Guideway material reduces large CMM cost

British CMM manufacturer LK Metrology has introduced a third series of large-capacity models to sit alongside its established bridge-type machines and very large-scale gantry-type machines, which offer high accuracy due to their ceramic moving guideways. Using the latest innovations in aluminium and steel CMM guideway technology, the new AEROS, AEROS S and AEROS P gantrytype CMMs (40 models in total), lower the capital cost of such equipment. With measuring volumes up to 8.0 x 3.5 x 2.5 m, they allow a broader spectrum of manufacturers in industries such as aerospace, power generation, automotive and defence, to benefit from the latest 3D metrology systems.

Unlike traditional bridge CMMs, the AEROS main structure of support pillars and longitudinal guideways remains static, with only the gantry beam assembly moving during measurement. The open design is extremely adaptable, providing full access to the work area during the loading and unloading of parts. It is particularly suited to smart factories with autonomous guided carts and manually operated wheeled or rail-type material handling systems.

For consistent accuracy and dimensional stability, innovative design features have been incorporated into the AEROS range to minimise distortions and errors of inertia. Particular attention has been paid to the design of the guideway support system, which allow the longitudinal beams to expand freely without risking distortion. Multiple thermistors are fitted for automatic compensation of errors due to thermal expansion of structural components in uncontrolled environments, such as production areas. Extra-wide air bearing tracks and generous dimensioning of the distance between air bearings provides optimal mechanical rigidity. Notably, 0.1 μm optical linear scales provide accurate positional feedback and precise motion control, with a dual read-head system on both X-axis guideways for high metrology performance.

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