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Next Generation Radio Transmission Probing Delivers Data-Rich Future

Renishaw recently showcased its latest radio transmission probing system for machine tools at UK MACH 2022 exhibition. The next generation system is one of many smart factory process control solutions set to help machine shops across many industries transform their production capabilities.

The new system comprises an ultra-compact RMI-QE radio interface with an updated communication protocol, as well as major updates to the complete range of market-leading radio transmission probes. The new enhancements deliver significantly improved battery life, simplified set up, and remote diagnostics to all radio probes.

Connected Interface For a Digital Future

Situated inside the machining environment, the RMI-QE interface features an updated communication protocol and is future-proofed to support a new generation of Renishaw sensors and smart devices.

Robust and reliable in busy radio environments, the RMI-QE utilises an updated version of Renishaw’s industry proven 2.4 GHz frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) radio transmission technology and remains compliant with radio regulations worldwide. The system is suitable for applications that cannot guarantee line-of-sight between probe and receiver – such as in 5-axis, multi-tasking and mill-turn machines. It also allows up to four separate tool setting probes or spindle probes to be operated on the same CNC machine – ideal for machining centres with rotary tables or twin pallets.

The ultra-compact design enables a multitude of flexible mounting options. As well as operating with the RMI-QE interface, the updated radio transmission probes provide full backwards compatibility with the legacy RMI-Q interfaces.

User Friendly Probing

Probe configuration using the Probe Setup app

Users have always been able to manually configure Renishaw radio probe settings to suit the operating conditions of their machines – particularly useful for high vibration and high-speed applications. However, the process is now significantly easier. In an industry first, the Opti-Logic technique, accessed via the new Probe Setup app, enables probe settings to be configured using a smartphone. Selectable options displayed on the smartphone screen are transferred to the probe through a two-way communication. Not only does this significantly simplify the configuration process but also makes remote diagnostics possible via common applications, including email, iMessage, WhatsApp, LINE and WeChat.

Environmentally Friendly Probing

Updates to the probes’ electronics and radio transmission deliver an increase in battery life of up to 400%, which when used with the RMI-QE, offers an industry-leading battery life of up to 5 years based on typical usage. But, as James Hartley, Applications and Marketing Manager for Renishaw’s Machine Tool Products Division explains, this design change is more than just battery life improvements, “While we are immensely proud of the technological advancements this next generation system delivers, we are equally proud of our on-going project to increase the environmental efficiency of our products. With the battery life improvements demonstrated here and with recent improvements to our OMP40-2 and OSP60 optical transmission probes, we are committed to minimising the environmental impact of our products by reducing the consumables associated with them.”

Innovative Manufacturing Partner

Renishaw’s next generation radio transmission probing system enables reliable, automated on-machine tool setting, tool breakage detection, part set up and part verification capability. Integrating these control methods into manufacturing processes provides the data necessary to significantly improve productivity, machine utilisation and reduce reliance on operators and human intervention.

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