Looking for speed and accuracy for its unique processes, an automotive supplier incorporates a surface finish probe in a CMM to obtain dimensions and surface testing in a single operation.
“In the remanufacturing business, you can take apart a transmission, clean it, replace all the soft parts and get it back to the customer when they need a new part,” said Gary Noel, chief operating officer and member of the board at Dynamic Manufacturing, a premier supplier of world-class OEM new and remanufactured drivetrain components for the automotive industry. “The real creativity comes from developing unique processes that can repurpose that experienced part so that it performs as good as new.”
Headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park, IL, Dynamic Manufacturing is a TS 16949, ISO 14001 and WBENC-certified woman-owned and -operated business with operations covering engineering, machining, assembly and dynamometer testing.
Founded in 1951 by John Partipilo, who started his automotive career as a service mechanic at a car dealership, Dynamic Manufacturing originally focused on the repair of transmissions and, later, torque converters. In 1985, the company was selected as the primary torque converter remanufacturer for a major automotive OEM.
Steady growth through expertise
“We originally started rebuilding transmissions and remanufacturing torque converters, and now we’ve expanded into machining new OEM components,” said Nancy Partipilo, president and CEO of Dynamic Manufacturing, and John Partipilo’s daughter. “We’ve grown over the years to a company with 700 employees.”
Noel said transmissions have become so complex that it’s difficult for the average cardealer to keep up with the technology changes. “If the dealer misdiagnoses something, the customer is going to be without their vehicle for a longer time,” he said. “As a result, select remanufacturers, including Dynamic Manufacturing, became centers of expertise for transmission remanufacturing to remanufacture using the latest please-ability and durability improvements and with unique processing capabilities to make damaged or worn parts as good as new.”
To address difficulties with cost, quality and consistency, the company began aggressively purchasing five- and nine-axis equipment to do more work in house. “Our OEM customers are more comfortable with Dynamic Manufacturing producing the required components in house,” Noel said. “They are confident in the quality, and it’s faster and more convenient for them to be able to visit our facility to inspect and test products.”
Meeting consistency and quality constraints head-on
“One of our OEM new parts is a front-wheel drive transmission differential. It’s a very complex part with a lot of unique machining operations involved in making the part,” Noel said. “OEM customers are very discriminating, so we have to do a lot of gaging to ensure the part meets every specification perfectly.”
“Dynamic Manufacturing was interested in speed, accuracy and cost. The small price to incorporate surface finish along with the CMM measurement was justifiable,” recalled Bob Sublette, sales representative for Mitutoyo America, based in Aurora, IL. “To be able to measure surface finish while the parts were positioned was huge for them. They also saw their expanded capabilities as a great sales tool for their automotive manufacturer customers.”
As the world’s largest provider of metrology solutions, Mitutoyo offers the most complete selection of machines, sensors, systems and services. Their lines include CMM, vision and form measuring machines, as well as precision tools and instruments, and metrology data management software.
High-performance and high-accuracy
“Some of the transmission cases Dynamic Manufacturing works with are very large,” Sublette said. “We recommended our 9108 size Mitutoyo CRYSTA-Apex CMM machine (900 by a thousand by 800 mm measuring envelope, which is approximately 35 by 39 by 38 inches high) to give them some added Z height.” The CMM also featured the new Mitutoyo Surftest probe to assist with measuring.
Mitutoyo’s CRYSTA-Apex S is a high-accuracy CNC CMM that provides more than double the effective measuring range in terms of accuracy-guarantee capability. The drive features high speed (max 519 mm/s) and high acceleration (max 2,309 mm/s2), resulting in greater productivity and lower total owning and operating costs.
The CMM features lightweight materials and an innovative machine structure that delivers high motion stability, accuracy and affordability. The temperature compensation function takes accurate measurements even on the shop floor. Compatible vision and scanning probe technologies provide flexible and effective measurement capabilities.
“Dynamic Manufacturing visited our showroom, and we had their part on the CMM and ran it to their blueprint and CAD model,” Sublette said. “They went with the MCOSMOS Level 2 software, which allows them to program from a CAD, and check their routine and troubleshoot prior to even having a part.”
“After a full product demonstration and review of capabilities, we purchased the machine,” said Mike Patel, quality manager at Dynamic Manufacturing. “We were the first company in the United States to get this CMM machine with the Surftest probe.”
