This year at IMTS, Autonetics launched our latest product for in-process, non-contact robotic gaging. The system incorporates paired, high resolution solid state LED based optical micrometers using the shadow casting principle with 1um accuracy. In extensive testing, the micrometers were found to withstand the rigors of the production environment without drift or loss of signal. A home position station is also included in the package housing laminar air flow and optical cleaning for low maintenance. Accuracy is guaranteed by the addition of NIST certified plug gauges in the home arrangement to further ensure continued precision. This end-effecter covers diameters of 2mm to 350mm in its current configuration with sub-micron accuracies throughout the range. Wedded to a robotic arm, the light weight sensor array can achieve gaging results with less than 1 second occupancy of the machining envelope for single measurements. The robot is mounted to access the work piece either through a moon roof or auto door and can be adapted to part handling in certain situations.
The heart of the system is the integration software that conveys 2,000 measurements per second to the CNC controller for adaptive machining. This enables information to be shared or viewed by any smart appliance and cataloged in conjunction with RFID or barcoding to track 100% of production with 100% quality control. Positioning accuracy of the robotic arm is augmented through the software by analyzing the sensor results with known landmarks in a feed back loop increasing robotic positioning repeatability three fold over the manufacturers claims. Other features include a user friendly calibration or scan mode for comparing prototypes or first run parts to the blueprint specifications. No programming or touch off is required as in many other off line metrology solutions. Autonetics in-process system is designed for low impact to cycle times while realizing a quick return on investment by eliminating material waste, out-of-spec parts and tool life optimization.