Fully Automated 4-Axis CNC Machine Allows Users to Measure Complex Microtools and Parts

United Grinding has extended the capabilities of its WALTER HELICHECK PLUS measurement machine with a new “L” option. 

UNITED GRINDING (Miamisburg, OH) has extended the capabilities of its WALTER HELICHECK PLUS measurement machine with a new “L” option. The addition allows the fully automated 4-axis CNC machine to precisely measure complex profiles and shapes on micro tools and production parts with diameters from 0.004 in (0.1 mm) to 3.9 in (100 mm) and up to 28.7 in (730 mm) in length. Without the “L” option, the machine handles tools up to 11.8 in (300 mm) long.

According to Ted Neckel, director of corporate marketing for UNITED GRINDING North America, the HELICHECK PLUS machines meet the stringent VDI/VDE 2617 accuracy standards of Germany’s national metrology institute, ensuring users achieve the ultimate precision, quality and productivity in modern tool production. The machine’s certified accuracy is E1 = (1.4 + L/300) µm, while its repetition accuracy is less than or equal to 1.0 µm.

Featuring a low-vibration, thermostable solid granite base, the machine has an X, Y and Z axes of 10.2 in (260 mm), 31.3 in (795 mm) and 9.8 in (250 mm), respectively, with a 360-degree A-axis. The linear axes feature glass scales to ensure the highest possible positioning accuracy.

Brief overview of an amazing CNC measuring machine that can analyze the geometries of cutting tools and other parts automatically and without contact.

The HELICHECK PLUS L employs a special optics system that is free of moving parts to ensure stable, precise measurement of sensitive materials and small parts as well as reproducible measurement of high-gloss polished, coated or matte surfaces. The system consists of two transmitted light cameras, one with a 50x magnification and the other a 400x magnification, as well as front and top light cameras that also magnify objects to 400x so even the smallest details become measureable.

Furthermore, the HELICHECK PLUS L can be equipped with a cutting edge rounding sensor that can be used for hone edges from 3 to 50 μm on the endface of high-performance drills. The combination of multiple cameras in conjunction with the precision axes permits simple and reproducible orientation on the tool. Time-intensive manual pre-positioning is no longer required.

The machine comes standard with WALTER’s unique Quick-Check Modular measurement technology software that offers several unique functions for increased accuracy, including Easy Check for automatic profile detection and Teach-In Mode for freely programmable measuring. The software’s optional Quick-Check Grinding Wheel controls the fully automatic measurement of complete grinding wheel sets and reduces subsequent corrections to a minimum. Several other software options are also available to provide increased operator efficiency.