Portable Metrology | QUALITY | 47
no handheld component, just the tripod-mounted camera.
Portable optical scanning has a couple of advantages. The
number of data points is theoretically infinite, and because it
operates by line of sight, the range of part sizes is potentially
much greater than a CMM that is limited by its table size. and
the operator requires no training at all.
“When you look at small to midsize job shops, 10 to
50 employees, you want to give the workforce a piece of
equipment that’s easy to use,” Srinivas says. “When
I do demonstrations I say ‘whether you buy it or not,
you’re already trained on it.’”
Another approach to portability is evident in the
Equator system from Renishaw. The company defines
Equator as a high speed comparative gauge for mid
to high volume manufactured parts. The system is
small and light enough to be moved manually from
one place to another on the shop floor. It can also be
mounted on a wheeled trolley that accommodates a
“It’s very flexible in terms of changes,” says Dr.
David Chang, business manager for gauging products
at Renishaw. That flexibility means it can replace the
custom gauges that large customers like Linamar
or Magna typically use as one-offs. Each gauge is
designed to scan a single part; when that part is
modified or replaced, the gauge itself is redundant.
The demand for a flexible system that can be endlessly
‘customized’ led to the development of the Equator.
“This system basically does the job of a custom
gauge,” Chang says. “It can do the job that a CMM
does and it’s flexible. The user can check various parts,
or a family of parts. It’s easy to use and it has the
benefit of a hard gauge–so it’s like a hybrid.”
Closer to QA
Mitutoyo Canada Inc. offers a range of height gauges,
which include its QM-Height and Linear Height (LH-
600) series. These fit the definition of portability but,
says business development specialist Erin Farmer, they
provide the accuracy of a conventional static CMM.
“The accuracy of these devices is similar to a CMM,
but the functionality is different,” Farmer says. “A
CMM offers immense capability and functionality.
These specific height gauges have a limited function,
but as long as it’s in the right situation and the right
customer–and they’re measuring a few specific
partnered with Caron
developed a program
adjustments from the
gauge to the machine
Mitutoyo Canada Inc.
Toronto (905) 821-1261
Montreal (514) 337-5994 x251
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