Mitutoyo ‘Monitor’ the Quality of Surface Roughness

0396Monitor_01_lo.jpgMonitor Coatings Limited is a privately owned company with over 30 years of experience in providing high quality coatings to a wide range of demanding industries, including the Aerospace, Oil & Gas exploration and Steel sectors.

Monitor applies its unique coating technologies to help customers throughout the world when high-levels of performance are required in problematic or hostile environments. The company’s coatings and surface engineering are able to withstand exposure to a wide variety of chemical, physical and mechanical environments, and to deliver a range of advantages including wear, corrosion, and abrasion resistance, as well as providing thermal barriers.

In addition to the traditional industries the company serves, Monitor’s Research and Development activities also focus on specialist markets such as biomass incineration; high temperature oxidation environments, including Super Critical Steam Turbines and specialist Mould technologies.

Monitor’s Production Manager, Tom Nicholson explained. “Although our key markets include, oil, gas, steel and aerospace, it is the highly sought after NADCAP accreditation that drives the quality procedures at Monitor Coatings. This quality accreditation has enabled Monitor to achieve high level customer approvals and to be awarded prestigious contracts such as the QE Carrier Deck project in Rosyth.

“Although the application of one of our advanced coatings is able to help in many ways, including increasing the life of components by up to ten fold, in addition to its formulation, a coating’s performance is very much dependent upon the quality of its application. This is why Monitor performs some of the strictest quality procedures in the global coating industry, and why we are constantly striving to further improve our quality function.

“As the correct surface finish of a base material is critical to the ability of a coating to adhere to it, in accordance with our policy of continuous improvement, we recently conducted a web search for an advanced surface roughness tester that would increase our precision capability and further expand our data capture ability in this crucial area.

“Having considered the offerings from several other manufactures, we identified Mitutoyo’s Surftest SJ-410 as the ideal tester for our use. An in-house demonstration confirmed the robust, portable unit’s suitability for both static surface roughness testing in our Quality Department and for use on our shop-floor, in addition to occasional off-site use.

“Although the Surftest SJ-410 has many more useful features when compared to our previous instrument, and its controls are very intuitive. As well as delivering improved precision in this area, the enhanced data supplied by the unit is archived and provides invaluable information for potential product development”.

Mitutoyo offers a wide range of high-quality surface roughness testers, from small battery powered portable units that can be applied to any workpiece irrespective of size, through to the most sophisticated CNC instruments that measure to laboratory standards of accuracy.

The high precision, Mitutoyo Surftest SJ-410 surface roughness tester, as purchased by Monitor Coatings, complies with the latest international surface roughness measurement standards. The advanced, portable instrument has a dedicated control unit equipped with the kind of analysis functionality normally found on larger, more expensive bench-top testers, and is able to operate in 38 individual roughness parameters that conform to the latest ISO, DIN, ANSI and JIS standards.

The tester’s calculated results and profiles are displayed on a high-visibility colour-graphic LCD, whilst a useful backlight further improves visibility when the unit is being used in dimly lit environments. A built-in, high-speed thermal printer is able to provide hardcopy of measurement results, including BAC and ADC curves that are presented in a landscape format, just as they appear on the screen.

If required, the Surftest SJ-410’s setups can be password protected to preventing accidental changes. The instrument can be used in a hand-held mode or mounted on a stand, whilst a manual adjustment knob enables fine positioning of a small stylus for positioning, particularly useful when testing the inside surface of small holes. To enable records to be saved, the unit’s measured data can be downloaded to a PC via an RS-232C cable, whilst a wide range of optional accessories are also available that can further extend the unit’s application range.