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Lake and sculpture in South Korea

An adventure in South Korea

Wondering what it's like to install software in South Korea during a global pandemic? Let our Applications Engineer, Amanda, explain...

When the opportunity of doing an install in South Korea arose, I jumped at the chance. I love to travel and have visited many places during my time at MSP including America, Australia and Canada.

The plan was to install our NC-Checker and NC-PartLocator products at an Aerospace manufacturer in Changwon. Planning of the install started way back in March, however, obviously due to Coronavirus, the trip was delayed and as the months ticked by, I wondered if it would happen this year at all! Finally in July there was a glimmer of hope when we were told we could begin the travel applications.

My colleague Chloe in the Installations team took on this mammoth amount of paperwork including visas, exemption certificates and various other applications. After a few setbacks, other delays and a few Coronavirus tests later, in November I was finally on my way!

The journey there was no mean feat, it saw me take a 1 hour flight, then a 9 hour flight, followed by another 7 hour flight. I spent the entire journey masked and shielding appropriately and it couldn’t have felt more safer. The airports were eerily quiet with all shops closed and did manage to score a row of 7 seats to myself though on pretty much every flight! This was then rounded off with a 6 hour taxi ride. But when I say taxi, this wasn’t like a regular Uber ride, it was ultimate luxury! It was fully air conditioned and I had my very own TV! It also gave me a great chance to see the beautiful Korean scenery and get a feel for the country I would be spending the next 2 weeks in.

Changwon was built as the heart for manufacturing defence in the hope it would be protected from other countries by the vast mountains which surround the city. When I was there, the city was lit up by the lovely colourful autumnal trees. It was the turn of winter when I visited which is actually like our North East Summer on a very good day! The sun shone fearlessly so I can’t imagine what their summer would be like!

After a short 10 hour quarantine in the hotel, I was free after testing negative and it was time to get on site and on with the job. The company had purchased NC-Checker and NC-PartLocator for two of their machines which were new and purchased specially for a specific project. Due to success of a similar part at a different company, the customer were recommended that they also buy NC-Checker and NC-PartLocator to make the project a success.

NC-Checker is a machine health check which can be performed on a schedule to diagnose and predict a machine’s health. Machine performance checking is really important to prevent machine downtime which could potentially run into high costs.

Once the products were installed, NC-Checker identified incorrect kinematics in the rotary axis on both machines meaning they were out of tolerance and would have machined their parts incorrectly. After running Renishaw’s Axiset to fix the issue, I ran NC-Checker again and the machines were back in tolerance and ready to machine parts.

NC-PartLocator works on the part setup side and updates the alignment program to ensure the part will be machined in tolerance. When this was run on their machines, it identified that the datum was incorrect and highlighted other issues with their machining program that needed to be rectified to ensure their parts wouldn’t be machined incorrectly. The software also identified an error they had saw on one of their test parts, meaning the part would have failed final machining and wasted valuable machine time and increased their scrap rate. By the end of the trip, 6 parts were machined within tolerance and everyone on the project was really pleased. Using this on the project over the long term will mean they will be saving time, increasing accuracy and producing repeatable results, all of which will be traceable.

This was an important project with around 20 different people involved so each day was pretty full on but it was so rewarding knowing everyone was delighted with the results at the end.

It was a shame that, due to the pandemic, I couldn’t explore South Korea and Changwon fully, however, it was still a positive experience and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit this amazing country. Overall, it was a great adventure and one I would go on again in a heartbeat.

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