. So what are some of the improvements?

An update for both software is the increased support and compatibility for very large CAD files using an optional 64 bit version of the software. 


The Quartis R15 CAD Interface has also been updated to support:

- Inventor (V11 to 2017) 
- Parasolid (10 to 29)
- Solid Edge (18 to ST9)
- SolidWorks (2003 to 2016) - 2015 and higher only available in Metrosoft QUARTIS (64-Bit)

The update to Quartis R15 has added support for peripherals  such as  the FARO arm, a CNC rotary table, and the Renishaw PH10-iQ, as well as a unified ribbon interface for the construction of elements - even giving a live preview in the graphics area. 

For the exhaustive  list of updates to R15, visit - https://www.metromec.ch/en/metrosoft-quartis/improvements.html

OpenDMIS 6.5 has added some enhancements such as  Point Cloud Inspection (written about here by Patrick L. goo.gl/8bUuMK) additional support for Dual Arm machines, many productivity enhancements (DRF tolerancing, Euler angles, feature/datuming tools, and debugging tools) and the capability for Group Point Measurement.

Group Point Measurement, is a unique function that allows for a more efficient communication between the Software and Controller. Points can be processed in large batches, rather than individually, which can dramatically decrease cycle time. 

Group Point Measurement can be applied  to 2 or more points, can be used with 5-axis measurement on REVO, or PH20 and supports all program search functions. For more  information, or a copy of the  OpenDMIS 6.5 release notes. 


Go to http://wenzelamerica.com/questions to “Ask a Question” or contact us directly.

Stuart Nichols
Applications Manager
SNichols@WenzelAmerica.com

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Revolution will be ...

The future is on my mind. In my past life, it never seemed to be *that* worth focusing on or planning for. Working in Aerospace, our tagline was “it’s late 80’s tech”, while in the quality dept of a machine shop, there was only concern for the parts in front of us, and even in my personal life “it’ll work out” or “whatever happens, happens” were often the prevalent thoughts. 

All changed when I joined Wenzel America last September. Suddenly, “the Future” was driven to the forefront of my mind by working with cutting edge technology, and passionate people. 

The Future is demanding much more attention - technology, training development, relationships, culture…. and even industry. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - The future of Industry or Industry 4.0 has been an unforeseen theme for me over the last 6 months and today, Wenzel America exhibited some of our own technologies at the Automation Alley “Technology Outlook” event at the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

Surrounded by beautiful artwork, some of it centuries old, “the Future” (and how it affects them) was on everyone’s mind. 

The event featured a great networking session, and ended with a Technology Industry Report and an open panel discussion on Industry 4.0 with companies at the forefront of the revolution. 

The benefits of using ‘Big Data’, supply chain streamlining, circular economy effects, and (somewhat surprisingly) the immense struggle to find enough qualified people to fill the employment need, were all things that were discussed at length. “But why should I care about all of this” asked one of the students in attendance, which prompted the room to laughter. I don’t think the student saw the irony in the question…. 



At lunch, Drew (Current President of Wenzel America) asked the familiar question “Why do we walk out of our social life, into our work life…. And leave the technology behind?”. Once again, I didn’t have an answer. We live in a social environment that is overwhelmingly interconnected. Information crosses multiple websites for marketing, Facebook listens to conversations, apps left and right are communicating and sharing to grow your “network” and improve your connections. 

Data matters when WE are the product, shouldn’t it matter when we manufacture products too? What if your oven told you when the element is close to burning out? Or your CNC Mill knew that the machine tools needed to be replaced? Or your CMM not only told you that your drive belts need replacing…. But actually ordered them for you? That’s the Revolution. 

The Wenzel Group is fully committed to an Industry 4.0 future and bringing new and innovative metrology solutions to support the manufacturing world. For our part here at Wenzel America, we will continue our dedication to providing flexible and innovative metrology solutions and assisting (or facilitating) the implementation of automation and other Industry 4.0 needs. 


We are also striving to grow awareness and exposure of manufacturing, here in Southeast Michigan, and across the USA through several different projects, and involvement with organizations such as Automation Alley.

The launch of our Instagram/Blog customer feature, offers a window into the huge breadth and great capabilities of manufacturers here in America, and offers a chance for their story to be told and shared with people who otherwise may not even be aware they exist. 

Manufacturing Day 2016 provided us an opportunity to inspire the next generation of workers, and demonstrate an industry that many of them didn’t even know existed! It was a great event, and we will be looking forward to providing similar opportunities throughout 2017.

For the customer feature visit: www.instagram.com/wenzelamerica 
and look for our quarterly blog posts.

To be featured contact SNichols@wenzelamerica.com

Click on the link for our MFGDay16 review. 


