- Flatness & straightness measurement of machine axes
- Squareness between axes
- Parallelism between axes
- Rotary-axis alignment & parallelism to main axes
- 4th & 5th machine-axis alignment & parallelism/squareness to other axes
- Flatness & straightness of machine bed rails/ways
- Parallelism & twist of gantry rails/ways
- Flatness of machine tables
Machining Center Alignment Applications
The L-743 Ultra-Precision Triple Scan® Laser is an ideal instrument to quickly and accurately calibrate the geometry of almost all machining centers. It is one of only 2 lasers in the world (the other is the L-733) to offer 3 automatically rotating laser planes that are accurate enough for today's ever-tightening tolerances. This creates a powerful tool that not only FINDS, but also FIXES geometry problems, all in a fraction of the time needed with conventional methods.
Align 70% Faster Than Other Methods
Continuously sweeping machine alignment lasers and live data output create a powerful combination to align machining centers up to 70% faster than traditional or interferometer methods. Downed machines will be up and running, producing quality parts in record time. HLI's continuously sweeping lasers are far superior to other point-and-shoot laser systems that require time-consuming manual laser rotation and target setup for each point measured. They also allow the use of multiple targets, which is especially helpful for large machine tools.
Simultaneously Measure 3 Axes with One Setup
Another great time saver is the L-743's ability to measure the alignment of the three main axes of a machine at the same time. Not only can you measure the flatness and straightness of each axis, but you can also measure the squareness of the three axes. And if there are any additional axes, such as a rotary table or extending quill, you can easily check the parallelism to the main machine axes with the same setup!
Rotary Axis Parallelism/Squareness Measurements
The L-743 can also be used to easily measure the parallelism or squareness of rotary axes to the main machine axes. After the initial setup, no extra setups are need and it is simply a matter of moving our measuring targets to the rotary axes to measure their parallelism or squareness to the main machine axes. Please click here to watch our L-743 Video Part 4 Checking A&B Rotary Axes to see how the L-743 can easily measure these geometry parameters on multi-axis CNC machines.
Live Data Reduces Machine Downtime
Ingersoll 5-Axis Gantry
By providing live alignment data, misalignment errors can be quickly and easily fixed without having to change the setup. This is a tremendous benefit, especially if you are used to using an interferometer, where the entire length of and axis must be measured before the straightness or flatness can be determined and the data provided is not even live.
Significantly Reduce Part Setup Time
Another benefit of having a properly aligned machine tool is that part setup time is significantly reduced. An article in the October 1998 issue of Quality in Manufacturing Magazine describes the incredible benefit of laser alignment to the John Deere Corporation. In the words of Jim Abitz, tool and die maker,
"...[laser alignment] makes the operators a lot happier because they don't have to struggle for two or three shifts to get a machine to work properly."
L-743 Significantly Reduces Stack Up Errors
One of the biggest problems with aligning machine tools using conventional methods is that many different alignment tools must be used, requiring a lot of time and increasing stack-up errors. Another problem is that an alignment is only as good as the tools used to perform it. The machinist level is a good example: it has a resolution of .0005" per foot, not very accurate for today's ever-tightening tolerances.
The L-743's laser planes, by contrast, have a flatness of 1/2 an arc second (0.00003"/ft or 0.0025 mm/M) in a 180º sweep and 1/4 arc second (0.000015"/ft or 0.001 mm/M) in 90º sweep. The laser planes are square to each other with an accuracy of up to1 arc second (0.00006"/ft or 0.005 mm/M). They further have the advantage of creating a single reference from which to measure machine geometry, significantly reducing stack-up errors.
Squareness Built Into Laser Head
One of the L-743's greatest feature is its built-in squareness (each plane is square to each other with an accuracy of up to 1 arc second - 0.00006"/ft or 0.005 mm/M). If you have ever tried to set up a cylindrical square or interferometer to check squareness, you will be amazed at how quickly and easily the squareness of not just one axis, but all axes can be measured, usually with one setup! Where an interferometer may take hours just to set up a squareness check, the L-743 takes 15 minutes. And, unlike a cylindrical square, the L-743 can check the entire length of a machine's axis, up to 100 feet (30.5 meters), not just 12" (305 mm) or 24" (610 mm) of it.
Pitch, Roll and Yaw Angular Measurements
Using our lasers on machine tools, normally it is not necessary to measure pitch or yaw angular measurements since our lasers measure the alignment directly, which means we don’t need to use the angular measurement to calculate straightens and flatness data like interferometers do. For roll in an axis (such as bed twist or vertical roll) this is much more applicable to maintaining good machine geometry and our laser measure this with ease. However, for those times where pitch and yaw measurements are needed, it is easy check to make by simply using 2 targets to measure the straightness of and axis and space them at a known distance apart. At each point, the difference between the target values divided by the distance is the measure of pitch or yaw.
Wireless Targets and Readout Speeds Setup
With Hamar's new line of wireless targets (A-1519-2.4ZB and A-1520-2.4ZB), there is no need to string long extension cords to reference targets. The targets have up to a 1" measuring range, a resolution as low as 0.00001" (0.00025 mm) and can be used up to 100 feet (30.5 meters) from the readout. The R-1355-2.4ZB Readout uses a PDA & color software to display up to Five targets simultaneously. Other features like electronic zeroing and target averaging help to speed setup and alignment.
Machine Tool Geometry Software
Target/Measurement Setup Screen
Software Quickly Collects and Analyzes Data
Hamar's new line of alignment software, combined with newly designed computer interfaces, makes collecting and analyzing machining center alignment data faster and easier. All of the software is Windows based and provides large, color graphics. Alignment reports clearly and concisely show the machine's condition. In today's world of ISO 9000 documentation hell, our software will help you submit alignment reports in record time.
- 3 continuously rotating laser planes with operational range of 100' (30.5 meters) in radius.
- Laser planes flat to 1/2 an arc second (0.00003"/ft or 0.0025 mm/M) in 180º sweep and 1/4 arc second (0.000015"/ft or 0.001 mm/M) in 90º sweep.
- Planes are mutually square with an accuracy of up to 1 arc second (0.00006"/ft or 0.005 mm/M).
- Includes L-123 Pitch/Roll/Yaw base with coarse and fine adjustments.
- High Accuracy Targets: A-1519-2.4ZB Single-Axis, Wireless Target with 1" (24.5 mm) Measuring Range and .00002" (0.0005 mm) Resolution.
- Ultra Accuracy Targets: Uses A-1520-2.4ZB Single-Axis Wireless Target with .250" Range and .00002" (0.00025 mm) resolution for higher accuracy applications.
- Standard illuminated levels accurate to 2 arc second (0.00012"/ft or 0.01 mm/M). High accuracy split-prism upgrade levels accurate to 1 arc second.
- Instant on with short warm up
- Typical setup time 20 minutes or less.
- Diode lasers 2 times more stable than HeNe based laser systems.
- Battery or AC powered.
- Completely self contained.