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‘Smart’ Rotary Table Increases Portable Arm Inspection Productivity

The speed with which someone can inspect a component using a portable, multi-axis measuring arm is increased by up to 40 percent if, instead of the part being static, it is placed on a new FREEDOM Index Table from LK Metrology. The coordinate measuring machine manufacturer says that not only is inspection more efficient, but also in some cases it is possible to use a smaller, less expensive arm to access all areas of a component. In other words, the effective measuring volume of any arm is increased.

Rotation may even avoid having to relocate the arm to enable sufficient access to the back of the part, which would lengthen the measuring cycle and could introduce inaccuracy. Additionally, the operator is not fatigued by repeatedly having to stretch to reach around the component, which can weigh up to 100 kg.

Requiring no cables, the portable, manually operated, metrology grade index table is compatible with any make of portable measuring arm, not just LK’s 6- and 7-axis FREEDOM arm range. The 300 mm (optionally 500 mm) diameter table is quick to set up on a work surface, after which the operator secures the part to be inspected onto the surface with the aid of pre-drilled, threaded fixing holes or integral clamping magnets.

Random Alphanumerically Labelled Fiducial Dimples

Similarly rapid is the initial calibration of the start position by instructing the coordinate system in InnovMetric’s PolyWorks|Inspector software the table location The speed of the procedure is down to clever positioning of randomly placed, alphanumerically labelled, fiducial dimples machined into the top of the table and around its periphery. By probing three or more of them using the arm, the software recognises the irregular pattern and automatically knows the orientation. It is then a simple matter to click the on-screen FREEDOM Index Table macro in the software to update the coordinate system before continuing with the part inspection.

When the far side of the part needs to be accessed, the table is rotated through 180 degrees, or any intermediate angle, followed by three or more different reference dimples again probed to update the software as to the new position and measuring continues seamlessly. Both sets of inspection data are aligned automatically by the software.

Measurement of geometrical features, evaluation of surfaces using advanced point cloud analysis, part-to-CAD comparison and full reporting in the PolyWorks 3D dimensional analysis and quality control software all follow in the usual way.

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