British coordinate measuring machine (CMM) manufacturer LK Metrology has introduced a third series of large-capacity models to sit alongside its established bridge-type machines and very-large-scale gantry-type machines, which offer extremely high accuracy due to their ceramic moving guideways. Using the latest innovations in aluminium and steel CMM guideway technology, the new AEROS, AEROS S and AEROS P gantry-type CMMs, 40 models in total, lower the capital cost of such equipment. With measuring volumes up to 8.0 x 3.5 x 2.5 metres, they allow a broader spectrum of manufacturers in industries such as aerospace, power generation, automotive and defence to benefit from the latest 3D metrology systems.
Unlike traditional bridge CMMs, the AEROS main structure of support pillars and longitudinal guideways remains static, with only the gantry beam assembly moving during measurement. The open design is extremely adaptable, providing full access to the work area during loading and unloading of parts. It is particularly well suited to SMART factories with autonomous guided carts and manually operated wheeled or rail-type material handling systems.
For consistent accuracy and dimensional stability, innovative design features have been incorporated into the AEROS range to minimizes distortions and errors of inertia. Particular attention has been paid to the design of the guideway support system, which allow the longitudinal beams to freely expand without risking distortion. Multiple thermistors are fitted for automatic compensation of errors due to thermal expansion of structural components in uncontrolled environments, such as production areas. Extra-wide air bearing tracks and generous dimensioning of the distance between air bearings provides optimal mechanical rigidity. 0.1 µm optical linear scales provide accurate positional feedback and precise motion control, with a dual-readhead system on both X-axis guideways for excellent metrology performance.
The AEROS range of machines offers a medium to large measuring volume, with configurations in a wide range of sizes to meet the requirements of large-scale metrology applications. 14 standard models span Y/Z axis travels from 2.0/1.0 to 2.5/1.8 metres, the X-axis being from 3 to 6 metres. A micro-machined, advanced alloy, Y-axis crossbeam and lightweight extruded aluminium Z-axis spindle ensure a high degree of stability while reducing the effect of inertia. Zero hysteresis friction drives are employed for the Y and Z axes, while a robust rack and pinion drive is used for X-axis movements. Measuring accuracy is from 5.5+6.0L/1000 µm, while maximum 3D speed and acceleration are an impressive 500 mm/sec and 1,200 mm/sec2 respectively.
AEROS S machines cover measuring volumes dictated by Y/Z axis travels from 2.5/1.8 to 3.0/2.0 metres and an X-axis up to 6 metres - and there are 12 standard models to choose from. They are similar in construction to AEROS machines and offer nearly equivalent attributes but have a crossbeam of stabilised tubular steel construction. A dual-drive X-axis is standard over 3,000 mm. Both the X and Y axes employ a rack and pinion drive system while the Z-axis features a zero-hysteresis friction drive. Accuracy and maximum 3D speed range from 7.0+8.0L/1000 µm and 530 mm/sec respectively, with 3D acceleration at 800 mm/sec2.
AEROS P machines consists of 14 standard sizes, similar again except that they feature coupled dual-drive and dual-readhead positioning in the X-axis to minimise structural deformation during movement, guaranteeing excellent metrology performance. Measuring accuracy, speed and acceleration are the same as for the AEROS S. Y/Z axis travels are from 2.5/2.0 metres to 3.5/2.5 metres and the X-axis is up to 8 metres. Both the X and Y axes employ a rack and pinion drive while the Z-axis features a zero-hysteresis friction drive.
A full range of probing options is offered to suit all types of metrology application, including multi-sensor technology, touch trigger probes, scanning probes, laser scanners and 5-axis probe systems. On offer also is an advanced array of software, including LK CAMIO 2021 measurement, programming, analysis and reporting software, while the Industry 4.0 Metrology Gate portal provides remote access to quality data and CMM status from any internet-connected device anywhere in the world. LK Metrology's offering is rounded off by a vast array of options including CMM automation, rotary tables, enclosures and customer services.
Related Glossary Terms
Science of measurement; the principles on which precision machining, quality control and inspection are based. See precision machining, measurement.