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BLUM presents new hybrid laser measuring system at the AMB 2018

Blum-Novotest, a leader in cutting-edge measurement and testing technology, is presenting the new LC52-DIGILOG hybrid laser measuring system for tool measurement and monitoring in combination turning and milling centres at AMB 2018 in Stuttgart (Hall 7, Stand A15). The company is also introducing the intuitive ‘measureXpert’ app for the rapid generation of cycle calls for BLUM measuring systems.

Winfried Weiland, Head of Marketing for Blum-Novotest GmbH, explains: “For years, the trend for many companies has been in the direction of combination turning/milling machines. In order to respond to this development, BLUM has already successfully marketed the LaserControl NT-H 3D measuring system since 2007. The introduction of the LC50-DIGILOG at EMO 2017 then made it possible to develop a system with future-oriented digital-analogue technology for these machines as well. The new LC52-DIGILOG combines the advantages of non-contact, digilog measurement with those of tactile measurement via touch probe in one compact device. Another highlight at the trade fair is the ‘measureXpert’ app. It makes the use of BLUM measuring systems simpler than ever before.”

Machine concepts combining several manufacturing processes require a different configuration for tool setting and monitoring than standard milling centres. While rotating tools are always measured quickly and reliably by the laser, it is recommended that non-rotating tools be monitored tactilely. The reason for this is that stationary tools, such as turning tools, require a time-consuming high point search on the tool cutting edge for high-precision measurement. In this instance, coolant also has a greater influence on process capability than is the case when measuring rotating tools. Rapid contact measurement of turning tools is therefore an advantage.

The tactile measurement is carried out by the adapted BLUM probe with shark360 measuring mechanism with face gearing. The TC76 has all the characteristics typical of BLUM probes, such as precise, non-lobing touch characteristics and wear-free, optoelectronic signal generation. Unique worldwide, the shark360 technology complements the multi-directional measuring mechanism with a face gear comprising 72 teeth, guaranteeing the greatest accuracy even with off-centre probing, which can occur with the measurement of turning tools. When the stylus is deflected, a precision pin moves into a light barrier, which generates the trigger signal for recording the measuring value.

The company also relies on the recently launched DIGILOG technology for the measurement of rotating tools on the new hybrid system. The innovative technology offers surprising advantages:
 including even greater process reliability under the influence of coolant as wells the up to 60 percent faster measurement of rotating tools. This is made possible by generating thousands of measurements per second while dynamically adjusting the measuring speed according to the nominal speed of the tool. Each cutting edge is also individually measured, rather than just determining the value for the highest cutting edge, meaning it is possible to make a comparison between the shortest and the longest cutting edge. As a result, run-out errors, caused by contamination on the taper of the tool holder for example, are automatically detected. Furthermore, the new LC52-DIGILOG detects any contaminants and cooling lubricants adhering to the tool – due to the large number of measurements per cutting edge – and deducts them from the result to make measurement results even more reliable.

Another highlight of the trade fair is the new ‘measureXpert’ app. Weiland explains: “Inexperienced users sometimes find it difficult to select the correct cycle for the current measuring task and to configure it according to their requirements. Using the app makes it very quick and easy to generate cycle calls for different controllers and BLUM measuring systems. The intuitive operation is to be emphasised here: The user is guided step-by-step to the appropriate cycle call for their measuring task. It has never been easier to use our measuring systems.” ‘measureXpert’ is available free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play. In the future, there will also be a version available that can be installed directly on the machine controls.