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On Machine Tool Measurement With Laser Scanner Raises Production Reliability

One challenge that manufacturers often face is the uncertainty of raw parts not having enough overstock on all surfaces to avoid costly machining failures.

Especially when finishing pre-produced parts from external suppliers or other machine tools, operators invest a lot of time ensuring that the part has enough overstock and finding the right tool offset setting to ensure crashes and time-consuming air cuts are avoided.

Until recently, this process could only be executed manually or with many individual measurement points. Even then, 100% certainty could never be assured. But now Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence has launched the wireless LS-R-4.8 laser scanning system for machine tools, a ground-breaking technology that offers new possibilities for the enhancement of modern production environments.

By adding a laser scanner directly to the machine tool, the part surface can quickly be measured with thousands of points, instantly showing how much overstock the part has and how high the tool offset should be.

This unique technology also resolves another major challenge with raw parts coming to the machine tool for finishing: correct alignment of the part. This process previously needed individual measurement points on a couple of selected areas on the part. But with the laser scanning point cloud and the Best-Fit function, HxGN NC Measure software aligns the part fully automatically and sends correction values to the machine control under consideration of the complete part surface.

With only one laser scan of the part before machining, operators can be confident about the part overstock and correct alignment on the machine.

The m & h LS-R-4.8 is a wireless laser scanner with data transmitted via radio to the machine control and measuring software, which allows the sensor to be changed in and out of the tool changer without any manual intervention. With the metrology-grade laser scanner integrated into the machine tool, users can quickly capture and analyse a complete, data-rich image of a part and act to address flaws while the part is still clamped. The results bring new levels of speed, precision and flexibility to machine tool inspection, while minimising the need for external measurement devices.

Equipped with a blue line laser, the m&h LS-R-4.8 quickly and precisely captures data equally well on shiny or dark surfaces. The design is optimised for the harsh environment in machine tools and the large field of view is ideal to capture all relevant areas of a clamped part. Its intuitive, highly functional software is compatible with controls from Fanuc, Siemens and Heidenhain and supports measurements with up to 5 axes.

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