Renishaw

5-Axis Scanner Delivers Faster Measurement Results

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Automated Roughness Measurements

Since a few years now, 5-axis scanning has been saving time; new developments now justify the use of 5-axis CMM techniques in powertrain manufacturing, including the enhanced SFP2 roughness sensors for the latest Revo-2 head. With Revo's continuous positioning, all features, including small bores such as valve guides in cylinder heads, can be checked. Due to this additional option, there is no longer any reason to use traditional, hand-held surface tools and roughness measurement now only takes about half the time previously required.

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Program-controlled surface inspection captures the data in the same coordinate reference system as other probes and automatically saves the results for later use. The equipment savings for new lines are around 25 % if a 3-axis CMM with manual testing station is replaced by a 5-axis CMM with roughness measurement capability. The 5-axis technology features the latest CMM standard but can also be retrofitted to many older machines.

As a result, CMMs equipped with Revo require fewer stylus configurations, reducing both tool inventory and cycle times. In most cases, even highly complex powertrain parts can be completely tested with two styli, often only one stylus suffices. This is particularly important as CMMs require a large part of their cycle time for calibration or the exchange of styli. Two design features of the Revo 5-axis system offer the following possibilities:

  • Unlimited rotary positioning options, so that all angular interventions are program-controlled and do not depend on changing different stylus configurations with fixed angles.
  • The ability of high-speed scanning with both short and long styli thanks to tip sensing probe technology.

These functions allow even the longest stylus needed for the deepest feature to accurately measure features on the surface.

How Does Tip Sensing Work?

In tip sensing, the position directly behind the stylus tip is measured with a laser beam directed at a reflector on the stylus. The reflector changes its position as soon as the stylus touches the workpiece and bends slightly. The altered return path of the laser beam is then detected, and the exact position of the stylus tip is determined, since the reflector and the stylus ball are close together.

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The advantages of a digitally connected machine hall have already caused a lot of enthusiasm in the industry due to the potential of enormous efficiency savings. Ideally, the size and position of the characteristics are automatically monitored and automatic adjustments of the upstream machining processes — based on trends — are carried out. Tolerances should therefore remain within the process limits. The need for fast data acquisition is therefore very important and the fast 5-axis inspection enables a higher number of samples or the implementation of a complete inline inspection.

Renishaw also offers the Revo 5-axis system as a retrofit. In this case, the existing CMM is subjected to intensive testing to assess the condition of its mechanical and electrical components. Renishaw's many years of experience with virtually all CMM model makes it possible to predict a defined increase in system performance as well as to conduct planning for retrofitting measuring devices.

Renishaw offers flexible maintenance and calibration solutions and the ability to regularly check machine accuracy with analysis tools. The retrofitted system is open and the customer remains the owner of his system data files. In this way, the customer is guaranteed the free choice of service providers for the ongoing maintenance and support of his system in the future as well.

This article was first published by MaschinenMarkt

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