When quality control and metrology students in the School of Engineering Technology at Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON arrived for the first day of classes last September, they found an entirely new lab waiting for them – the Mitutoyo Metrology Lab. The centrepiece of the lab, which is housed in a new 9,290 sq m (100,000 sq ft) building on Mohawk’s Fennell Campus, is a brand new Mitutoyo Crysta AS574 CMM, which the college installed before classes started.
Along with the CMM, Mohawk also acquired Mitutoyo’s MeasurLink data collection and analysis SPC software, as well as Mitutoyo’s MCOSMOS CMM software with CAD, and MiCAT Planner software. On top of that, the college purchased 60 virtual MCOSMOS CAD based software licenses for offline programming and training.
Why Mitutoyo? “If our students are going to work in manufacturing, chances are they’re going to come across a CMM,” says George Miltenburg, associate dean at the School of Engineering Technology. “We wanted to have a widely used piece of equipment in our lab for them to learn on, and in our opinion the most popular CMM out there is Mitutoyo.”
The Crysta AS574 is on the small side as CMMs go, which Miltenburg says was an important consideration given the difficulty of installing a fully functional CMM. After it was up and running, eight SET instructors were trained on its operation before classes started.
The CMM is used for courses in basic metrology, quality control, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing and CNC. The full software package allows instructors and students to download drawing files and upload quality capability studies and SPC charts. “It’s not just about teaching them how to use a CMM, but when we talk to them about quality control we can have them actually go and do a process capability study,” says Miltenburg.
Mohawk also approached Mitutoyo customer Orlick Industries, an automotive supplier, and secured a donation of 100 components that had been rejected for cosmetic defects. Instructors use these parts to drive home the lesson that process capability studies are critical.
“It’s important that students learn to design a part to match the capabilities of the process,” Miltenburg says. “You can’t say ‘I want to hold this dimension to within 4/1000ths of an inch’ when the process can only reliably hold it within 8/1000ths. You’re not really capable of producing that part.”
The partnership between Mohawk and Mitutoyo goes well beyond the purchase of a CMM and the naming of a lab. Mitutoyo is also reviewing Mohawk’s quality control and metrology curriculum to help the college ensure the skills its students are learning are what the industry is looking for.
“Mitutoyo is working with our faculty to make sure students are learning the very latest techniques on the very latest equipment,” Miltenburg says. “They’re prepared to recognize the students who complete the courses that use this CMM; they’re going to recognize them as being industry capable when it comes to quality and metrology. So when our students go on their first co-ops or first jobs they won’t be spending time learning stuff they should already know. They’ll be ready to hit the ground running.” SMT