Equator™ Gaging System

Description

Equator™ is a radical new alternative to traditional dedicated gaging, filling a gap in the market never before addressed. It is more than just a new gaging system, it marks the launch of Renishaw's first gaging product line.

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. It has been developed and proven on the shop-floor in collaboration with industry-leading companies in the automotive, aerospace and medical sectors. The result is a lightweight, fast and highly repeatable gage that operators can use with "push-button" simplicity. Equator can switch between parts in seconds, perfect for flexible manufacturing processes or accepting parts from multiple machines.

Faster and more repeatable
    Based on an easily scaleable and adaptable "parallel kinematic" structure, Equator's unique patented principle allows high speed scanning and rapid moves between features, while retaining stiffness that delivers impressive point to point repeatability, critical for accurate gaging.
    Installation of an Equator is possible in minutes, and an operator can switch between gaging of different parts in seconds. Re-configuration of the gaging system to accommodate part design changes, or to measure new parts, is possible in a fraction of the time needed for conventional custom gaging, using industry standard DMIS programming.

Easy operation, easy programming
    Equator systems are available with two levels of software, a programmable version for production engineers to create DMIS programs and, at a lower price, a shop floor system which allows those programs to be executed but prevents operators from making modifications. Both software levels include easy-to-use MODUS™ Organizer operator front-end software. In the programmable version, MODUS™ Equator programming software allows engineers to rapidly create gaging routines for any part – simple or complex, prismatic or free-form. MODUS Equator features the ability to easily program scanning measurements and touch points, using the industry-standard Renishaw SP25 compact scanning probe. Scanning allows thousands of data points to be taken to define a feature for true form analysis.
    By taking the dongle provided with the programmable system and plugging it into a shop floor system, full programming functionality is activated on that shop floor system, ideal for engineers to adjust programs but also retain control.

Thermal stability
    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 thermal conditions on the shop floor. Equator can be used in factories with wide temperature variation – simply re-master and the system is "re-zeroed," ready for repeatable comparison to the master.

Traceability to calibrated CMMs
    Master parts do not need to be expensive custom parts like a traditional gage; a production part measured on a co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) can establish feature variation from CAD or drawing nominals. The results from any CMM, using any CMM programming software, can be configured to be used directly with the Equator software.
    Effectively, the calibrated absolute accuracy of the CMM (often located in a temperature controlled room to ensure accuracy) can be "extended" onto 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. This allows true process control with SPC packages.

Equator controller
    The Equator controller, included with every Equator system, is a powerful dedicated control system that provides a secure and robust environment for running the Equator gaging system software. It is similar to machine tool control systems, with the added ability to run Equator-specific Windows applications. Designed for Equator, it incorporates all the necessary electronic boards and software in one package. The user can create and execute DMIS measurement programs, change measurement settings and transfer data or programs.
    An additional PC is not required when operating the Equator, reducing cost to the customer and eliminating the chance of incompatibility or un-predictable performance arising from the wide variation of PC architectures.

Specs

  • high-speed comparative gaging
  • high speed scanning
  • switch between gaging of different parts in seconds
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