Renishaw extends the product line, and the height, of its Equator gaging system with the new Equator 300 Extended Height comparative gage. The new system doubles the space below the measuring volume of the original model, providing a 300mm height to accept tall parts or those attached to machining fixtures. The additional space also facilitates automated part handling with robots and conveyors. The system can inspect features on parts up to 300mm tall, with rapid changeover to smaller parts using an extended fixture plate spacer.
Equator is a radical alternative to traditional dedicated gaging, filling a gap in the market never before addressed. The patented low-cost design, unique in construction and method of operation, is capable of high-speed comparative gaging for inspection of high-volume manufactured parts. Equator is a lightweight, fast, and highly repeatable gage that operators can use with push-button simplicity, and the system can switch between parts in seconds, making it ideal for flexible manufacturing processes or accepting parts from multiple machines.
Equator systems have been installed in multiple automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronic plants across the world, and users cite advantages of reduced maintenance and fixture costs, plus the ability to gage multiple parts and re-program for design changes. By using fixturing that positions parts to within 1mm of where the master was measured, there is no significant effect on system repeatability, and the need for expensive precision fixtures is removed. The Equator fixture plate can be easily exchanged for other plates, each mounted to the Equator base using highly repeatable three-point kinematic seats. The plates can also be exchanged for fixture plate spacers, allowing smaller parts to be gaged in the same measuring volume.
Equator’s innovative and highly repeatable gaging technology is based on the traditional comparison of production parts to a reference master part. Re-mastering is as swift as measuring a production part and immediately compensates for any change in the thermal conditions of a shop-floor environment. The calibrated absolute accuracy of CMMs, which are often located in remote temperature controlled rooms to ensure accuracy, can be extended to the shop floor to provide calibrated traceability to Equator measurements. With the calibration file loaded into the Equator software, measurements made in the Equator system can be referred back to the CAD or drawing nominals.
An Equator-specific stylus changing rack, included with the system, adds versatility and allows automated in-cycle changing of SH25 stylus holders. The SH25 holders couple to Renishaw’s SP25 probe, allowing Equator users to swap the stylus configurations without re-qualifying each time. Up to six stylus combinations can be loaded into the rack at any time and they can be used on a single complex part or with multiple parts of varying geometries.