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    Measurement

    PEMBREE climbs metrology mountain with Mitutoyo

    • By MTDCNC
    • May 18, 2021
    • 6 minute read

    Throughout his school days, Phil Law always had a passion for cycling, this led the creative teenager to design bikes and ramps for GCSE and A-level subjects. As part of a product design degree at university, Phil won an award from the Audi Design Foundation for the design of his magnetic pedals for cyclists with knee injuries. Subsequently, the fundamentals of the degree failed to help the enthused designer grasp the gravity of turning the design concept into the reality of manufactured parts. MTD Magazine takes a look at this engineer’s journey and how Mitutoyo has played a pivotal role.

    For a twenty-something graduate with no ‘hands-on’ manufacturing experience, Phil Law had all the enthusiasm and dreams but not a route from drawing board to realisation. Not perturbed by his inexperience, Phil learnt the hard way – spending years in various manufacturing businesses in different roles to ‘learn the ropes’. In 2019, PEMBREE Ltd was founded and six days before the pandemic induced lockdown in March 2020 – the start-up business took delivery of a HAAS VM3 machining centre, a SIC laser marking system, a deburring machine and measuring equipment from measurement experts Mitutoyo.

    “I worked at enough manufacturing businesses down the years to know that measuring technology from Mitutoyo is the best in the world. So, when I started PEMBREE Ltd, I turned straight to Mitutoyo,” recalls PEMBREE Ltd Founder Phil Law. “I spoke with Mitutoyo and discussed the mountain bike pedals I would be manufacturing and they provided a suite of solutions to help me achieve the quality and conformity I needed. I knew there were other vendors, but my past experience of Mitutoyo was great quality and customer support.”

    The Horam based business in East Sussex launched its first pedal, the R1V in August 2020 and this was recently followed by the D2A pedal. Both models have a range of design variants and the small business manufactures hundreds of pedals each month from aerospace-grade aluminium alloy. The high-quality pedals are machined on a HAAS VM3 that incorporates a Chick 4th axis rotary unit that has standardised clamping on each of the four faces of the horizontal tombstone. This allows PEMBREE to clamp two pedals on two of the four faces (4 pedals) for first operation machining whilst the remaining two faces are configured for second op machining of another four pedals. The result is that PEMBREE can undertake both first and second op machining in a single cycle of 1.5 hours.

    “We have on-machine probing that checks the pedals in-situ with our CAM system, so outside the machine, we didn’t need a CMM. Instead, we opted for a 0 to 150mm Mitutoyo digital caliper for measuring the non-critical dimensions of the pedal. This is complemented by a Mitutoyo QM Series height gauge to measure way beyond the 110mm height of a PEMBREE pedal.”
    “The critical features are the spindle assembly and the mating bore on the pedal body. The spindles are 12mm diameter with a tolerance of +/-4 microns. For this, we purchased a 0 to 25mm digital micrometer from Mitutoyo. As our business grows, we’ll need to re-visit some of the solutions from Mitutoyo as we may aim to automate processes.”

    Equally critical to the integrity and performance are the bore dimensions that mate the pedal with the spindle. “The pedal bore has several diameters that need an interference fit with the spindle bush and the diameters in the pedal have to be within just a few microns. Some engineers in the industry suggested we use ‘Go/No-Go’ gauges, but this would only tell us if the bores are right or wrong. We need to close the loop on process reliability and ensure the extremely precise boring operation would always conform to our exact dimensional demands. For this, we purchased a 12.7mm to 16.5mm diameter Mitutoyo three-point bore micrometer. This internal digital micrometer has a 3-point contact system with titanium-coated measuring pins to provide excellent levels of durability and impact resistance when used daily in our workshop.”

    “Like all our Mitutoyo equipment, the digital bore micrometer features an LCD display because they are easier to read when compared to analogue gauges, it also eliminates the potential for reading errors,” continues Phil Law.

    “When engaging with bearing manufacturers like SKF, you have to conform to their strict product and installation guidelines. This includes working to the very tight tolerances they stipulate to maximise the performance and longevity of their products. By attaining very high precision levels that are 100% inspected with Mitutoyo equipment, we achieve high levels of quality that gives us confidence to provide very long warranty periods,” says Phil Law.

    Looking to the future…
    The small company can be proud of its achievements since its inception. PEMBREE takes immense pride in not only being one of the few UK manufacturers of bicycle components but also exporting its products worldwide through an established network of distributors. The company has also signed up brand ambassadors like biking legends Rob Warner and Daryl Brown.
    Another point of beaming pride for the micro-manufacturer is its environmental responsibility credentials. “All of our products are designed with sustainability in mind and are 100% carbon balanced with TEMWA, including their manufacture and delivery. Also, in accordance with our environmental values, our pedals are 99.9% recyclable and everything we do at PEMBREE is carbon neutral.”

    ….and Mitutoyo?

    Mitutoyo also has an environmental policy to be envied. The company has carbon offset its entire UK workforce (https://www.mitutoyo.co.uk/sustainability) and it is investing in its fleet of hybrid vehicles, installing electric charging points at Mitutoyo facilities for customers and staff. It is also engaging in ‘green procurement’ activities to increase utilisation of environment-friendly parts and materials.

    But more important to customers like PEMBREE is the service it receives from Mitutoyo. Concluding on this, Phil Law states: “As far as a measurement brand, Mitutoyo is the best in the world – it’s as simple as that! Not only are the products of extremely high quality, but the service is first class too. For a micro-business like ours, Mitutoyo has treated us with the utmost respect and an incredible level of service and support. Mitutoyo couldn’t do more for us if they tried – when the occasion arises, we’ll be buying more of our measurement and inspection equipment from Mitutoyo.”

