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ACCRETECH’s new SURFCOM NEX helps P.E.L Pintossi flexibly overcome quality challenges

Photo by ACCRETECH (Europe) GmbH

At its factory in Sarezzo (BS), P.E.L Pintossi produce a wide range of components for industry, on which it carries out a large number of processes with increasingly high quality requirements: thanks to the new SURFCOM NEX Profilometer-Roughness Gauges from ACCRETECH, profile and surface control can be carried out directly in production, just a few meters from the machine.

Founded in 1960, P.E.L Pintossi S.p.A. is a leading industrial company within the brass moulding sector, with three cutting-edge production units and a selected network of associated companies. Today, the company is able to meet the demands of customers from different sectors by producing metal alloy components printed and machined to the customer’s design: from valved and thermostatic taps, to ball safety valves and fittings for hydraulic and pneumatic systems, up to the recent development in the automotive field. “Each machined component has specific requirements in terms of dimensional requirements and surface quality: for this reason we need specific machinery such as the new SURFCOM NEX recently purchased from ACCRETECH.” says Mirko Balduchelli, Head of Metrology at P.E.L Pintossi.

The collaboration between the two companies began several years ago with procurement of the first profilometer, and then, in-line with new quality requirements of P.E.L Pintossi, the progressive addition of further instruments. To reduce the inspection time of the work-pieces produced, Balduchelli has reworked the location of measuring machines, creating several “metrological islands”, and adopting a new approach for quality control. Flexibility, precision and traceability are the main requirements for P.E.L Pintossi’s new metrology investments: the latest purchases were two new SURFCOM NEX 041 devices – which allow combined measurements of profiles and surfaces with improved performance in terms of precision, reliability and flexibility.

Ensure quality and flexibility as volumes grow

Photo by ACCRETECH (Europe) GmbH

P.E.L Pintossi evolved over the years to be able to adapt to new requirements of the market, with the demand for increasingly complex components and a shift of customers away from domestic to the international markets. Balduchelli explains: “Our competitive advantage is certainly the flexibility that allows us to efficiently produce components of different types and in different order sizes: we work with lots of 50 parts up to more than 100,000.” Today production is mainly entrusted to modern, digitally controlled transfer machines, which have progressively joined and then replaced traditional machines, which continue to be used for simpler machining. The growth of the company is visible: in recent years the size of the main plant has almost doubled, and today it houses 35 automatic transfer machines, each capable of carrying out different processes on the same part. This leads to a multiplication of complexity and control needs, as Balduchelli explains: “Our testing department now comprises seven employees who carry out hourly control cycles on each machine, with different tests based on the control cycle envisaged for that processing.” In addition to the hourly check, an initial check is also carried out to obtain approval at the beginning of the production of each order, on each individual machine involved.

To deal with this greater complexity, Balduchelli has prepared ten “metrological islands”, located in the most strategic points of the production site, according to the position of the transfer machines to be served: in this way the employee has not too far to travel with the part to be tested, whatever the type of test required. “Obviously, to manage this level of complexity and the increasing volume of controls, it is essential to have reliable, easy-to-use and flexible tools available, such as ACCRETECH’s new SURFCOM NEX 041 rugosimeters-profilometers.” Thanks also to the advanced linear drive motors, SURFCOM NEX is in fact the fastest instrument in its class, guaranteeing 1.6 x measurement cycles improvement over the previous model, while maintaining a high measurement accuracy at ±(0.8+|2H|/100) µm.

The new hybrid detectors also allow greater flexibility, adapting to different needs: depending on the need, the device can be used indifferently for profile and surface testing. “The possibility of making combined measurements of profile and surface is certainly a plus, and also allows us to have multi-purpose instruments available, allowing us to address even temporary stoppages of other measuring instruments, or situations that require, for example, a more frequent control of surface quality.”

Clear reporting and traceability of measurements

Today, quality control and verification of compliance with increasingly stringent requirements are therefore central elements for the success of the Brescia company, with minimum tolerances in the order of one thousandth of a millimetre. “We started with brass taps for industrial kitchens, but today we work on a great variety of components and parts that are much more complex, using different processes, a very high quality requirement, and ever tighter tolerances“, continues Balduchelli “Respect for tolerances today is critical: our customers often check the parts supplied with specialized machinery, and it is therefore necessary to continuously update our equipment of control tools.”

The continuous improvement of quality and production standards is a prime objective for P.E.L Pintossi: Balduchelli highlights the fact that in recent years the company has started a process of improvement to such an extent that has enabled it to additionally being competitive in the automotive sector. Every investment decision within the company must be directly endorsed by the owner and also appropriately supported by the managers of the area that who will be using the new machine. Numerous variables contribute to the decision-making process: current and prospective needs in terms of qualitative and quantitative output, ease of implementation and training, as well as, of course, the economic aspect. To cope with new needs in terms of measuring profiles and surfaces, after a careful evaluation process P.E.L Pintossi has therefore decided to contact ACCRETECH. “After careful evaluation of our needs in terms of profile measurement and roughness we chose ACCRETECH’s advanced tools, which guaranteed us the best product in terms of quality, support and price.”

Clear reporting and traceability of measurements

A further challenge that P.E.L Pintossi faces on a daily basis concerns the traceability of all measurements, which is essential not only to respond to customer requests, but also to protect itself in the event of quality concerns. “All measurements made with ACCRETECH profilometers and roughness meters are recorded in internal test reports: in some cases, especially in the automotive sector, this measurement data must also be provided to the customer“. ACCRETECH machines, such as SURFCOM NEX 041, facilitate this process, thanks to the integrated ACCTee software that offers excellent usability and a working environment that makes all measurement and analysis activities easy, ensuring clear, complete and easily readable measurement reports. Thanks to a document-based approach, all processes are available in a single result sheet where each type of information can be stored together with the measurement data. “We were very satisfied with the entire implementation and training phase, and our employees are happy with ACCRETECH tools because they combine excellent measurement quality with good ease of use, allowing measurements to be made in the shortest possible time.”

For more information, please visit https://www.accretech.eu/en.