Europe’s largest and most comprehensive showcase for quality, Control, opens in Sinsheim, Germany, 8 -11th May. Manufacturers and dealers from all areas of the QA industry have filled the halls for the 21st CONTROL. Exhibition project manager Gitta Schlaak reports that all six of the trade fair pavilions with more than 430,000 square feet of exhibition and pedestrian floor space are booked out, and that the number and of visitors expected will exceed 20,000. As usual, Control will be the platform for many new product launches and industry announcements which Quality Manufacturing Today will be reporting on in depth in our next issue ((July/August 2007). Meanwhile, here is a selection of some exhibitors’ new products and enhancements.
Delcam will demonstrate the latest release of its PowerINSPECT software on stand 6308 at the Control exhibition. This new version includes support for multi-axis On-Machine Verification, improved ease of use and compatibility with the AIMS Metrology System used by leading aerospace companies, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
The multi-axis option for On-Machine Verification will allow companies with four-, five- or six-axis equipment to undertake comprehensive verification of their parts on these more complex machine tools, both during and after machining. The main advantage of the new option will be the ability to check undercut regions, without any need to re-position the workpiece.
The main improvement to the system’s ease of use is the introduction of a colour-coded scheme for the points to be measured – an enhancement known as the ‘bouncing ball’. Under the scheme, all points to be inspected are initially coloured blue, apart from the position for the first measurement which is shown in red. As the inspection proceeds, the next position to be measured is always shown in red, while each point that has already been taken is turned to grey.
Leica Geosystems' Metrology Division has launched the Leica T-Mac, a Tracker-Machine Control sensor. The sensor answers the needs of a growing number of customers who have either modified the existing Leica T-Probe for automated measurement applications or expressed an interest in doing so.The Leica T-Mac is intended for mounting on robots or machines, the positions of which need to be monitored in 6DoF space without the need for a contact tip. It features a special housing for easy installation, with additional reflector nests for calibration and easy orientation. Dr Raimund Loser, Leica T-Mac's chief developer, explains: "Over the past few years, we've witnessed an increase in the number of customers who need a 6DoF solution for automated tracking of the position of robots or machines. With the Leica T-Mac, we are introducing an off-the-shelf solution that can be custom-tailored to the needs of a specific application. For example, when needed, an interface for precise tool exchange units, such as those from Sandvik, can be included."
Renishaw will be demonstrating an addition to its UCC range of universal controllers for co-ordinate measuring machines, the UCClite, a cost-effective controller for measurement applications requiring only touch-trigger probing capability. The new 3-axis controller supports manual CMMs as standard, with an option available for DCC machines, either with original purchase, or as a simple future configuration upgrade.
Despite its low price, Renishaw say the UCClite CMM controller still benefits from many standard features present on Renishaw’s higher specification controllers, including support for the new industry standard I++DME protocol which can allow companies to use their preferred measurement software, and Renishaw’s UCCassis diagnostics software package.
When used with Renishaw’s new SPAlite, a lower powered unit suited to smaller machines, the UCClite requires no external 24V supply. Together, these two new units offer a highly cost-effective and compact CMM axis control solution.