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Test & measurement


Measuring and controlling the quality of ejector seats


Nothing in the manufacturing industry epitomises human safety more than the name Martin Baker. Founded in 1929 as an aircraft manufacturer, the company evolved to aviation ejector seats. Incredibly, the manufacturer’s ejection seats have saved more than 7,585 lives to date. The company has been measuring and controlling the quality of its seats and components with the help of metrology experts Mitutoyo


Inspecting a bore on the Mitutoyo Crysta CMM at Martin Baker


than 16,000 seats currently in service in 78 countries across 51 aircraft types. For more than 25 years, Martin Baker has been measuring and controlling the quality of its seats and the critical life-saving components with the help of Mitutoyo. With ejection seats in all areas of


S


ince 1946, Martin Baker has delivered more than 85,000 seats to 91 nations with more


aviation from helicopters and light prop aircraft to fighter jets, Martin Baker currently produces more than 40 seats each month plus a variety of components for the regulatory maintenance and repair cycle of existing seats in service. Producing everything from spares for seats dating back to 1949 through to more than 700 parts for each Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) seat, Martin Baker has 25,000 live components and beyond 50,000 parts on its inventory list. With components manufactured by 25 CNC machine tools, at the centre of the 800 employee manufacturing site is a four machine 72 pallet DMG cell that runs 24 hours a day and 364 days a year. Ensuring that components conform to


the exacting standards of Martin Baker, the company has an inspection department with 55 staff that relies heavily on inspection equipment from Mitutoyo. Discussing the relationship with Mitutoyo, inspection manager, Darren Smith says: "Martin Baker has had a long association with Mitutoyo, using hand


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tools like micrometers, vernier calipers and height gauges as well as CMMs for more than 30 years. As our company has evolved, so has the technology. We now have five Mitutoyo CMMs, three SurfTest machines, a Contracer, two training kits and the Mitutoyo MeasurLink system for Statistical Process Control (SPC).We also have over 300 Mitutoyo hand-tools and gauges on-site.” Smith says: “They provide us with a


great service and for every challenge we’ve had to meet, Mitutoyo has come up with a solution. The whole infrastructure and the wide range of equipment Mitutoyo can provide us, gives a really strong platform to meet the challenges placed upon us. We have been utilising Mitutoyo packages across the board. It’s not just about the hardware, we also use the MeasurLink software that helps us with our measurement system analysis program and this allows us to gauge our R&R and SPC. We’ve also used and integrated the Mitutoyo training packages such as on-site training


November 2018 Instrumentation Monthly


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