I’m excited about our future, and I hope you are too.

Stuart Nichols
Applications Manager 


For those of you that may not have heard about Industry 4.0 here’s an excerpt from Automation Alley’s Tom Kelly.
“Industry 4.0 is the marriage of the physical world and the digital world. It’s a concept that got its start in Germany, and it’s now becoming part of the manufacturing conversation around the world, but so far it’s been slow to catch on in the U.S. In this new era of making things, sensors at every step of the manufacturing process provide manufacturers with real-world data. This can be used to create models and run simulations in the digital world, allowing for continuous improvement, significant cost savings and a myriad of other benefits. In an Industry 4.0 factory, or “smart factory,” machines, devices, sensors and people are all interconnected and can communicate with each other. Digital systems work both autonomously and in collaboration with humans.” 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Do you want us?


Trade shows can be tough for all involved. The visitors are bombarded with sales offers and pressured from all sides for their contact information. On the other hand, the sales people presenting at the show are asked to stand for days and overloaded by management to “close those show goers”. With the show season beginning Wenzel America will be involved in eight trade shows this year. Let take a deeper look into the shows and see if any spark your interest!


March 2017 the Wenzel staff will be at two trade shows:

The first will be TECMA. TECMA is hosted in Mexico City Mexico from March 7th– 10th. TECMA will have more than 200 companies representing more than 800 brands focusing on the industrial sector. Steve Cormier and Jorge Borbolla will be at Renishaw Booth number 1024 and will represent a Wenzel LH 10.12.8 CMM with Renishaw probing. For more information please visit: http://tecma.org.mx/home-eng/

The second show in March will be AMUG in Chicago Illinois from March 19th to the 23rd. AMUG stands for Additive Manufacturing Users Group. This show specializes in the advancement of additive manufacturing technology. AMUG
provides in-depth education and training sessions by AM industry experts and OEM representatives.  

Individuals from all over the world attend the annual AMUG Conference to exchange ideas, learn new tips and tricks, and ask questions to other additive manufacturing users. For more information on the show please visit: http://www.additivemanufacturingusersgroup.com/. At this show you can visit Giles Gaskell and Bryn Edwards as they display Wenzel’s exaCT XS system and Giles Gaskell will speak on CT technology during the show presentation. 


 Starting in May Wenzel staff will present at two different shows.

The first show we would like to see you at is RAPID from May 8th through the 11th. Giles Gaskell and Scott Romain will present the Wenzel exaCT XS system live and provide information on the full line of Wenzel technologies. 

Rapid provide a platform for discovery, innovation, and networking in 3D manufacturing. At this show you can attend a variety of workshops covering concepts that will open your eyes to new manufacturing possibilities and advance your understanding of 3D printing, scanning, and additive manufacturing. 

Take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of additive manufacturing, 3D scanning, and medical 3D printing. For more information please visit: http://www.rapid3devent.com/

The last show of the spring and second of May will be the EASTEC show. Steve Cormier
and Jonah DeLongchamp will present at booth 3223 the Wenzel CORE D and a XO CMM with a PH20. Come see the CORE D measure turbine blades using a spot of light as the CMM probe. 

EASTEC is New England’s premier manufacturing exposition, it will host more than 500 exhibitors and provide complimentary conference sessions, industry keynotes and much more. For more information please visit: http://easteconline.com/

This fall Wenzel will provide information on products and services at CMTS, The Quality show, The GEAR Show and the MD&M show. We will cover these shows in detail this summer. 

We all know these shows are necessary for our family of manufacturers, quality and service companies to collaborate on the future of the industry. Let’s keep working together and stay positive as the show year 2017 is just beginning!


If you would like more information regarding the shows, please call 248-295-4300 and ask for Scott Romain or email me at sromain@wenzelamerica.com


Monday, January 30, 2017

Are you my Mentor?

I was lucky to have had a few mentors I my life. I firmly believe I would not be in a position to be writing this without these special individuals guiding my life. Whether you are like me and come from humble beginnings or started with millions of dollars you probably had a special person or two that really made a difference in your life.

So, what is a mentor? A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser.  When I read this definition, I could not shake the question; Could a company be a mentor? I think so. In my short time at Wenzel I have witnessed many activities that fall under the experienced and trusted adviser banner. We have helped many first time CMM buyers find the right product even when it was not a Wenzel CMM. We have hosted students to teach them not about Wenzel but about professionalism, industry skills and self-confidence. We pride ourselves in advising customers with truthful information.

CydW5u0XgAE8c-p.jpg

As a sales guy, I have the privilege of traveling… a lot. In my travels the common thread is the company I am visiting has a hard time finding talent. I would love to praise Wenzel for our mentorlike behavior but without your help our industry is in trouble. We all need great people to fill open positions so let’s put in a little work together and solve this! When you go back to work ask yourself; Is my company an experienced and trusted adviser to new hires or students in the field? If not now is the time to become part of the solution.

