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Automated Self-Propelled Gridplate Efficiently Transports Components For CMM Inspection

The ZEISS automated, self-propelled CARFIT eMOBEE honeycomb gridplate efficiently transports components for automated processes in the measuring laboratory.

The increase in the variety of parts available and companies’ intensive efforts to inspect their components at an even faster rate means measuring areas must be properly equipped to achieve the necessary efficiency. With the ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE, individual components fixtured on the honeycomb gridplate travel automatically from the production line to the measuring lab and even to the designated measuring machine as scheduled. If multiple gridplates are used at the same time, then CMM  downtime can be drastically reduced.

The system “finds” its way without any human assistance or tracks. DMC matrix codes placed every 50 centimeters along the guidance path lead the honeycomb gridplate to its goal – completely automatically. ZEISS affixes the electronic markings, measuring about two centimeters in size, at the customer’s location and codes them accordingly. A camera integrated in ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE reads the information on the chip.

ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE features an electric motor and is powered by built-in batteries. The battery life depends on the load, the travel path and the frequency – under normal operating conditions, a single charge is sufficient for several days of use. With the charging stations, the batteries can be recharged within three hours. Since no cable gets in the way of the honeycomb gridplate or limits its movement, ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE can be used in various working conditions.

Consistent data formats and standardized interfaces enable the secure, autonomous networking and communication between measuring machines and ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE. The honeycomb gridplate “knows” when and where it needs to transport a fixtured workpiece without human intervention.

Sensors on the gridplate ensure a safe working environment and meets all legal requirements. The sensors monitor the protective zone and travel area at ground level. If obstacles are identified, the mobile honeycomb gridplate stops immediately and only continues its journey once the path is clear.

Achieving precise measurement results requires that the mobile honeycomb gridplate is securely positioned prior to starting the measuring process. Once it has entered the measuring range, ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE is automatically lowered by approximately three centimeters onto the built-in feet. The high-precision hole grid enables the setup of fixtures for all workpieces that need to be measured. Since the mobile plate is extremely light, it is also possible to clamp heavy or multiple parts on the system.

Integrated honeycombs made from aluminum give the plate the necessary stability supporting the load on the hexagon grid rather than at individual points. The structure can handle a load that is 30 percent heavier as compared to other transportation solutions.

The pallet comes in different sizes. The smallest is 2×1 meters, and the largest is 5×2 meters. Each of the four wheels on ZEISS CARFIT eMOBEE is controlled
separately. Thanks to this omnidirectional drive, the gridplate can travel in any direction at all times. This ensures reliable movement across the floor, space-saving navigation and thus makes the plate suitable for small measuring labs.

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