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The advanced manufacturing division of Intoco, a showcase for precision subcontract engineering, has realised benefits derived from automated tool setting, broken tool detection, component setting, in-cycle gauging and first-off inspection as a result of its high-specification CNC machine tools being fitted with touch-probe technology from Renishaw.

Intoco wanted to build measured accuracy into and during the manufacturing process; as with all manufacturing companies, time spent setting workpiece positions and inspecting finished products manually could be better invested in machining. A probing system can eliminate costly machine downtime and the scrapping of components associated with manual setting and inspection.

This was first appreciated at Intoco when the company invested in a Mazak INTEGREX e-1850V, which came fitted with a Renishaw RMP600 touch probe.

The Mazak INTEGREX e-1850V also comes with Renishaw’s Inspection Plus software for machining centres installed. This is an integrated package of macro software that includes vector and angle measuring options, print options and an extended range of cycles, as well as an SPC cycle, one-touch or two-touch probing options, tool offset compensation by percentage of measured error and data output.

Intoco recently added further Mazak multi-tasking machines to its production facility, including a Mazak INTEGREX e-650H, fitted with a touch probe, and a smaller-capacity Mazak INTEGREX e-420H, fitted with Renishaw touch probe technology. It also uses a Renishaw MH20i manually adjustable probe with a TP20 touch trigger probe on its co-ordinate measuring machine.

Key benefits of product application

  • According to Intoco, the elimination of the ‘off machine’ inspection process and manual measuring, with the potential for inaccuracy and misreading that can occur, coupled with the length of time that this entails and the machine delays involved, has given the company an improved ‘floor-to-floor’ time together with printed accurate measurement data to pass to clients.
  • Managing director Tony Preece stated that the fastest return on any investment that Intoco has made has been the Renishaw probing. 
  • Preece said: ‘Inspection Plus is great because you can do in-process measuring and adjust tool sizes automatically with the controller, so from a measurement perspective it takes a lot of problems away from the operators.’
  • He added: ‘We’ve got a CMM that will accommodate 800mm on the X axis, but when we get components over that size we can’t measure them as accurately as we need to. The Renishaw probing system and software are essential.’
  • Intoco also machines 1,500mm-diameter turbo fans on the same machine, where once again Inspection Plus is said to be highly valuable: the fans are measured using Inspection Plus and the data is exported to a suitable file, such as a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet. A document can then be presented to the customer showing nominal size, check size and tolerance band.
  • Originally, the Mazak INTEGREX e-650H was delivered without a Renishaw touch probe. Intoco required it to machine components up to 1,000mm in diameter, which were difficult to measure with conventional inspection equipment. The company contracted Renishaw to fit a touch probe with a radio signal transmission to enable it to inspect and record tight tolerance dimensions.


A world leader in engineering technologies, Renishaw’s core skills in measurement and precision machining serve sectors as diverse as dimensional metrology, spectroscopy, machine calibration, motion control, dentistry and surgical robotics.

A world leader in engineering technologies, Renishaw’s core skills in measurement and precision machining serve sectors as diverse as dimensional metrology, spectroscopy, machine calibration, motion control, dentistry and surgical robotics.

Sensors for co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are an industry standard, from basic touch-trigger probes through to automated stylus and probe changers, motorised indexing probe heads, and revolutionary five-axis measurement systems.

Machine probes for CNC machine tools allow automated tool setting, workpiece set-up, in-cycle gauging and part inspection. Products include laser tool setters, contact tool setters, tool breakage detectors, touch probes and high accuracy inspection probes.

For motion control, Renishaw supplies laser encoders, optical linear encoders, optical angle encoders, optical rotary encoders, magnetic rotary encoders, magnetic chip encoders and magnetic linear encoders.

To analyse the static and dynamic performance of position-critical motion systems, Renishaw’s laser interferometer and environmental compensation system offers a linear measurement accuracy of 0.5 ppm, readings of up to 50 kHz and a linear measurement speed of up to 4 m/s, with a linear resolution of 1nm.

Renishaw’s Raman spectroscopy products exploit the Raman effect to identify and characterise the chemistry and structure of materials. A diverse range of analytical applications include pharmaceutical, forensic science, nanotechnology, biomedical and semiconductors.

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