FARO Laser Tracker Aids JCB Jig & Fixture Calibration
In 1945, Joseph Cyril Bamford launched the construction and agricultural manufacturing company that bears his initials. Over the years, the company’s pioneering spirit and reputation for superb build quality has led to huge success: JCB now lead the world in backhoe loaders and telescopic handlers, the company manufacture a range of over 300 machines and boasts some of the finest engineering facilities across the globe.
From the company’s beginning as a builder of agricultural tipping trailers in 1945, to today’s global giant within the field of designing and manufacturing agriculture and construction machinery, JCB has enjoyed nearly 70 years of remarkable growth.
JCB has expanded from just one man working in a garage in Uttoxeter, UK, to the employment of a 11,000-strong worldwide force across 22 plants on four continents. Today, this major global brand has more than 750 dealers around the world and such is the scope of the company’s all-embracing range, JCB machines now lend their productive performance to virtually any application in any industry.
To help ensure continued success, JCB continue to innovate and push the boundaries in research and development; in particular within the area of sustainability, where energy costs and emissions are becoming an increasingly important purchasing consideration.
In 2008, JCB Heavy Products opened a new £43 million factory, in Staffordshire, UK. One of the biggest single investments in JCB’s history, the impressive facility is one of the world’s most modern manufacturing plants and employs a 350-strong workforce in the design and manufacture of the 25-strong range of JCB tracked and wheeled excavators, weighing from seven up to 46 tonnes.
Manned by 48 highly skilled teams, the new 450,000 sq ft plant is split into two main areas: fabrication and welding and assembly, a layout which is key to enhancing quality because it eliminates the potential for contaminants to infiltrate the assembly area from the welding and fabrication shop.
The Heavy Products plant has the capability to produce 8,000 machines a year and has taken quality standards to new heights. JCB’s pre-delivery tests of machines have always been exhaustive, but the ‘hot-test’ at the new JCB Heavy Products factory has been increased from two to three stages. There is also a 200-point check on the machine’s finish before it leaves the factory.
Part of the company’s investment has been in new machining centres and extremely accurate jigs and fixtures, the use of which puts JCB in direct control of component quality. The new machining centres are able to self-position and ‘find’ components to maximise machining precision, giving consistent quality to fabrications.
To help ensure the continued accuracy and quality of the company’s fabrications JCB’s Heavy Products plant administers a stringent policy of regular jig and fixture calibration which could be performed by the Faro Laser Tracker.
Andy Young Manufacturing Engineering Manager explained. “As the accuracy of our jigs and fixtures plays such a critical role in the precision of our fabrications and the eventual build quality of our products, we made a decision to establish a jig and fixture calibration regime with calibration time intervals based on the perceived requirements of each individual piece of equipment which could be accomplished through using a Laser tracker, preferably from reputable source such as faro laser tracker.
“Having decided to engage the services of an outside contractor to undertake our jig and fixture calibration procedures, mindful of the company’s reputation and advanced capabilities with faro laser tracker, we awarded the contract to Manchester Metrology.