NC4 Laser Tool Setter

October 01, 2010

Renishaw Inc. expands its family of non-contact tool setting systems for CNC machine tools with its tough NC4 laser tool setter. The ultra-compact, retrofittable NC4 allows fast non-contact tool setting and tool breakage detection on small to large machines without the need to limit machine axis travel or use complex and expensive actuators. Its available in a separate transmitter/receiver version with units that measure just 30mm (diameter) x 35mm (height), as well as all-in-one "fork-style" housing with a fixed beam length of up to 300mm.

The highly repeatable NC4 offers total beam length to 5 meters for separate-unit systems; NC4 systems can measure tool diameters as small as 0.2mm at any selected point along the laser beam for tool setting. Tool breakage detection is possible on tools as small as 0.1mm. Fast system response time of 10µm allows accurate setting of quick-rotating tools. Housed in rugged stainless steel, the NC4 is IP68-rated to withstand harsh machine tool environments.

Its MicroHole optics protection system delivers a continuous stream of compressed air to provide uninterrupted shielding against swarf, graphite and coolant even during measuring routines. The NC4 features an innovative failsafe sealing device which prevents contamination if the air supply fails to maintain IP68 protection. The NC4 system offers ease of installation and set-up as there is no focal point to identify.

Separate-unit systems use just one generic transmitter unit and one receiver. A new visible LED mounted on top of the transmitter provides constant system status feedback. The NC4 is fully compatible with Renishaw's comprehensive suite of tool setting software. Its "drip rejection" feature further reduces adverse effects of coolant drips and metal chips.

Related Glossary Terms

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • coolant


    Fluid that reduces temperature buildup at the tool/workpiece interface during machining. Normally takes the form of a liquid such as soluble or chemical mixtures (semisynthetic, synthetic) but can be pressurized air or other gas. Because of water’s ability to absorb great quantities of heat, it is widely used as a coolant and vehicle for various cutting compounds, with the water-to-compound ratio varying with the machining task. See cutting fluid; semisynthetic cutting fluid; soluble-oil cutting fluid; synthetic cutting fluid.

  • swarf


    Metal fines and grinding wheel particles generated during grinding.


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