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  1. #21
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    I grew to hate how a laser sensor on a big Mazak 5 axis was implemented. The tools were measured with the spindle vertical. If one did a bunch of roughing with the spindle horizontal, chips would pile up on top the head. The tool measure/check routine was a builder routine hard coded into the control and not editable by the user. The silly thing would position the head over the sensor then rotate the spindle to vertical. If chips fell off the head at that point the sensor would trigger on them. It was a 2 touch method so the head would back up and go for the second hit and alarm out when it did not touch within the tolerance of the first trigger position. At least the 2 touch method prevented it from setting a bad number.

    Had to get the programmers all accustomed to moving the head to vertical before commanding the measure/break check routine and also train all the operators and setup guys to manually rotate to vertical before calling the measure function.

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    I've never used a physical touch tool setter, but can they measure the true radius on a bull or ball-nose endmill within a couple tenths?[/QUOTE]

    Rob this is a very good point I do Believe the laser has the physical touch probe beat in this aspect. The ability to measure your true radius and dia is just as important as measuring your tool length when your trying to hold tight tolerances... yesterday I went through took the shutters off cleaned everything out re cleaned my calibration tool and also cleaned out my spindle taper and now Iím back in business my calibration is hitting my sizes dead on.. within .00002/.00004... thanks again everyone for the input and helping me out

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    Quote Originally Posted by HSM_CHIEF View Post
    I've never used a physical touch tool setter, but can they measure the true radius on a bull or ball-nose endmill within a couple tenths?
    Rob this is a very good point I do Believe the laser has the physical touch probe beat in this aspect. The ability to measure your true radius and dia is just as important as measuring your tool length when your trying to hold tight tolerances... yesterday I went through took the shutters off cleaned everything out re cleaned my calibration tool and also cleaned out my spindle taper and now Iím back in business my calibration is hitting my sizes dead on.. within .00002/.00004... thanks again everyone for the input and helping me out[/QUOTE]

    Don't mean to beat a dead horse as this comes up alot, how are you checking that? Or is that just what the number is repeating? Just curious as a couple years back was working with some Mazak machines that the input (?) was 4 place decimal in METRIC! I am quite confident the machine was not holding those 'tolerances' (.0000039")

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    Yeah the machine was repeating the length of the calibration tool that close my machine has 6 decimal place readings on the scales again I donít think Iím consistently holding those sizes either in a perfectly controlled environment you could probably get close. Like I stated this machine isnít your standard ball screw machine itís fully linear in all axes and is thermally controlled by the chillers

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    Sorry to dig up an old post. Is there any machines out there that can have more than one type of setter. Like a visual and a touch probe both set up and you can pick what you want to use?

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    Yes. They might charge a lot for it, but this would be pretty easy for the MTB or Renishaw/Blum/Marposs/whomever to implement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boosted View Post
    Yes. They might charge a lot for it, but this would be pretty easy for the MTB or Renishaw/Blum/Marposs/whomever to implement.

    I believe the Renishaw QMI and RMI receivers can support 4 devices. I have set up 2 probes on machines in the past.

    Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by PegroProX440 View Post
    Sorry to dig up an old post. Is there any machines out there that can have more than one type of setter. Like a visual and a touch probe both set up and you can pick what you want to use?
    What kind of control is it? There are almost certainly multiple high-speed skip inputs on the control and even if there weren't, you could daisy chain your measurement devices together to share a skip input and just use one or other device within your program as needs dictate.

    I know the thread is old but to the original question, I have used the Renishaw NC4 laser setter and I dislike it. It always seems to drift out of alignment and on the Kitamura HX500 horizontal I run, it is mounted diagonally at the bottom of the pallet with a bracket. We had to use a stroke limits to shave off 1.5" of Z-travel to stop it hitting the telescoping covers around the spindle, and I need to turn on/off stroke check in X/Y between measuring or when running tools down low on the pallet. It also false triggers from coolant drips and while it can measure things like tool radius, I don't think it's accurate enough to really be verifying if your tool edge radius is out by, say, .002. I wouldn't rely on it anyway, that's for sure.

