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Product News: Renishaw Launches New CMM Retrofit Program

New program offers single-source path to high performance for fraction of new-machine cost.

Published: Monday, June 22, 2009 - 12:42

(Renishaw: Hoffman Estates, IL ) -- Renishaw rolls out its new certified coordinate measuring machine (CMM) retrofit program at the 2009 Quality Show, offering several options to upgrade existing machines to state-of-the-art capabilities—including REVO five-axis, ultra-high-speed scanning. The comprehensive retrofit program applies to all brands of machines, including Hexagon and Zeiss, and ensures a future upgrade path with an all-Renishaw package of controller, software, and probing system. The Renishaw retrofit service enables manufacturers to raise CMM inspection throughput by factors of four, five, and more; increase measurement automation; collect more data points for form measurement; and utilize open-source software and future probing technology developments. New technology in the pipeline includes surface-finish measurement fully integrated within the automatic CMM inspection program, that should be available in mid-2009 . Renishaw has increased its own retrofit staff and is establishing retrofit partners in North America to meet demand.

The new single-source service from the inventor and global leader in automated probing technologies gives CMM users performance beyond the capabilities of many new CMMs—yet at a fraction of a new machine investment, says Ben Taylor, assistant chief executive at Renishaw. “The new retrofit program addresses critical manufacturing needs—faster throughput, greater process control, and higher automation efficiencies—while giving management an affordable means to improve competitiveness,” he says. The program utilizes Renishaw's UCC2 universal CMM controller and new MODUS metrology software, along with the company's unmatched range of touch-trigger, scanning and five-axis sensors, and proven, global service operations.

“While the REVO five-axis measuring system has been available on new Mitutoyo, Wenzel, Dukin, and Metris CMMs, users of some other machines have not been able to take advantage of this game-changing technology,” notes Taylor. “We can now offer users of all brands of CMMs a complete solution that features leading-edge technology in every respect, backed by the security of service and support direct from Renishaw.”

The retrofit service begins with an on-site survey and calibration benchmarking of the customer’s CMM. Drawing on this information and its experience with hundreds of retrofits worldwide, Renishaw generates a quote detailing the scope of work and the performance metrics the upgraded machine will achieve. On acceptance of the proposal, Renishaw’s specialty retrofit team develops, assembles, and tests the machine-specific retrofit kit. The kit includes all elements of the retrofit—mechanical, electrical, machine control, inspection software, etc.—enabling plug-and-play installation. Site work can typically be performed within a week. The retrofit service includes customer training. Upgrades receive a warranty period on service and support, with contract service and support available afterwards. Repairs, where needed, are done by repair-by-exchange (RBE) service on all Renishaw components, keeping machine downtime to barest minimum.

The fast lane to faster inspection

The CMM retrofit program offers an instant path for upgrading to high-speed, five-axis scanning capability with the REVO measuring system. Upgrading to the REVO system can greatly increase CMM productivity and data-gathering speed, says Denis Zayia, Renishaw's CMM business manager for the United States. The REVO five-axis measuring system optimizes probe access to part features, minimizing need for part reorientation, probe changes, and recalibration. Unlike conventional three-axis CMMs and machines with indexing heads—where every stylus and position change requires a tip qualification—REVO is a continuous process requiring only a single tip calibration procedure that’s then accurate for all angles of rotation. REVO can save hours on set-up time and qualifying routines on complex geometry parts, according to Zayia.

Just as important to productivity improvement, REVO high-speed scanning capabilities can greatly raise throughput and CMM part flow, he says, while capturing clouds of data for greater process control. The REVO system’s continuous scanning capability measures at speeds up to 500 mm/sec., compared to 5-15 mm/sec for most conventional CMMs. REVO can trace part contours, capturing up to 4,000 data points a second to let manufacturers better measure and control feature form. This is particularly valuable for determining functional fits and interfaces, such as on bores, cylinders, valve seats, gears, etc, where variation can be critical, says Zayia.

Open architecture control

Unlike the proprietary control systems on most CMMs, a Renishaw Retrofit gives machines an open architecture for application flexibility, adaptability, and continuous improvement capability, stresses Zayia. He terms this “future proofing.” Renishaw’s UCC2 universal CMM controller is at the heart of the CMM retrofit. Combined with a Renishaw servo power amplifier, it enables precision control of up to five axes of simultaneous motion on machines of all sizes and provides a single-box interface to all Renishaw sensors. Sophisticated machine error-mapping is provided in an open format, allowing users to potentially perform their own recalibration, while temperature compensation is also available.

Most important, the UCC2 complies with the I++ DME specification, giving users the freedom to use any metrology software that features an I++ client, such as Renishaw’s new MODUS software, included in the retrofit program. MODUS provides a powerful platform for five-axis measurement. Key features include CAD-driven offline programming with full five-axis simulation; native DMIS support; certified mathematical algorithms; powerful text and graphical reporting; and flexible output of results data.


About The Author

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For more than 30 years, Renishaw has been an innovator in metrology, the science of measurement, enabling measurements to be taken to international standards.

The company's first product, the touch-trigger probe was invented by David McMurtry, now Sir David McMurtry, chairman and chief executive, to solve a specific inspection requirement for the Olympus engines used on the Concorde. The first Renishaw company was established in 1973 by McMurtry and John Deer, now deputy chairman. This innovative product went on to revolutionize post-process inspection of machined components.