A UK-based manufacturer of investment casting wax is using a laser displacement sensor from Micro-Epsilon to measure the distortion and contraction of wax materials used in investment casting. The non-contact, high performance sensor is providing ten times higher measurement repeatability than the previous LVDTs and touch-probe gauges.

Blayson manufactures a wide range of high quality wax materials. Customers come from a variety of industries including aerospace, gas turbines, medical, automotive, electronics, marine and construction.
Phil Hancock, Technical Manager at Blayson Olefines Ltd based in Waterbeach, Cambridge, comments: “Blayson places a strong emphasis on R&D and maintaining a strong technical lead in the market. Our customers demand the highest in terms of wax performance and our products therefore have to meet tight manufacturing tolerances. Our latest developments include wax products specifically designed for turbine blade manufacture, as well as reduced memory pattern wax.”
In 2013, Micro-Epsilon UK approached Blayson to introduce a suitable non-contact laser displacement sensor for measuring displacement of wax materials. As part of its Six Sigma programme, Blayson Olefines uses the Gauge R&R (Gauge Repeatability and Reproducibility) analysis technique for measuring the amount of variation in a measurement system arising from the measurement device itself. Gauge R&R is a statistical tool that uses an analysis of variance (ANOVA) random effects model to assess a measurement system’s performance. This technique is not limited to gauges but to all types of measuring instruments and test methods. Typically, the technique is used to examine the P/T ratio, which is the ratio of the precision of a measurement system to the total tolerance of the manufacturing process of which it is a part.
The optoNCDT 2300 is a high speed, high accuracy non-contact laser sensor. As with all Micro-Epsilon laser sensors, the optoNCDT 2300 is a self-contained sensor that requires no separate controller, yet still provides an extremely high measuring speed of up to 50 kHz and resolution of 0.0015% FSO (Full Scale Output). The sensor is therefore ideal for high speed dynamic applications such as vibration measurement and profile scanning of uneven, rapidly changing surfaces.
In two years of using the laser sensor, Blayson Olefines reports that it has had no reliability issues. The sensor paid for itself within months and has performed reliably on all colours of wax (yellow, green and blue) with no signal noise when performing measurements on wax materials. This ensures reliable measurement data every time. Blayson also reported that technical assistance from Micro-Epsilon was fast and effective.
Although competing sensors claim to offer similar measuring rates and resolution, the optoNCDT 2300 is the only sensor that offers a 50 kHz measuring speed and an integral controller. Unlike many competing sensors, the optoNCDT 2300 achieves high resolution and high measuring speeds without any averaging.
The optoNCDT 2300 is available in seven models with measuring ranges from 2mm up to 200mm. The sensor is also extremely compact, measuring just 80mm by 75mm by 30mm.
For more information on the optoNCDT 2300 sensor, please call the Micro-Epsilon sales department on 0151 355 6070 or email info@micro-epsilon.co.uk