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Shop floor process control with Equator now includes ultra-fast touch trigger probing, feature-based offsetting and updated EZ-IO automation software. Manufacturers using the Renishaw Equator flexible gauge now have even more options for inspecting parts right where they are being made — on the shop floor.

With the new TP20 touch trigger probe kit, Feature Compare and updated EZ-IO software, flexible gauging is now ultra-fast, simpler to setup and easier to automate, according to Renishaw.

Equator gauges are suitable for high-speed flexible gauging, as manually loaded systems or in fully automated cells. Equator provides flexibility for engineers to re-program for design changes and for shop-floor operators to switch between different parts in seconds, using repeatable removable fixture plates and the Organiser software.

According to the company, manufacturers recognise the benefits of Equator’s combination of flexibility, fast scanning, low purchase price and low cost of ownership (Equator requires no regular re-calibration). Other key benefits include the system’s ability to compensate for the effects of challenging environmental conditions.

Key features and enhancements

  • Short cycle times for all applications: the ultra-fast TP20 touch trigger probe can now be combined on Equator with the high-speed scanning of the SP25 probe.
  • The system can also automatically switch to the SP25 scanning module using the integrated changing rack to provide any combination of measurement routines. 
  • Equator with TP20 is an ideal alternative for in-line gauging tasks that might have used custom hard gauging systems with single-point air gauges or LVDTs.
  • The advantage of flexible gauging with Equator is that part geometry can be computed simply by taking additional data points, rather than the need for a complex custom gauge.
  • Equator uses the principle of mastering to cope with changes in temperature on the shop floor. Now the process of calibrating the master part is made easy with the new Feature Compare function.
  • Master parts do not need to be expensive or custom made; users can simply take a production part and measure it. 
  • With Feature Compare, the user can simply take the master part measurement data and enter the compensation values for each feature’s size, position or orientation.
  • EZ-IO automation software with Process Monitor:EZ-IO software makes it easy for integrators setting up automated manufacturing cells to configure communications between Equator systems and the cell controller. 
  • Re-mastering immediately compensates for any change in the thermal conditions of a shop-floor environment and is as swift as measuring a production part.
  • The calibrated absolute accuracy of the CMM or other devices (often located in remote temperature-controlled rooms to ensure accuracy) can be ‘extended’ onto the shop floor to provide calibrated traceability to Equator measurements.

Renishaw

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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