Foldens Machine Works - When Quality Matters

Quality Policy

Foldens Machine Works Ltd. has the ability to provide you the customer,
with efficient, total reliable service at competitive pricing while we continue
to develop innovative ideas through continuous improvement methods.
This is obtained by monitoring procedures, processes and services provided.
Customer satisfaction is obtained by a team approach by management and
all our employees.

Foldens enhances inspection capabilities with new CMM

In response to customers who wanted a higher level of inspection capability, Foldens Machine Works Ltd., recently installed a new Mitutoyo coordinate measuring machine (CMM).

“Two of our major customers wanted cpk reports and part inspection traceability and installing a CMM was the easiest way to do it,” says George Barnes, president and owner of Foldens. As a result, the company recently installed a Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex C 574 CMM.

Foldens, which started operations in 2001, has 35 employees at its 7,200 sq. ft. facility. Foldens also has a 2,500 sq. ft. warehouse in Tillsonburg. The firm is ISO 9001-2000 registered.

Foldens Machine Works is a custom machine shop that serves a variety of markets including agricultural, trucking, lifting equipment, and military training devices. The firm works with a variety of materials including mild steel, stainless steel, cold- and hot-rolled bars, plate, plastics, brass, aluminum and more. Typically, Foldens’ part runs range from 50 to 2,000 pieces.

The company offers a variety of services including CNC machining, CNC turning, HyDefinition plasma cutting, and oxyfuel cutting.

The new Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex CMM has provided Foldens with a variety of benefits, says Barnes. For one thing, the Mitutoyo CMM has significantly decreased inspection time. “The new CMM has cut our inspection time by 80%. Previously, we were doing it all manually which is very time consuming,” Barnes says.

In addition, Barnes says that the Crysta-Apex CMM has increased productivity. “It has really kept the spindles running here. On some parts, productivity has improved by 25%.”

Barnes evaluated a number of competing CMMs before selecting the Mitutoyo CMM. There were a number of reasons that influenced the choice, he says. “The ease of programming of the Mitutoyo CMM was one reason and also the reports that it generates for us. You can customize the reports (according to your needs).”

The Mitutoyo CMM is also opening up new opportunities for business for Foldens, adds Barnes. “Because of the Mitutoyo CMM, we have been able to start quoting some automotive parts. Previously, the inspection levels were such that we couldn’t do that before.”

The Crysta-Apex C 574, which was supplied by Mitutoyo Canada Inc., Mississauga, ON (, offers a measuring range of 505mm (X-axis), 705mm (Y-axis), and 405mm (Z-axis) and a maximum drive speed of 520mm/s. Self-adjusting air bearings on all axes allow the Crysta-Apex C to move the probe with speed and precision.

It provides a length measuring accuracy of 1.7 μm. The Mitutoyo CMM is a modular system which allows the user to easily convert and upgrade the machine depending on changing requirements and measurement applications.

Another benefit of the Crysta-Apex is that it is a multisensor-capable 3D CMM. As a result, the user can alternate between contact, optical (image processing) and laser systems. The Crysta-Apex can also use probes and sensor systems from other major manufacturers.

In addition, with its fully automatic measuring sequences, the Crysta-Apex C can be perfectly integrated into the production process itself. As well, networking between production machines and a feedback system causes no problems either.

Other benefits offered by the Crysta-Apex CMM include: integrated thermal-effect compensation for instrument and workpiece in the temperature range 16 °C to 26 ºC; high precision (resolution: 0.1 μm) with dustproof glass scales on all axes; self-adjusting air bearings on all axes; fully-digital servo control for low-vibration movements; and FEM-aided design which ensures geometric accuracy and vibration resistance.

The Crysta-Apex employs MCOSMOS software with Mitutoyo Intelligent Computer Aided Technology (MiCAT) as standard.

According to Barnes, the new Mitutoyo CMM is definitely meeting the company’s expectations in terms of performance. “It has definitely improved our product going out the door.”

By Jerry Cook