The implementation of production metrology is rapidly increasing

  • Interviews
  • Nov 30,-1
The implementation of production metrology is rapidly increasing

B V Shyam, Managing Director, Blum Novotest Measuring & Testing Technology Pvt Ltd, on the company’s products and the IMTEX 2017 show.

Blum Novotest Measuring & Testing Technology Pvt Ltd is the Indian subsidiary of Blum-Novotest – a global leader in technology and innovation in measuring and testing technology. A reliable partner to the global machine tool, automotive and aerospace industries, this mid-sized, family-owned German company is a world leader in this sector with a wide range of products and systems like the LaserControl range, tool setting probes, workpiece probes, touch probes (Digilog range), roughness gauges, bore gauges, measurement software and infrared and radio receivers for its measuring systems. At IMTEX 2017, the company had a fairly large booth, with not just its various products on display, but also a couple of machines showing them in operation as well.

Blum is well known for its high precision measuring and testing devices. What is the range of products?

The products across various ranges are for applications like tool setting and measurement, breakage detection in tools, precision measurement of parts and components, contour measurement, bore measurement, measuring surface roughness, etc. The surface roughness gauges are measuring systems for machine-integrated roughness measurements. All these are designed for operation in high speed machines – machining and turning centres – in harsh operating conditions. There is a wide range of products for different applications, with the common objective of high and repeat accuracy in results and high productivity in operation.

What are the new products highlighted here in this exhibition?

We have the new Blum Laser Micro Compact NT, TC 50, Z-Nano, ZX Speed and Form Control Software installed on a vertical machining centre for live demonstration. In addition there are other new products like TC64-RG, TC 64-Digilog and bore gauge BG60 on another machine.

Amidst the changes, what are the trends in the metrology segment today?

Automation in measuring is now widely adopted in the industry as accuracy is very important. The emphasis is on reducing human intervention, which is often what causes variations in dimension measurements and reflects on product quality. Integration of metrology products is on the rise, especially with the advent of Industry 4.0. Accuracy is the key. The feedback system of Blum devices is an important feature. The no wear opto electronic principle on which the tools are based produces accurate results year after year.

Is the industry ready for such sophistication which comes at a cost? What are the Blum initiatives in this direction?

Customers are now more aware of the benefits that come from sophisticated products based on advanced technologies. At the same time we are very proactive in educating the end users of the benefits and the fast payback period by practically demonstrating it to them. We conduct a lot of training programmes, technical seminars, joint seminars and training programmes with OEMs and also with our distributors and channel partners, updating them about new technologies. We also work with the IMTMA and the machine tool builders through the programmes conducted at the IMTMA Technology Centres at Bangalore and Pune.

Typically, we at Blum actually install our systems on the customers’ machines to show them the benefits and this works most of the time. Such test installations boost their confidence and convince them of the return on investment. We are aggressive in our approach and also quite flexible in pricing. Staying in constant touch with the customers helps. The after sales support carries us forward, as we provide excellent service support. Customers look at us now as a total solutions partner in production metrology.

What has been the response to IMTEX 2017 in general and for Blum in particular?

This has turned out to be one of the best IMTEX for us with a lot of professional visitors, lot of quality questions and specific inquiries. In general, this also appears the case for the entire group of participants.

We have 90% market share in laser based tool setting systems globally and the same is true of the Indian market as well, even as this is overall a small market comparatively, but very fast growing. In probe systems, we are the fastest growing in the industry.

How is the situation on the ground in terms of demand and market conditions?

We are having positive YoY growth for the last few years and if there is a recession, we have bucked the trend. This is a very progressive market, there is appreciable growth, and we are looking forward for a very good year in 2017.


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