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The North West Training Council (NWTC) is investigating the application of Acu-Rite VUE digital readout systems on the 12 two-axis lathes used by its engineering apprentices.

Installed on the Bridgeport mills by Style Machine Tools, the introduction of the six VUE systems was prompted by the realisation by NWTC that it is imperative its apprentices train and use equipment of the appropriate technology level before encountering CNC.

Available from Heidenhain, VUE is an entry-level two-/three-axis DRO that transforms the performance and operation of manual machines.

Displaying full text on a LCD display, standard functionality includes job clock, feed-rate display, absolute/incremental, near-zero warning, 16 tool offsets/diameters, preset and zero reset, Trig calculator and instant inch/mm conversion in addition to content-sensitive help function.

Specific functions for milling include graphically supported bolt-hole pattern calculations (full and partial circles/linear patterns) and centreline calculation, while for turning the system also features ‘lock axis’ functionality (establish tool offsets under load) and instant radius and diameter compensation.

Linear and non-linear error compensation can be configured up to +/- 9.999ppm.

As well as being supplied complete with all appropriate armoured cabling, VUE’s cost-to-performance tag is reinforced by its availability as a ready-to-use package – as fitted at NWTC by Style Machine Tools – with Acu-Rite’s high-end SENC 150 precision glass linear encoders that were applied to the machines’ X and Y axes.

The SENC 150 glass scale technology is based on the use of reflective (rather than that transmittive) light for measurement; the highly integrated scanning sensor provides even greater contamination resistance.

Roller bearing technology reduces backlash and prolongs the life of the scale.

SENC 150 is available in lengths of 50mm to 3.04m and features the innovative Position-Trac functionality that allows operators to accurately and quickly re-establish workpiece zero from any position after a power interruption.

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