Small steps the make a big difference. Present industry information to high school students. You may only help one kid but look at it as planting the seeds of greatness in somebody. Reach out to your local community. It is great advertising and you have a chance to meet possible employees that would be missed otherwise. Partner with other companies to start/help trade programs. As a company, you can’t bring it all but collecting a few helpers (even competitors) can round out the message and offer more opportunity for all involved.

I ask that anybody reading this please share a mentorship experience in the comments so we can compile them and showcase the importance! If you would like to join Wenzel in a consortium to improve the workforce, please email Scott Romain at sromain@wenzelamerica.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Birth of a Salesman


As I adjust to my new position at Wenzel America as a Product Specialist in Gear Metrology, I’ve been exposed to many roles that fall upon me,one of them being Sales.


etrade-baby-then-and-now-1.jpgI’ve done much training in the past of how a product works, how its software functions, and navigating through equations in order to churn variables into numbers on a printout.

However, it is a different dance when a customer wonders whether your tools are the best, or rather, if it fits their needs just right.

If I’m honest, my naive self has subscribed to the evil stigma that salesmen are vicious creatures that just want to rope a customer into a product at any cost. The truth is that a salesman really should need and want to provide a solution for the customer.

There are various ways to go about this, and all require their own finesse….

salesconference.jpg
A salesman might opt to know as much about the product or service they’re selling in order to fire off the right information to an operator who might end up running the machine. This makes the salesman as relatable as possible to the customer. 

Another method of selling is to let the customer know that we might not have all of the answers for him, but we’ll be able to find the right person for them who does. Finally, a tactic that gives the personal touch is by saying that we aren’t like “the other guys.” This shows that the company as a whole has something else to offer that is unique. Regardless of which persona you might prefer, a salesman should know how to present a product, and this requires some technical knowledge.

This is where I believe the customer will appreciate me. I love understanding how a product works and what it can do for me. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate to a good solution for the customer since I can be seen as more of a reference book that has the answers instead of a tailor that will suit your needs. A salesman should know just enough to be able to relate to the customer without boring them or scaring them off with technical jargon.

Again, this might require some intrinsic need to understand the product, some genuine charisma, and maybe a bit of luck, since it takes ten times more effort to gain a customer than to retain one.
wgt specs.PNG

Nevertheless, how did I start “training” fellow salesmen into delivering knowledge about Wenzel’s gear inspection machines? Mainly with easy bullet points to remember. The main aspects to highlight for our gear inspection machines, for example, is far more important than all of the technical details which can be easily reference in one of our brochures.

When it comes to technical terms, a simple mnemonic device, or memory association, can assist in remembering many little details. For example, as soon as one colleague saw a picture of a drive shaft, he remembered it as a dumbbell. 

IMG_0184.jpegThe funny thing is that engineers already have a nickname for these parts, although it is ‘dog bone.’ This reminded me of my 7th grade language arts teacher, Ms. Dalton, who, when first starting the Harry Potter series, referred to the character Hermione as simply ‘H’ because of the complexity of her name. Simple tricks like these in a salesman’s toolbox can aid in their credibility and expertise when providing a solution for a customer.

In that regard, simplifying the abilities of something like a gear inspection machine such as which probe thread size can be used or which models have a movable tailstock to a salesperson is just what customers will be looking for.

By the same token, the Sales team here at Wenzel America has been very knowledgeable explaining to me how I should approach a customer, e.g. if they already own one a Wenzel machine or what type of demo I would need to prepare for a customer. They’ve taught me the importance of how to communicate with who exactly I’ll be speaking with or teaching. 

This is a much different skillset than explaining software and numbers, which rarely change; people’s receptiveness, on the other hand, varies greatly. This will ensure that customers receive the best service from us no matter who they are interacting with.

maxresdefault.jpgEven though each have their own strengths, there is little argument for how effective a duo it is when both salesman and technical engineer assist with customer relations. Communications between all parties benefits all, as it should in many parts of the manufacturing process.

Just because I’ve moved from one country to another doesn’t mean that I have both my feet in one culture. In the same regard, customers now know that Wenzel’s team is a diverse, yet customer-centric one.

If you’d like to get in contact with one of our experienced salesmen, please do so at sales@wenzelamerica.com. If you have any other tips or anecdotes about how you’ve related to customers or salesmen, leave a comment below. We always like to hear your points of view!

salesman-shaking-hands.jpg
“I’m usually the guy without a suit”

Mariano Marks
Product Specialist – Gear Metrology
ASME GD&T Technologist Certified