With a line of 24 portable measuring arms called Freedom, coordinate measuring machine (CMM) manufacturer LK Metrology (Hudson, MI) now sells 3D articulating arm metrology systems: a 6-axis model for touch probing and a 7-axis version for multisensor metrology including laser scanning, both available in two accuracy levels. The four products come in six sizes with a reach of 196.85 in (5 m).
Their portability is especially well suited for line-side measuring and inspection in factories, while their compactness makes them ideal for use on machine tools for in-process quality control. The platform is also appropriate for reverse engineering applications, virtual assembly design environments, and 3D modeling. And if very high precision tolerances don’t have to be measured, a portable arm is a cost-effective way to progress from manual to CNC metrology.
Several features enhance productivity:
- Using absolute rather than incremental rotary encoders to feed back the angular position of every joint to the control software enables the equipment to be used immediately on startup, avoiding the need to calibrate the probe before use every time
- The highly repeatable probe connection allows the arm to be swapped quickly without interrupting the measuring process to recalibrate
- An LCD display with a quick-access menu on the probe wrist puts the most useful information directly in the hands of the operator during measurement.
All models are certified to ISO 10360-12 accuracy and may be supplied with a variety of aluminum and carbon fiber probe kits; styli; mounting rings, including some with a magnetic or vacuum base; tripods; rolling stands; and carts with a granite top.
The 6-axis Freedom Classic is an entry-level model; the 6-axis Freedom Select has a calibration bar for enhanced accuracy. Adding a Nikon Metrology ModelMaker H120, MMDx100, or MMDx200 to the 7-axis Freedom Classic Scan and Freedom Select Scan enables laser scanning.
Carbon fiber tubular construction ensures stability under challenging conditions. Infinite rotation and a proprietary counterbalance make manual movements light, which promotes ease of use even when trying to access awkward areas of a component. Wi-Fi connectivity and battery power allow completely portable wireless touch probing for maximum flexibility. The arm can be stowed and locked in place between measurements and during relocation. Even the largest Freedom arm model weighs 24.25 lbs (11 kg), making setup and repositioning quick and easy.
LK Metrology supplies the arms with third-party inspection software including InnovMetric’s PolyWorks Inspector, which swaps programs between portable and static CMM platforms; and Nikon Metrology’s Focus Inspection for data acquisition and analysis (Nikon Metrology’s CMM Manager inspection package may be used for touch probing only). Metrostaff’s ArcoCAD metrology software is also available.
LK Metrology Inc., 29550 W.K. Smith Drive, Hudson, MI 48165, 810-263-6100, email@example.com, www.lkmetrology.com.
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