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Blum-Novotest has supplied a mechanical measuring system that allows Lindenmaier to check tool perfection on its N/C machine.

The system had to be cost-efficient and ready for fast retrofitting, adapted to the rough, ambient conditions inside the machine and offer reliable data transmission to the N/C Control.

Blum-Novotest supplied a tool probe Z-Nano IR that provides an accurate repeatability of 0.5um and can be used to monitor tools with a diameter down to about 0.5mm.

Fully encased as per IP 68, the Z-Nano IR could theoretically be immersed in coolant without any liquid penetrating the inner workings.

The linear working principle of the probe prevents the generation of transverse forces during the scanning process.

As a result, shearing forces that could affect the tool cannot develop and even extremely small tools can be monitored reliably.

The linear working principle is applied to provide protection for fine tools and variation of the contact point on the lip of a tool in case of wear on the measuring surface.

The system is also suitable for detecting large tools, such as a boring head.

Blum-Novotest effectively guarantees that the measuring principle of the Z-Nano IR is wear-free.

The interior contains a miniature light barrier and when the probe is deflected a precision pin shades the light barrier, triggering a switch signal and preventing wear and tear.

Whenever the IR receiver sends out a switching signal, the machine axis is read out simultaneously, enabling the control to calculate the actual tool length.

The decision, whether or not a tool is broken, is made after comparing the desired with the actual value.

When the system detects damage on the tool, the N/C control will automatically interrupt the milling programme.

Its wireless data transmission makes the Z-Nano IR suitable for machines of this kind and the switching signal is sent via infrared transmission to IR receiver IC56.

The IR receiver is a standard interface that also communicates with other products made by Blum-Novotest, such as the workpiece probes of the TC series.

At Lindenmaier’s the probe is operated in dual mode, allowing the two measuring systems to be clock triggered by one IR receiver.

From the IR receiver the switching signal is further transmitted to the N/C control.

Standard supply includes measuring cycles that are lodged inside the control.

The user enters the length of the tool to be monitored in the tool-correction memory and selects the cycle for automatic break control.

Once set, the tool will be monitored according to the specifications of the machine operator and during each change of tool, respectively.

The Z-Nano IR can be mounted in a horizontal or vertical position and, due to its wireless execution, may remain on the appliance during a change of pallet.

For horizontal installation, Blum-Novotest offers an accessory acting as chip guard in order to prevent long chips from impairing the function of the probe.

There is an optional appliance that is used to blow off the measuring surface prior to measuring.

Apart from tool-breakage control – the main application of the Z-Nano IR – the probe may also be used to measure the tool length in an axis.

The temperature behaviour of the N/C machine can be tracked and temperature fluctuation may, for instance, be compensated in the Z-axis.

Blum-Novotest’s latest product is a hardwired Z-Pico.

Blum-Novotest GmbH is recognized as a developer of leading-edge measurement and testing technology, with some 40 years of experience as partner for the worldwide machine tool, automotive and aircraft industries.

The business develops and produces tactile and optical measuring systems for workpiece measurement and tool setting applications in machine tools. Alongside this, Blum develops and manufactures production line integrated measuring and testing solutions.

In addition to the modern, fast growing manufacturing sites near Ravensburg (Germany, BW) and Willich (Germany, NRW) Blum has sales & service subsidiaries in Bordeaux, Como, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Shanghai.

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