Accurate and Quick Method of Measuring Critical Parts

Based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, Koso Kent Introl Ltd (KKI) is owned by Nihon Koso Co. Ltd. of Japan, a global leader in the controls and process automation systems market. KKI specialises in the supply of standard service control valves, severe service control valves, high-technology surface choke valves and high-performance rotary valves. Industries served include the oil and gas, petrochemical and power sectors.

Based in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, Koso Kent Introl Ltd (KKI) is owned by Nihon Koso Co. Ltd. of Japan, a global leader in the controls and process automation systems market. KKI specialises in the supply of standard service control valves, severe service control valves, high-technology surface choke valves and high-performance rotary valves. Industries served include the oil and gas, petrochemical and power sectors.

Currently exporting approximately 80% of its output, to help satisfy increasing global demand for the company’s products, KKI has recently opened a hi-tech machining centre. The new Brighouse facility represents an investment of over £2 million and is set to transform the company's valve manufacturing processes. The advanced machining centre will speed up the way in which KKI manufactures valves; the impressive facility combines turning, milling and drilling functions and is able to accommodate much larger valves than many of the company’s existing machines.

KKI is accredited in accordance with Quality Management System ISO 9001 and Environmental Management System ISO 14001. In addition, where applicable, all products conform to ATEX, PED and all other applicable EU Directives. Reflecting KKI’s strict quality regime, in-house inspection and testing facilities include a range of high precision metrology techniques, hardness testing, NDE, PMI, gas and flow testing facilities.

Martin Croft explained. “In addition to our premium quality standard products, we have built a reputation for supplying specially designed high-quality valves for use in the most severe conditions.

“As well as the meticulous final inspection routines that are carried out on all of our output, our manufactured products also undergo continuous in-process inspection throughout their manufacturing cycles. These important procedures ensure that we are able to continuously improve our already minimum defect levels and to continue to supply the best possible products to our customers.

“As the measurement of Ring Type Joint groove diameters is a common gauging procedure undertaken throughout our plant, in accordance with our quest for continuous improvements to our processes, we recently carried-out a search for a more accurate and quicker method of gauging these critical features.

“Ring Type Joint flanges, more frequently referred to as RTJ flanges, have machined grooves cut into their faces, which are designed to take steel Ring Gaskets. When two RTJ flanges are joined by tightening a series of bolts, the gasket between them is compressed and deformed into the flanges’ grooves, creating a very efficient metal to metal seal. Vital to the effectiveness of the seal is the accuracy of the RTJ groove diameters.

“Although our previously used vernier had given us excellent service, we felt that a modern digital instrument would further improve this important gauging function. Having investigated the various options, we purchased an advanced UniCal instrument, with specially manufactured anvils, from Bowers Metrology.

“Now in constant use, our new UniCal has significantly improved the accuracy and repeatability of our RTJ groove diameter measuring routines. As the gauge is so light and responsive, our operators are able to securely locate its anvils into RTJ grooves whilst the component is still located in the machine tool. The UniCal’s smooth action and highly visible digital readout means that extremely precise diameter results can be achieved in half the time previously taken.”

Bowers Metrology’s UniCal is an ingenious multi-purpose digital caliper that is designed to accurately perform a wide range of measuring tasks. Available in standard 300mm, 600mm and 1000mm capacities, with larger versions available upon request, Bowers’ revolutionary shop-floor proof instruments boast tough, lightweight reinforced beams, giving them incredible strength.

Bowers’ flexible UniCal’s advanced features include a large easy to read digital display, a preset facility, a constant pressure measuring force, a metric inch conversion and an RS 232 data output port. If required a small, plug-in wireless module can be attached to the instrument, allowing its readings to be transmitted to devices such as data loggers, computers and printers.

Although a wide range of standard UniCal accessories enable a multitude of measuring tasks to be performed, as with the KKI application, Bowers is able to manufacture ‘one-off’ adaptations and accessories, allowing even the most difficult of gauging routines to be undertaken.