    Oh, and it's slow. It rapids then does a fine feed into the beam, but the lights twinkle 10+ times as it measures the tool, the whole measurement process taking 10+ seconds compared to a double touch on a contact setter that's equally accurate but way faster without the limitations. You also gotta plumb air in and clean them off regularly or they fail to read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PegroProX440 View Post
    Sorry to dig up an old post. Is there any machines out there that can have more than one type of setter. Like a visual and a touch probe both set up and you can pick what you want to use?
    The machine control must be equipped with SKIP input, and have 1 spare M-function in order to control the wireless spindle probe and wire connected tool setter. The M function energizes the change over relay, and is connected to START input of the spindle probe controller. The SKIP output of tool setter is connected to NC contact of the relay, the SKIP output of the spindle probe controller is connected to NO contact of the relay, the COMMON contact of the relay is connected to the SKIP input of the machine control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    Oh, and it's slow. It rapids then does a fine feed into the beam, but the lights twinkle 10+ times as it measures the tool, the whole measurement process taking 10+ seconds compared to a double touch on a contact setter that's equally accurate but way faster without the limitations. You also gotta plumb air in and clean them off regularly or they fail to read.
    I posted several times in the past my opinion (negative) about laser tool setters. The mentioned above topic of measurement speed is another additional argument. The measurement algorithm in macros which control the interface of the NC4 is based on assumption, that the position of the spindle axis while crossing the laser beam is not consistent. Therefore the beam crossing is repeatedd 3 times, the scatter of 3 reading is examined, and if it is beyond the "accuracy" value, as set in the setting file, the process is repeated. Number of the repetition can be set as well.
    To conclude: "Per definition", laser setters producers assume, that the laser measuring process is not consistent and no repetitive, and force calculation tricks. Contrary to that, electromechanical probes readings are reliable, and no known to me controlling them macro uses the above mentioned "averaging" techniques. One touch is enough and will be consistent over and over again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PROBE View Post
    I posted several times in the past my opinion (negative) about laser tool setters. The mentioned above topic of measurement speed is another additional argument. The measurement algorithm in macros which control the interface of the NC4 is based on assumption, that the position of the spindle axis while crossing the laser beam is not consistent. Therefore the beam crossing is repeatedd 3 times, the scatter of 3 reading is examined, and if it is beyond the "accuracy" value, as set in the setting file, the process is repeated. Number of the repetition can be set as well.
    To conclude: "Per definition", laser setters producers assume, that the laser measuring process is not consistent and no repetitive, and force calculation tricks. Contrary to that, electromechanical probes readings are reliable, and no known to me controlling them macro uses the above mentioned "averaging" techniques. One touch is enough and will be consistent over and over again.
    Agree 100%, and by the way I love your posts and sharing of knowledge - keep it up!

    Another thing I've run into with laser setters is that, because they use a beam that spans a (relatively) large distance, anything that crosses that beam causes problems. On the horizontals I work with, we've had issues where we're maximizing pallet size to squeeze the most parts in, and if the pallet is at anything other than B0, the tombstone or part will interrupt the beam, causing tool break detect failures. This means you need to unlock the pallet, rotate back to B0, lock the pallet, then do your tool break check. This adds several seconds to the cycle time, which adds up when you're trying to run lights out (which is exactly when you really need tool break checking). A manual touch setter is effectively a single point in X/Y/Z that doesn't interfere with your workholding in the machine enclosure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PROBE View Post
    I posted several times in the past my opinion (negative) about laser tool setters. The mentioned above topic of measurement speed is another additional argument. The measurement algorithm in macros which control the interface of the NC4 is based on assumption, that the position of the spindle axis while crossing the laser beam is not consistent. Therefore the beam crossing is repeatedd 3 times, the scatter of 3 ......
    Say what....
    It is a "laser" it has to be right and be spot on. This is high tech, not some old contact thing or a stupid camera.
    It must be right and the best..
    Bob

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    I have only used contact setters except for one machine. It was a Micron HPM 1350 and the setter had the biggest inherent flaw. It had to span the whole Y axis. Yes there was like 3 feet between the beam lenses. It would measure small end mills about 1/32 off real location.

    All other lasers I have seen in the shop have worked well (Hermle, Fidia, Makino and DMG Mori)

    What type of setter would you recommend for an Okuma M560. Half mold work, half aerospace and government work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Say what....
    It is a "laser" it has to be right and be spot on. This is high tech, not some old contact thing or a stupid camera.
    It must be right and the best..
    Bob
    Hi Bob,
    I have to absolutely disagree with your statement, that laser "is hi tech". It is not. In general, contrary to what is widely believed, the laser beam propagated in CLEAR air is not straight and it scatters as the distance from the transmitter grows. Just imagine the influence of the contaminated air in machine tool working area. Technologically the laser beam transmitter of the class 2 laser (the power allowed for use in free air) is not more advanced then the pocket torch, which I presented to my grandson as Hanukah gift.

    From other side, the "old contact thing" is in fact a piece of highest technology. Based on invention of KINEMATIC STAGE by 19th century British scientist, Sir James Maxwell, the KINEMATIC STAGE has mechanical ability to return, after being moved, to initial STEADY position with very high degree of accuracy. Another Britt, Sir David McMurtry, was trying some 50 years ago to design a touch probe for use on measuring machine. He understood, that the ability of such probe to give highly repeatable triggers at each deflection is based on its ability to accurately return to its initial position. His ingenious invention was to implement Maxwell's idea into his instrument.
    The KINEMATIC STAGE is rock solid repetitive, regardless of the working conditions. In fact, Sir McMurtry's "old contact thing" is so ingenious, that while examining history ,it has to be said, that this was Renishaw's only technologically innovative achievement. They are successfully squeezing this lemon until this very day. All other products are replicas to something produced by others, no one "a priory" being in the "ingenious" class.

    Stefan


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