New lean-design XL-80 laser calibration system brings greater performance, precision, and portability to manufacturing machinery process validation


Renishaw advances technology leadership in laser interferometer calibration with introduction of a new "lean design" XL-80 system. The all-new design allows a 4X faster slew rate, 10X higher dynamic data capture rate, and industry's best total system accuracy in a smaller, lighter and more portable package. Meeting industry trends to high-speed machinery, higher precision and greater process control, the XL-80 increases linear measurement speed to 4m/s, while providing a resolution of 1 nm, even at top speed. Lightweight, compact packaging enables easier transport and set up, while industry's fastest warm up - less than six minutes - minimizes waits to increase available measurement time. The XL-80 brings nanometer-level motion analysis to calibration, error-mapping and compensation of everything from laboratory equipment, semi-conductor processing machinery and radiosurgery tools to coordinate measuring machines, lithography equipment, advanced machine tools, robots, and assembly systems. A new signal gain switch gives the option of 80 m linear range (such as for large aircraft profilers) or increased signal strength at shorter ranges. The new XL-80 system is backward compatible with optics from Renishaw's ML10 laser system, enabling thousands of current ML10 users to upgrade to the new system while retaining their investment in optics, procedures and staff training. A full range of optics enables highest precision interferometer determination of a machine's linear, angular, flatness, straightness and squareness measurements to international checking standards. System accuracy of ±0.5 ppm, best in the industry, is maintained over the full operating range of 0-40°C (32°-104°F). A new XC-80 Intelligent Sensor System maintains that accuracy against variations in temperature, pressure and humidity by updating the environment factor every seven seconds via a USB link. As with the ML10, all measurements are based on the wavelength of a stabilized HeNe laser source, giving users assured traceability back to internationally recognized length standards. The XL-80 takes readings at 50 kHZ, up from 5 kHZ. The 10X increase in bandwidth enables capture of detailed data about small high frequency movements. Enhanced versions of Renishaw software (LaserXL and QuickviewXL) present data in easy-to-use style. Advanced engineering reduces weight for the XL-80 laser unit and XC-80 compensator by 70% compared to the ML10, allowing a much smaller transport package. Combined weight is just over 3 kg, including connecting cables, power supply and sensors - about the difference between an overnight bag now and your mother-in-law's suitcase before. In turn, other system components - such as tripod and stage - have been downsized. The smallest "wheelie case" option is now just half the size of the original ML10 "Supercase," but still carries a full linear and angular system, with available provision for a Renishaw QC10 ballbar kit. Weighing less than 17 kg, it offers superior portability to other laser systems for greater ease of travel, especially by air. The reduced dimensions of the laser head and stage allow easy mounting on an available magnetic base for applications where tripod mounting is not convenient. The same base height and optics dimensions as the ML10 allows the XL-80 to also be placed directly on the table (without tripod stage) for coordinate measuring machine (CMM) calibration. Faster warm-up gives highest measurement productivity. This is especially important for calibration service providers and large manufacturing organizations needing to perform measurements on multiple machines, particularly on regularly scheduled predictive/preventive maintenance programs. A new multi-signal connector facility increases XL-80 flexibility. It provides a standard trigger signal-in (for data capture), an analog voltage-out facility, and an optional quadrature signal output. Connection to a PC is now via USB, so no separate interface is required.
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