Next generation of innovative measurement system released

Etalon's completely redesigned LaserTRACER-NG sets new standards for the calibration of machine tools and CMMs

(PresseBox) ( Braunschweig, Germany, )
Etalon's LaserTRACER was specially developed for the sub-micron-accurate geometric analysis, monitoring and accuracy improvement of machine tools and measuring machines. It is a self-tracking laser interferometer that automatically tracks a reflector, and hence allows for the identification of geometrical deviations with highest precision. The compensation data determined by the system can be directly imported into the control software of the machine tool or CMM.

Smaller, faster, more functional and ready for application on the shopfloor

The follow-up model LaserTRACER-NG is an entirely redesigned system that consolidates Etalon's experiences gained during the last ten years of machine calibration. Its first public presentation will take place today at the trade show Control in Stuttgart/Germany. The LaserTRACER-NG is smaller, weighs less and offers a larger angular range. Thus, it facilitates the measurement in limited machine space. Moreover, it can deal with highly dynamic machine movements: The accelerations of the machine permitted during measurement have nearly doubled.

Shop floor suitability was also a major aspect when redesigning the measurement system. Originally, the LaserTRACER had mainly been used under laboratory conditions. In recent years, it has forged ahead into production, now facing much harsher conditions. To prepare the new LaserTRACER-NG for this challenging environment, it is equipped with a closed housing, just two connectors and a more flexible cable.

Unchanged high accuracy

In contrast to conventional measurement devices, the LaserTRACER-NG features, just like the previous model, an unprecedented accuracy of the center of rotation thanks to a patented measurement technique: A sphere with a form deviation of just 50 nanometers is used as an optical reference for the interferometer. As a consequence, the mechanical errors of the rotation and swivel axes are fully compensated.

The measurement process

For measurement execution, the LaserTRACER-NG is stationary placed at several different positions inside the working volume of the machine. Then, the reflector is mounted to the tool or probe. In the following automated measuring process, the system tracks the actual path of the machine in its entire working volume. Meanwhile, the system acquires highly precise measurement values that are processed and analyzed by Etalon's software package Trac-Cal.
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