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CNC maintenance company considers Renishaw ballbar critical to operations

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article image QC20-W telescoping ballbar performing test on CNC lathe

A UK-based CNC maintenance service company has been using a Renishaw ballbar for years to perform machine performance tests.

Dave Wigmore who runs Wigmore CNC considers a ballbar critical to operations and has just received the first QC20-W telescoping ballbar system to be supplied by Renishaw in the UK.

Having used the Renishaw QC10 ballbar for years, Dave Wigmore is satisfied with the performance of the new ballbar as he doesn’t have to worry about someone catching the wire and knocking the ballbar off during a test or working out how the wire will wind around. The new QC20-W telescoping ballbar also allows much faster set-up and testing on any machine with no extra preparation.

Mr Wigmore pushed Renishaw to supply him with a QC20-W ballbar as soon as he heard they were intending to launch a wireless version of the QC10 ballbar using Bluetooth wireless technology.

As he had done earlier with the QC10 ballbar, Mr Wigmore performs three ballbar tests with the new QC20-W ballbar to establish the performance of the machine in the X, Y and Z axes, testing two planes with each check to give him a full analysis of up to 23 different machine errors.

The test results are then put on the machine, using the stickers provided by Renishaw to create a simple visual display as undeniable proof that the machine has been tested and is capable of producing the parts. Mr Wigmore delivers the CNC machines in a state where the customer only has to worry about the tooling, fixturing and programming.

Machine alignment errors

Mr Wigmore uses the QC20-W ballbar to pick up errors caused by multiple sources, which include machine alignment errors from distortion of the machine structure. The QC20-W data is analysed by the Ballbar 20 software included with the system to find machine errors that would normally go undetected, giving the user the option of repair instead of a costly ballscrew at a later date.

He believes that the QC20-W telescoping ballbars are major tools in machine tool servicing, helping to foresee costly major repairs that can be avoided with corrective maintenance, making them ideal for anyone involved in CNC machine tool maintenance.  

The new Ballbar 20 software is backwards compatible, allowing historical data gathered previously with Ballbar 5 software in the QC10 ballbar to be compared with new QC20-W data.

Renishaw Oceania represents the Renishaw group in Australia and New Zealand.

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