Previously, Dynamic Manufacturing used a manual CMM without a motorized indexing head. To check certain specifications would require an operator working 30 to 40 minutes to check the part. “The time to inspect this part is about five minutes with the Mitutoyo CMM,” Patel said. “We can get dimensions and surface testing done in one operation, saving us time.”
Giovanni Diaz, quality engineer at Dynamic Manufacturing, said the auto-indexing head on the Mitutoyo CMM saves them significant time and allows an operator to set up the part for measurement and then go on to measure additional parts. “What makes this part so complex is that it’s 3D, with numerous data schemes opposite each face,” Diaz explained. “The types of tolerances we’re working with here are 25 microns in the bores. The cycle time is about 10 minutes, compared to about one hour of manual checking.”
“I’ve been aware of Mitutoyo for a long time. They’re the top supplier of all types of gaging and CMM equipment,” Noel said. “So when we looked at expanding our machining capability and growing that business, we went with the best metrology equipment in the industry, which is Mitutoyo. When you buy Mitutoyo equipment, you’re buying the best.”
Probe provides additional advantages
“When Dynamic Manufacturing learned that the Mitutoyo Surftest probe could be incorporated into their measuring process, and that it could be interchanged during the CMM cycle, they wanted it right away,” Sublette said.
With multiple measurement ranges and speeds, the Surftest probe and SurfPak-SP software allow surface roughness analysis on the CNC CMM, eliminating the need for workpiece changeover to a second measurement device. Available detectors include standard-type, deep groove, small hole, extra small hole and gear tooth surface.
A transmission cover features multiple surface finishes that all need to be measured. The Surftest probe can measure the surface finishes and immediately provides measured results.
“Typically, the tolerances we are holding are between 0.02 mm and 0.05 mm for bores on a pump body,” Patel said. “We knew we wanted to get a machine capable of checking not only our most complex machine part, but also our largest part.”
“The probe comes in at the right angle all the time, every time,” Sublette added. “The change of probe heads is seamless. You can actually have the part on the machine, hit a button and walk away. The machine does everything for you.”
“The new Mitutoyo CMM machine with the Surftest probe ensures parts meet specifications, and that they have the perfect level of quality,” Noel said. “We’re proud of our equipment investment. We always showcase our Mitutoyo CMM machine during tours of our facility.”
“One of the things we pride ourselves on at Mitutoyo is the multi-sensor capabilities of our machines,” Sublette said. “We also have a SurfaceMeasure® non-contact, line-laser probe, which is designed to automatically compensate for environmental variables as well as workpiece characteristics.”
Diaz added that the company is looking at laser technology from Mitutoyo to further reduce turnaround time. “We always want to capture dimensions and identify any discrepancies as quickly as possible,” he said. “Currently, the Mitutoyo laser system seems to be our best alternative to reduce turnaround time.”
“We’re running two shifts on our front differential line right now, Noel said. “With the Mitutoyo CMM, all the programs are written into the machine itself and the setup is pretty quick, which saves us a tremendous amount of engineering time.”
Built-in support with Gold Care package
“Part of the purchase of the Mitutoyo CMM machine was the Gold Care program,” Sublette said. “This includes a two-year warranty and a two-year calibration agreement. It also includes MeasurLink data collection software so the customer can record all the measurements and either store them on a database for future reference or send out reports to their customers.”
“We live in a digital age, where things are changing all the time. We embraced Mitutoyo’s Gold Care package on the CMM machine because of the continual updates we receive through the program,” Noel said. “We need the high level of support we get from Mitutoyo. This way, no one here is apprehensive about having to pick up the phone and ask for support from Mitutoyo. That makes our lives a lot easier.”
“The Gold Care program reduced the cost of ownership for us,” Patel added. “Typically, when you’re buying equipment, costs keep getting added for all the extras. Mitutoyo’s Gold Care package made our lives much simpler because everything was built-in.”
More work on the horizon
While Dynamic Manufacturing is heavily entrenched in the constantly changing automotive industry, Noel said the company is looking to diversify into other areas.
“There’s more work for us on the horizon with our metrology capabilities,” Noel said. “In five years, we see ourselves expanding further within the automotive industry and pursuing opportunities in the agriculture and aerospace industries. When it comes to proving a product’s quality and compliance with specifications, we’ll spend whatever we need to get the best equipment to ensure our products are top notch.”
Partipilo, who loves coming to work every day, said she’s proud of the company’s history and past accomplishments, but she’s even more excited about the future and carrying on her father’s legacy. “All these years, we’ve taken so much pride in doing a good job, giving our customers what they need, and striving to surpass their expectations,” she said.