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/18112901/JSH4532-640x360.jpg

    PEMBREE climbs metrology mountain with Mitutoyo

    Throughout his school days, Phil Law always had a passion for cycling, this led the creative teenager to design bikes and ramps for GCSE and A-level subjects. As part of a product design degree at university, Phil won an award from the Audi Design Foundation for the design of his magnetic pedals for cyclists with knee injuries. Subsequently, the fundamentals of the degree failed to help the enthused designer grasp the gravity of turning the design concept into the reality of manufactured parts. MTD Magazine takes a look at this engineer’s journey and how Mitutoyo has played a pivotal role.

    For a twenty-something graduate with no ‘hands-on’ manufacturing experience, Phil Law had all the enthusiasm and dreams but not a route from drawing board to realisation. Not perturbed by his inexperience, Phil learnt the hard way – spending years in various manufacturing businesses in different roles to ‘learn the ropes’. In 2019, PEMBREE Ltd was founded and six days before the pandemic induced lockdown in March 2020 – the start-up business took delivery of a HAAS VM3 machining centre, a SIC laser marking system, a deburring machine and measuring equipment from measurement experts Mitutoyo.

    “I worked at enough manufacturing businesses down the years to know that measuring technology from Mitutoyo is the best in the world. So, when I started PEMBREE Ltd, I turned straight to Mitutoyo,” recalls PEMBREE Ltd Founder Phil Law. “I spoke with Mitutoyo and discussed the mountain bike pedals I would be manufacturing and they provided a suite of solutions to help me achieve the quality and conformity I needed. I knew there were other vendors, but my past experience of Mitutoyo was great quality and customer support.”

    The Horam based business in East Sussex launched its first pedal, the R1V in August 2020 and this was recently followed by the D2A pedal. Both models have a range of design variants and the small business manufactures hundreds of pedals each month from aerospace-grade aluminium alloy. The high-quality pedals are machined on a HAAS VM3 that incorporates a Chick 4th axis rotary unit that has standardised clamping on each of the four faces of the horizontal tombstone. This allows PEMBREE to clamp two pedals on two of the four faces (4 pedals) for first operation machining whilst the remaining two faces are configured for second op machining of another four pedals. The result is that PEMBREE can undertake both first and second op machining in a single cycle of 1.5 hours.

    “We have on-machine probing that checks the pedals in-situ with our CAM system, so outside the machine, we didn’t need a CMM. Instead, we opted for a 0 to 150mm Mitutoyo digital caliper for measuring the non-critical dimensions of the pedal. This is complemented by a Mitutoyo QM Series height gauge to measure way beyond the 110mm height of a PEMBREE pedal.”
    “The critical features are the spindle assembly and the mating bore on the pedal body. The spindles are 12mm diameter with a tolerance of +/-4 microns. For this, we purchased a 0 to 25mm digital micrometer from Mitutoyo. As our business grows, we’ll need to re-visit some of the solutions from Mitutoyo as we may aim to automate processes.”

    Equally critical to the integrity and performance are the bore dimensions that mate the pedal with the spindle. “The pedal bore has several diameters that need an interference fit with the spindle bush and the diameters in the pedal have to be within just a few microns. Some engineers in the industry suggested we use ‘Go/No-Go’ gauges, but this would only tell us if the bores are right or wrong. We need to close the loop on process reliability and ensure the extremely precise boring operation would always conform to our exact dimensional demands. For this, we purchased a 12.7mm to 16.5mm diameter Mitutoyo three-point bore micrometer. This internal digital micrometer has a 3-point contact system with titanium-coated measuring pins to provide excellent levels of durability and impact resistance when used daily in our workshop.”

    “Like all our Mitutoyo equipment, the digital bore micrometer features an LCD display because they are easier to read when compared to analogue gauges, it also eliminates the potential for reading errors,” continues Phil Law.

    “When engaging with bearing manufacturers like SKF, you have to conform to their strict product and installation guidelines. This includes working to the very tight tolerances they stipulate to maximise the performance and longevity of their products. By attaining very high precision levels that are 100% inspected with Mitutoyo equipment, we achieve high levels of quality that gives us confidence to provide very long warranty periods,” says Phil Law.

    Looking to the future…
    The small company can be proud of its achievements since its inception. PEMBREE takes immense pride in not only being one of the few UK manufacturers of bicycle components but also exporting its products worldwide through an established network of distributors. The company has also signed up brand ambassadors like biking legends Rob Warner and Daryl Brown.
    Another point of beaming pride for the micro-manufacturer is its environmental responsibility credentials. “All of our products are designed with sustainability in mind and are 100% carbon balanced with TEMWA, including their manufacture and delivery. Also, in accordance with our environmental values, our pedals are 99.9% recyclable and everything we do at PEMBREE is carbon neutral.”

    ….and Mitutoyo?

    Mitutoyo also has an environmental policy to be envied. The company has carbon offset its entire UK workforce (https://www.mitutoyo.co.uk/sustainability) and it is investing in its fleet of hybrid vehicles, installing electric charging points at Mitutoyo facilities for customers and staff. It is also engaging in ‘green procurement’ activities to increase utilisation of environment-friendly parts and materials.

    But more important to customers like PEMBREE is the service it receives from Mitutoyo. Concluding on this, Phil Law states: “As far as a measurement brand, Mitutoyo is the best in the world – it’s as simple as that! Not only are the products of extremely high quality, but the service is first class too. For a micro-business like ours, Mitutoyo has treated us with the utmost respect and an incredible level of service and support. Mitutoyo couldn’t do more for us if they tried – when the occasion arises, we’ll be buying more of our measurement and inspection equipment from Mitutoyo.”