Optical µCMM takes centre stage

Alicona’s recently introduced Optical µCMM was displayed at the recent Advanced Engineering exhibition in Birmingham, UK.

The µCMM is said to be the only purely optical micro-coordinate 3D measuring system available, providing high levels of accuracy not available on multi-sensor machines. Users benefit from all the advantages of tactile co-ordinate measuring technology, but with optical surface measurement to measure dimensions, position, shape and surface finish of components using just one optical sensor.
When supplied with GD&T software, µCMM offers the high geometric measurement of a number of 3D features in relation to each other, which provides the ability to measure small surface features with sub-micron accuracy in a short time. In addition to geometric position, users are able to measure surface finish in the same cycle, thus providing improved productivity.
The range of measurable surfaces includes all common industrial materials and composites, such as plastic, PCD, CFRP, ceramics, chrome, silicon and so on, including matt and polished components. Simple automated operation is implemented by single-button solutions built into a specially designed handheld remote controller. Air-bearing axles with linear drives enable wear-free use and high-precision, rapid measurement, says Alicona.
Options include the motorised Real3D Rotation Unit, which turns the three-axis system into a five-axis system and enables users to measure components from several directions, including round parts.
The automation of measurement operations is facilitated by the Automation Manager interface. Thus, µCMM offers the fully automatic measurement and evaluation of surface roughness parameters and GD&T features. The measurement result is therefore completely operator-independent.
For further information www.alicona.com

Updated Radian laser tracker from API

API has announced the launch of its updated series of Radian laser trackers. The extended Radian laser tracker range comprises three models: Radian Pro, Radian Plus and Radian Core.

Radian Pro offers both absolute distance measurement (ADM) and inferometer (IFM) capability, and is available with 20, 50 and 80 m range options, as well as six degrees of freedom (6DoF). The trackers can be provided with calibration tools to perform dynamic calibration and tracking of industrial robots and machine tools, delivering enhanced performance of manufacturing processes by reducing process variation.
With regard to Radian Plus, this laser tracker is supplied as standard with the API vProbe or iScan. The vProbe is a handheld, lightweight tactile probe that extends the laser tracker co-ordinate measuring capabilities by permitting intricate features and part characteristics outside the line-of-sight tracker set-up. API’s vProbe is said to offer more versatility than a portable arm CMM and is suitable for large parts and styli lengths up to 500 mm. Alternatively, API iScan is a handheld, lightweight non-contact scanner with higher data rate and point cloud capture speed, as well as a newly developed global position sensor system.
Finally, Radian Core is a spherically-mounted retroflector (SMR) tracker only, with measuring ranges of 50
and 80 m.
All of API’s laser trackers feature the Unibody design that uses shaft-mounted motors, encoders and laser; the latter helps minimise ABBE offset errors. Unibody houses the laser source, optics, camera and major head electronics in the centre of the tracker body, centring all heat sources and allowing rapid distribution of heat throughout the body during warm-up or any drastic ambient temperature variations.
For further information https://apisensor.com/

Quickstep halves part set-up time

The combination of MSP’s NC-Checker and NC-PerfectPart software is delivering significant savings for five-axis machining processes at Bankstown-based Quickstep Technologies, the largest independent aerospace-grade composites manufacturer in Australia.

Implementation of NC-PerfectPart and NC-Checker software, supported by Renishaw probing technology, provides the detailed information required to ensure machines stay within specified parameters, improving set-up times for Quickstep’s freeform parts.
NC-Checker first carries out a calibration check on the probe. Once this is complete, the software performs five-axis checks of the machine tool to verify its accuracy, providing a subsequent report. This check takes just minutes to complete, meaning it can be run on a regular basis to provide routine monitoring of the machine’s geometry.
The parts being produced by Quickstep Technologies are complex in shape, so work holding is a major issue when using traditional manufacturing methods. Each part has a dedicated composite vacuum fixture with three or four fixed location tooling spheres. The centre points of the spheres are known relative to the part geometry, and this information is used to locate the fixture or part in a suitable work offset co-ordinate system for machining.
Prior to using NC-PerfectPart, these datums were generated using standard cycles within the Siemens control. While this achieved results, it was limited in that it was time consuming and open to human error. NC-PerfectPart fully automates this process and eliminates any human error. Furthermore, the software removes the need to precisely position the part, producing time savings of 50% per component.
For further information https://metsoftpro.com/