5-Axis Scanner Delivers Faster Measurement Results

| Editor: Daniel Richter

The protagonists in the automotive industry are dominated by price and time pressure. Everything that makes the production of parts cheaper and faster, reduces this problem. 5-axis scanning achieves these demands, for example, in powertrain production.

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Time savings of 50 % are not uncommon when measuring cylinder heads, engine blocks and transmission housings.
( Source: Pixabay / CC0 )

The 5-axis inspection on coordinate measuring machines (CMM) can be described as a technical breakthrough. In powertrain production in the automotive industry, which is characterized by fierce competitive pressure, there is a constant search for more efficient solutions. At the same time attempts are being made to reduce production costs.


5-axis scanning for CMMs to inspect part characteristics, is a significant technical breakthrough, which has reduced cycle times by 20 to 70 % depending on the application. Systems that use 5-axis scanning technology allow for significant savings in the production of complex parts.

Time savings of 50 % are not uncommon when measuring cylinder heads, engine blocks and transmission housings. With the help of a roughness sensor, which enables measurements with the same automated CNC measuring routines, it is also no longer necessary to transfer to another measuring device or to carry out manual testing with hand-held measuring devices.

Faster and More Precise Scanning

All CMMs with only three linear axes (X, Y and Z) are subject to variable scanning accuracy, which becomes even worse at higher speeds. The reason for this is that the acceleration and deceleration forces noticeably twist the machine structure, which also leads to errors in the measured data. To avoid these errors and to achieve the required accuracy, the scanning speed is kept relatively low. It is usually below 25 mm/s.

Renishaw's proprietary Revo 5-axis measuring system is a technique that has radically changed the speed/accuracy conflict: The measuring head has two additional rotary axes which avoid these dynamic errors at high measuring speeds (up to 500 mm/s).

This is achieved by using a fast-reacting measuring head to perform, for example, circular scans, while the machine structure remains fixed. When measurement paths require more than two synchronized axes, such as spiral scanning, the X, Y and Z axes can be programmed to move in a vector at constant speed and the head performs the fast scanning movements. In this case, the machine structure runs at a constant speed and the above errors can be avoided.

The Revo system offers five different types of probes, each designed to maximize the benefits of 5-axis motion and continuous positioning. The probes can be changed automatically and there are probes for tactile scanning, touch probes, probes for roughness measurements and non-contact optical probes. All probes are used within a common coordinate reference system and offer the optimal tool for measuring multiple features on a single CMM platform.

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