Multi-profile surface texture analysis
Surface variability seems to plague almost every industry the deals with surface texture measurement. In many cases the variation within a given surface exceeds the entire specification range for the surface. In this situation it often becomes necessary to make multiple measurements and report average values for the surface texture parameters.
Digital Metrology Solutions has a great deal of experience in dealing with surface variability and multiple measurements. However, many of the surface texture instrument manufacturers do not have this experience and therefore do not have useful tools to aid the user in this regard.
Most surface texture measurement systems are developed around single measurements. Until now…
MultiProf: a multi-profile surface texture analysis package
MultiProf is a 32-bit Windows application that can be interfaced with a variety of surface texture measuring instruments and provides up to 4 simultaneous profile analyses. In addition, the average values for the parameters are provided in an easy-to-read format.
The MultiProf package was built with the shop floor in mind. The simple, spreadsheet-style interface allows for the intuitive selection of an individual profile and the display provides a quick visual representation of the variations between the measurements. In the “online” mode, the selection rectangle automatically increments to the next profile field when a profile measurement is completed. Once a new measurement is made in the first field (indicating a new workpiece) the results can be automatically exported and the previous data sets can be automatically cleared.
Clever packaging isn’t everything
Underneath the user interface, MultiProf provides a great deal of analytical power. For example, the new ISO 13565 filtering and parameters are included along with standard analysis methods. Furthermore, the calculated results (for the individual measurements as well as the averages) can be automatically exported to a spreadsheet for SPC or other archival purposes upon completion of a measurement cycle.
Note: This version of MultiProf incorporates analytical tools tailored for plateau honing, however the MultiProf application can easily be tailored to accommodate other parameter sets which may be better suited for other applications.
Hooking up with MultiProf
Good looks and powerful analytical capabilities may be important; however; they are not worth much if they cannot be easily integrated into a measuring system. Digital Metrology had these considerations in mind during the development of MultiProf and the result is a package which can be “hooked up” to your existing measuring system in a number of ways. MultiProf’s involvement in the measurement process can range from running independently (with no operator intervention) all the way to directly controlling the instrument. Here are some available interface approaches:
MultiProf can automatically import measured profiles from your existing instrument software – simply save the profile (in a known format and location) from your existing software and MultiProf can automatically load the file into the current measurement position.
Serial Port Access
MultiProf can accommodate serial port interfaces from several, common profile measuring instruments. In many cases, MultiProf can actually control the measurement process through the serial port – turning a measurement procedure into a simple “key press.”
Direct Hardware Access
Some (particularly older) instruments do not provide for file or serial port access to profile data. Often there is a hardware alternative to accessing this data. While this may involve special data acquisition hardware, MultiProf is completely capable of incorporating these capabilities. The end result of this interface approach is a fully upgraded measurement tool capable of providing custom, multi-profile analysis. (See the Upgrades section for more information regarding hardware upgrades to surface metrology instruments.)
Tired of manually dealing with multiple profiles?
Talk to Digital Metrology Solutions about putting MultiProf to use in your surface texture measurement application. After all, why perform a task manually that can be done automatically?