The RMP600 touch probe from Renishaw (Hoffman Estates, IL) combines high-accuracy strain-gage sensing and frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) radio transmission. The probe allows high part checking precision on five-axis machining, contours, deep cavities, and undercuts, where obstacles or part features can block transmission by optical line-of-sight probes.

The versatile probe enables rapid, automated part set-up and changeover, in-process control of critical dimensions, and even final inspection on certain parts to speed throughput. It combines a patented sensing mechanism and advanced electronics to allow sub-micron 3D probe performance on contoured surfaces. The probe delivers repeatability of 0.25 μm (0.000010 in.) with a 50-mm long stylus, 0.35 μm with a 100-mm stylus, and is recommended for styli up to 200 mm.

By using strain gages, the probe can trigger at much lower and highly consistent contact forces, resulting in less bending of the stylus, negligible pre-travel and superior metrology performance. Compatible with a wide range of machine controllers, the RMP600 can be used with high-speed, single-touch or double-touch probing routines.

The RMP600 uses the company’s frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) transmission, which does not use a dedicated radio channel. Instead, the probe and receiver ‘hop’ together through a sequence of channels. FHSS enables multiple machining centers with the probe system to coexist with confidence in “noisy” industrial environments, particularly as wireless Wi-Fi proliferates on plant floors.

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Motion Control Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2008 issue of Motion Control Technology Magazine.

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