Quality Tools

Accurate. Very Accurate.


Let’s face it: sometimes good isn’t good enough. Nor is better. Not even best.

Sometimes you have to go beyond, especially when it comes to some ultra-precise work. (Think only of the molds that are being made for lenses of headlamps nowadays.)

Which brings us to the LEGEX 4 coordinate measuring machine from Mitutoyo America (mitutoyo.com). The company claims that it has “world-leading accuracy in length measurement.” It’s E0,MPE = (0.28+L/1000) μm.

The CMM is a fixed-bridge structure. It has a moving table. To help assure high rigidity and to attenuate vibrations, the base is made with spheroidal graphite cast iron. The worktable is ceramic coated. There are air-damped isolators with auto leveling capability to keep factory floor vibrations from affecting measurement results. There are glass scales that not only have essentially zero thermal expansion, but that are mounted in a new way that reduces the hysteresis error to a fifth of the previously used method. An air server stabilizes the air temperature at the machine to 20° C ±0.1°C. There is an array of probes, contact and non.

Scanning Tech
When it comes to on-line non-contact inspection, the word “Perceptron” (perceptron.com) has pretty much taken on the status of Kleenex. That’s because the company has been a pioneer in assembly plants around the world.

But it isn’t resting on its reputation.

The company has developed a new laser sensor, the HELIX 200HDR, that provides an adjustable power range up to the maximum permitted for a Class 3R laser. This adjustable power means that the sensor can be tuned such that it can even be used to measure highly reflective metallic surfaces, such as machined aluminum castings.

In addition to which, it produces a thin laser line that means there can be the high measurement resolution required for complex machined parts.

The sensor uses MEMS (microelectro-mechanical systems) technology. This allows all motion necessary for scanning to be self-contained, which contributes to accuracy of the scanning.

Once scanned, the data set is streamed to a shop-hardened control running Perceptron’s VECTOR software, which extracts part feature geometry from the point cloud for dimensional analysis.

Range of Perceptron HELIX 200HDR laser scanners.

Uber & Metrology (?)

at least people in major metropolises—get from A to B. What’s more, it is affecting the way that people pay for their transpor-tation needs.

Which brings us to Renishaw (renishaw.com). Yes, the company that is globally known for its probing technology (among other things).

So what does Renishaw have to do with something like Uber? Well, it is offering the Primo twin-probe measuring system. This is a machine tool probing system, which you might expect from Renishaw.

When it was launched in Asia earlier this year, Jean-Marc Meffre, Renishaw’s President—Far East, said: “Amid rising wages, skills shortages and fierce global competition, the move to high-value manufacturing has become an economic imperative for many companies and countries. Precision measurement and machine tool probes are key to achieving the level of quality required to compete.”

No argument there.

Now consider this: “Our research showed that customer concerns, including investment cost, ease of-use and durability, have held some companies back from using probes.”

And this led to the development of the Primo system.

It consists of the Primo Radio Part Setter, Primo Radio 3D Tool Setter and Primo interface. Also, there’s the Primo Total Protect package, which provides protection against accidental probe damage (after all, those who are not familiar with the technology may have some initial problems). There is the GoProbe software, which not only provides training information, but apps for Apple iOS and Android devices. The GoProbe software eliminates the need for extensive G-code knowledge, allowing single-line commands.

But the most unusual of all is the Primo Credit Token.

The probe system is predicated on a “pay-as-you-go” model. The initial setup comes with a six-month token, which allows unlimited use during that period. Then there is the opportunity to re-up for six months or to get a Primo CREDIT-U, which provides unlimited use with a one-off payment.

This just might be even more advanced than the Uber model.

Probing system from Renishaw.

Done with One
ZEISS Industrial Metrology (zeiss.com/metrology) has developed the ROTOS roughness center that allows roughness measurement to be performed with a CMM (assuming that the CMM is either an ACCURA or PRISMO from ZEISS).

In operation, the sensor is connected to the measuring machine via the stylus changer interface of a ZEISS VAST active probe. This is performed automatically, via the CNC control.

The sensor has a rotary axis that provides 360° capability and a tilt axis that allows it to be tilted 160°.

Measurement data is sent to the analysis computer via Bluetooth, and then imported to ZEISS CALYPSO software, where it can be reported out with other information obtained by the CMM.

Surface roughness sensor can be used on ZEISS CMMs, thereby eliminating the need for transport and refixturing.

Arms & Increased Accuracy

Although you’re probably familiar with the ROMER Absolute Arm from Hexagon Metrology (hexagonmetrology.us), in the event that you aren’t it is a portable six-axis measuring device that comes in lengths that provide reach of 1.2 to 4.5 m (3.9 to 14.8 ft). These devices can be used right on the line or in metrology rooms or . . . 

The arms can be fitted with various types of probes, includ-ing an integrated laser scanner. And for new or existing users of ROMER Absolute Arm SI (that’s as in “scanner integrated,” and in the case of these integrated scanner arms, it goes from six to seven axes), they’ve developed the RS3 package.

This isn’t just an incremental improvement. Rather, it doubles the scan rate of the RS2 scanner, and it has an increased point cloud acquisition rate, too.

It takes up to 460,000 points per second with a point-to-point spacing of 14 μ and 4,600 points per line. The line rate is 100 Hz. The accuracy (2 Sigma) is 30 μm.

Notably, the RS3 integrated scanner capability can be obtained by those with RS1 or RS2 units via an available upgrade. Who wouldn’t want to obtain part inspection capability in about half the time? 

Faster, denser laser scanning capability.