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New developments in understanding rotary axes performance

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article image XR20-W rotary axis calibrator off axis

Renishaw has launched a new off axis rotary software for its XR20-W rotary axis calibrator.

Further extending its solutions for checking the alignment and positioning performance of machine tool rotary axes, Renishaw’s new software for the highly successful XR20-W now allows the calibrator to be used to measure the rotary positioning accuracy of an axis on many configurations of 5-axis machine tools, where the XR20-W often cannot be mounted on the centre of rotation.

Together with Renishaw's existing AxiSet Check-Up system, which provides machine users with a fast and accurate health check of rotary axis and pivot points, users now have comprehensive tools to identify errors with their rotary axes.

The XR20-W rotary axis calibrator combines with Renishaw's XL-80 laser interferometer to allow rotary axis positioning performance to be measured with ± 1 arc sec accuracy. With the new off axis test capability, users can now test more types of machine tools than was previously possible with the XR20-W, giving a better return on investment to companies as well as better service quality to customers.

Off axis measurement works by synchronising movement of rotary and linear axes so that the XL-80's laser beam is kept aligned throughout the test. Since the linear axis is moving, the measurements made by the XR20-W may include additional angular errors from the linear axis. These contributory angular errors are then measured separately (using the XL-80 laser and angular optics) and removed from the initial rotary axis results. The end result is a set of data reflecting only the errors from the rotary axis itself.

The off axis rotary software is provided as an extra cost option for XR20-W and includes a suite of software utilities, part program generators and an electronic manual.

AxiSet Check-Up

Renishaw's AxiSet Check-Up provides accurate and repeatable results using automated probing routines to gather performance data from a reference artefact, and includes simple yet powerful analysis.

Alignment and positioning performance checks are carried out rapidly to benchmark and monitor complex machines over time. All tests utilise existing spindle-mounted Renishaw touch probes, which are standard on most multi-axis machines, with probing routines generated using machine-specific macro software supplied with Check-Up. The use of OMP400 or RMP600 touch probes with patented Rengage strain gauge technology is recommended to ensure accuracy.

Measurement results from the test are output to a PC and presented in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, enabling easy to understand analysis of data in different formats.

Other checks and tests

To ensure the optimum analysis of rotary axis performance using Check-Up, it is important that the machine's standard three linear axes are also performing within specification. This should be determined and corrected if necessary using Renishaw's XL-80 laser calibration system, and then regularly checked using a Renishaw QC20-W ballbar.

Together with the XR20-W rotary axis calibrator and AxiSet Check-Up, these powerful performance testing products combine to ensure high quality parts can be consistently produced by 5-axis machining centres and multi-tasking machines.

Renishaw’s portfolio of products provides an unparalleled machine diagnostic solution, targeted at removing variation from the machining process, and helping to maximise productive metal cutting. 

Renishaw Oceania represents the Renishaw Group in Australia.

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