Nikon Metrology / Applications / Medical / Surface Examination

Automotive Manufacturing

Surface Examination

When it comes to surface engineering, competition in the automotive industry is high. From the initial design of components to full-scale manufacturing and inspection, rigorous standards must be kept for the consistent, high quality production of all machined parts. International pressures for more economical and fuel efficient designs have also furthered the need for low-wear and better fitting components that can help to improve performance and reduce the overall environmental impact of every vehicle. Adhering to such high standards of production not only increases the longevity of components, it protects the reputation of the manufacturer that builds them.

To verify the alignment, surface quality, dimensional profile and functional qualities of machined parts, automotive manufacturers must rely on a wide variety of microscopy techniques. These can include such fundamentals as stereomicroscopy and the use of inverted microscopes to more complex analytical instruments such video measuring systems, dedicated metrology microscopes and polarized light microscopy. These can each be employed to assess the key functional parameters of components including:

• camshaft and crankshafts bearings,
• fuel injectors and injection nozzles,
• plastic mouldings,
• cylinder surfaces,
• brake disks,
• transmission components,
• pistons, pins and rings, and
• connecting rods

Ensuring the accurate manufacture of parts can extend their operational lifetime and allow for more economical, production-oriented manufacture, which, in the end, can improve quality while raising bottom lines.

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