An interview with Mike John: How new technology is improving Kloeckner’s product quality

Here at Kloeckner Metals UK, having the ability to meet our customer’s needs and provide the best solution is very important to us. We are continuously monitoring our market so that we’re aware of what services and processing requirements our customers need.

In May, we have invested into another piece of equipment at Kloeckner Metals UK in Blackburn – our new Inspec-vision Planar measuring system. This high-speed, integrated 2D and 3D measuring system allows us to fully support our laser cutting processes going forward and is an invaluable aid to our CE processes.

To find out more about the Inspec-vision Planar machine and how it can benefit our customers, we spoke to Mike John, Applications Engineer at Metrology Direct.

Can you tell us a bit about Metrology Direct and what you do?

At Metrology Direct, we specialise in providing quality solutions for manufacturing companies and precision engineering. We have a range of products to help with efficiency and tend to work with companies to try and look at the current way in which they look at their quality process, before recommending systems and solutions which will help them to reduce costs and produce high-quality products.

So, how are Metrology Direct important to the steel and metals industry?

Well, the Planar measuring system is very specific to the metal industry, but for most industries, the quality of what you are producing is very important. In the metal industry, there is often a high demand with a quick turnaround, and the Planar measuring system ensures any parts supplied to a customer are correct. We can give the manufacturer the power of knowledge, whilst controlling product quality and reducing costs.

What exactly is the Planar measuring system and how does it work?

The Planar system is a 2D inspection and reverse engineering system. The system uses transmitted light which is obscured by the part into the camera when measuring. The camera then takes a picture of the shadow and calculates the form and dimensions.

The Planar system is very easy to use in comparison to the traditional method and takes under 20 seconds to create a CAD drawing.

What are the advantages of the Planar measuring system?

The biggest advantage of the planar system is that it is incredibly fast. There are similar systems that do the same job as the Planar but the time it would take to measure one part could be hours, whereas the Planar systems takes less than 20 seconds. The Planar system is also very easy to use and accurate so manufacturers can remove the opportunity for human error.

How will the Planar measuring system benefit the customers of Kloeckner Metals UK?

The Planar measuring system will allow Kloeckner Metals UK to increase accuracy, power and knowledge of their production, and will also ensure that parts are manufactured to the correct specification. It allows Kloeckner to speed up the process for their customers, therefore saving money and increasing the quality of the product supplied.

The software in the Planar system also allows the comparison of different batches to see if there has been a shift in production so that any issues can be quickly rectified.

The Planar system offers Reverse Engineering possibilities so what could this mean for Kloeckner Metals UK customers?

Well, if a customer comes in with the product they would like manufacturing but no CAD drawings, the Planar system allows reverse engineering. You can create CAD drawings from a part, and then use these CAD drawings for the manufacturing process.

How can Metrology Direct assist Kloeckner Metals UK to continue to provide quality products and services to their customers?

We continually offer online support and calibration for the Planar system and have an ongoing relationship with Kloeckner Metals UK to ensure they receive the most value out of the products purchased with Metrology Direct. It is an ongoing process.  

What do you believe is the biggest challenge for the steel and metals industry?

In a lot of industries, there is now a big drive for quality, and the challenge is to differentiate yourself in the marketplace and take on things which are not typical for the metals industry – for example, digitalisation.

Additionally, the metals industry is not usually a precision industry so it’s important to ensure there is quality management. The Planar system allows a company to stand out in the industry.


It is a really exciting time at Kloeckner Metals UK, and you can see our latest updates on Facebook or LinkedIn. For more information on our services, read our most recent blog post here.


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