Ultra-Compact NC4+ Blue System

December 07,2021
Blue Laser Technology Range Expanded, Improved

Building on the success of the original NC4+ Blue, the latest evolution of the non-contact tool setter features an ultra-compact design and is now available in four sizes, with operating gaps ranging from 55 mm to 240 mm. Measurement repeatability has also been improved across the range, now down to +/- 0.5 micron on smaller separations.

Improved machining accuracy

Featuring industry-first, blue laser technology and improved optics, Renishaw's NC4+ Blue systems deliver significant improvements in tool measurement accuracy, ensuring components can be machined more accurately and efficiently. 

Compared to red laser sources found in conventional non-contact tool setters, blue laser technology has a shorter wavelength resulting in optimized laser beam geometry. This enables the measurement of very small tools, whilst minimizing tool-to-tool measurement errors – a critical consideration when machining with a wide range of cutting tools.

Rapid, robust and reliable measurement

NC4+ Blue systems use Renishaw's non-contact tool setting software package, which continues to evolve to ensure rapid, robust and reliable measurement even in wet conditions. Auto-optimization technology within the software automatically adjusts the movement of the tool in and out of the beam to minimize any wasted movement and therefore cycle time. While features such as a dual measurement mode, where the tool is measured as it exits the laser beam and an advanced tool cleaning option, help ensure the tool is free from debris and coolant during measurement. Further enhancements to tool run-out and profile measurement cycles deliver increased functionality and reliability to advanced users.

Superior optical protection

The interior of a machining center is a hostile environment with coolant drips, swarf chips and dust commonplace. Coolant mist can saturate the air and quickly coat any exposed optical surfaces. Whatever their optical design, laser tool setting systems need clean optics and an unobstructed beam path in order to function.

The NC4+ Blue uses MicroHole™ and PassiveSeal™ optical protection technologies, enabling fast and reliable tool measurement, even in wet conditions. 

MicroHole technology ensures the optics are protected from contamination during measurement by delivering a continuous stream of compressed air through a very small and precise laser-drilled hole in the transmitter and receiver heads. The PassiveSeal system provides an additional layer of protection, automatically shielding the optics from contamination in the event of air supply failure. It uses a simple pneumatic installation that minimizes any need for maintenance.

Simplified programming and reporting – Industry 4.0 ready

NC4+ Blue support is now embedded into Renishaw's extensive range of graphical user interfaces, including on-machine and mobile apps such as Renishaw Set and Inspect and GoProbe. These consistent,
easy-to-use programming platforms are perfect for users who are new to probing or have little machine code knowledge, whilst still offering operational benefits to more experienced users.

Renishaw technologies provide the data that enables intelligent decision-making for Industry 4.0. On-machine tool measurement allows manufacturers to automate and optimise their processes and minimise quality problems and CNC machine stoppages. With the latest version of Renishaw's on-machine Reporter app, users can now view historical tool data captured by the NC4+ Blue and stream the measurements in real-time. Results can also be exported via CSV file or PDF report and either stored for traceability or imported into in-house quality analysis software.

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

    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.

  • machining center

    machining center

    CNC machine tool capable of drilling, reaming, tapping, milling and boring. Normally comes with an automatic toolchanger. See automatic toolchanger.

  • micron

    micron

    Measure of length that is equal to one-millionth of a meter.

  • swarf

    swarf

    Metal fines and grinding wheel particles generated during grinding.