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Solution Puts Part Measurement Directly On CNC Machine Tools

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has announced the release of HxGN NC Servera new machine tool software interface that allows users to work with leading measurement software PC-DMIS directly on machine tools. The solution brings a range of productivity benefits by making the established process of machine tool measurement more accessible and compatible with other data collection and analysis processes commonly used in manufacturing applications.

Measuring directly on the machine tool has been accepted practice for many years, typically used for setting work offsets and verifying individual features. Available software solutions offer many possibilities ranging from simple and fast singlepoint measurement to the  collection of point clouds and the analysis of complex parts. However, measurements taken on machines tools could not be compared to those taken with dedicated devices such as portable measuring arms or coordinate measuring machines, due to differing measurement strategies, calculations and visualizations.

With the introduction of HxGN NC Server, manufacturers can now use the market-leading metrology software PC-DMIS to measure on the machine tool. This leads to comparable results throughout the complete quality process and can reduce the need for training on multiple software tools. The ability to compare results by using similar strategies and the same calculations as on dedicated measuring devices means shopfloor bottlenecks can be avoided and insight into the machining process gained. Its now possible to measure with the part still clamped in the machine, avoiding waiting on metrology device availability, as well as unloading and transporting the part. This is especially helpful with parts that are very large or complex to set up. 

In addition to PC-DMIS, HxGN NC Server enables other software such as EDGECAM to create measurements on machine tools with the same level of comparability. The EDGECAM module Inspect works with HxGN NC Server to give CAM programmers the ability to create measurement cycles that use PC-DMIS to evaluate and report the results.

With HxGN NC Server, operators no longer need to plan and execute individual measurement routines, nor do they need to struggle with the interpretation of resultsThe new solution manages measurement routines and produces the results automatically, enabling fully automated production and measurement processes.

HxGN NC Server not only enables and enhances communication between measurement software and the machine tool: it also provides a quick overview of the current state of all connected machine tools and their recent measurements. Through the built-in dashboard, users can view the machines and their measurement info at a glance and manage programs from the same workstation. In addition, users have direct access to all measurement reports with only a couple of clicks. HxGN NC Server is also compatible with Hexagon’s SFx platform’s Metrology Reporting module, making all measurement reports available everywhere through the cloud-service.

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