Renishaw has introduced a new process monitoring window to the shop-floor user interface of its Equator gauging system.
Designed to instantly display measurement results of inspected features to the operator on a bar-graph display, the window also shows the history of measurement on each feature for process trends to be observed.
Now included with all Equator systems, the new process monitoring software enables the gauging system's re-mastering process to be managed based on temperature limits, number of parts or time since last master, giving engineers a range of software tools for monitoring their process.
Instant inspection status
A status bar-chart shows inspection results for the last part measured, as a proportion of tolerance on either side of nominal. In addition to having pass/fail tolerance limits set by the inspection program, the engineer can configure the system to set extra warning limits, allowing the operator to take action before a process reaches 100% of the tolerance.
Selecting an inspected feature changes the line graph to show the values measured for that feature on previous parts. The engineer can change the scale to show the history of a few recent parts, or show more parts, so that any trend in the process can be seen. This graph is ideal when a process is likely to drift, for example when the cutting tools used to machine the inspected surfaces are subject to wear.
If the value for a feature is steadily drifting towards its tolerance limit the operator or engineer can make a decision to apply a tool offset or change the cutting tool used for that feature. The line graph shows the tolerance limits and warning limits, along with vertical lines when re-mastering points are recorded.
Re-mastering is as swift as measuring a production part and immediately compensating for any change in the thermal conditions of a shop floor environment. Equator can be used in factories with wide temperature variation by simply re-mastering and ‘re-zeroing' the system, ready for repeatable comparison to the master.
The new process monitor window now makes this even easier to manage by using the built-in sensor to detect changes in ambient temperature and warn the operator that re-mastering is needed. Engineers responsible for the process can either set an upper and lower drift limit, or alternatively specify that re-mastering is required after a certain elapsed time, or after a certain number of measurement cycles.
It is also possible to export the historical measured data in .csv format for use in a spreadsheet, or .jpg images for use in reports through on-screen buttons.
A new industry standard for flexible gauging
A radical alternative to traditional dedicated gauging, Equator features a patented low-cost design, unique in construction and method of operation, and is capable of high-speed comparative gauging for inspection of high-volume manufactured parts.
A lightweight, fast and highly repeatable gauge that operators can use with push-button simplicity, Equator switches between parts in seconds, perfect for flexible manufacturing processes or accepting parts from multiple machines.
Supported by a turnkey installation service and global support network, Equator gauging systems have been installed in multiple automotive, aerospace, medical and electronic companies across the world.
Renishaw Oceania represents the Renishaw Group in Australia.