CNC Measurement

cnc measurementThere are a lot of different technologies and pieces of equipment that have revolutionized the manufacturing industry, and CNC measurement with machine probing software certainly falls into this category. This is a form of metrology software that will operate on machine tools so that metrology information is produced directly onto the machine through the use of on-machine probing.

Some of the benefits and features of CNC measurement with machine probing software:

  • Multi-sensor interfaces; to touch probes, analog scanning probes, CCD camera, and laser line scanning sensors
  • Allows the machine tool to measure and provide detailed reports like a CMM without the need for manually entering G-Code
  • Allows the use of complex alignments not normally available to machine tools without elaborate G-Code

There are a lot of reasons why more and more people in the manufacturing sector are turning to on-machine probing. In-process metrology can verify the dimensions and placement of the workplace, making certain that the tool path is not thrown off when there are small differences in the placement throughout the setup. Touch probes are exceptional when confirming the precise size and location of the fixture or workpiece, and this is accomplished quicker than you can with manual measurements, and errors are reduced too.

Ensuring that the tooling is in the correct position is as critical as ensuring the accurate positioning of the workpiece. Very small flaws in the tool holder or tool can cause a pass to be completely thrown off, harming the machine, workpiece, and tool alike. Just in the same way that minor errors can be identified throughout the set-up of the workpiece, in-process touch probes can detect inconsistencies of tool settings or tools in an accurate manner so that expensive blunders are avoided.

CNC measurement is also beneficial in terms of enhancing process control. By measuring the workpiece as a process within your manufacturing efforts, errors can be identified by the user through monitoring machined features. For instance, when working with a hard-to-machine material, tool deflection can result in a lower material removal rate than anticipated. Nevertheless, a tube probe has the ability to determine when the part is outside tolerance throughout the process so that you can either be alerted as the user or the machine can even adjust automatically so that the cutter compensates the issue that has been flagged/ So there you have it: some of the benefits that are associated with CNC machine probing software. We hope that the information that has been provided will help you to recognize the benefits and efficiencies your manufacturing plant can reap the rewards of by going down this route. If you would like to find out more about this software or have it installed at your manufacturing business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.


   Industry 4.0 Smart Factory Adaptive Manufacturing with Metrology Feedback   

CappsNC allows programming offline and run any CNC machine-tool as a CMM using measurement data to automatically improve the machining process to Industry 4.0 Smart Factory needs.

Industry 4.0 Smart Factory flow diagram

A powerful CMM software needs to be integrated within the manufacturing system to perform the complex mathematical calculations required for the metrology based real time decision making. CappsNC is the version of CappsDmis CMM software that can program any machining center to perform advanced measurement, metrology and GD&T calculations using the standard DMIS language. Powerful offline programming with automatic collision avoidance and 5 axis path generation allows programming with any machine configurations including multi axis mill-turn machines.

Offline Programming:
CappsNC software provides programming environment with a realistic machine tool virtual model, simulation capabilities, automatic path generation with collision avoidance and complete geometrical fitting and tolerancing functionality.Multi-View graphics view with easy UI programming environment makes it very easy to create programs for any machine tool configurations.

Online Execution:
CappsNC can connect with most machine tool controllers with a real time direct interface. A G-Code program is created from the DMIS program so that the machine tool can be used just like the regular cutting programs by the operator or by an automation cycle. Live 3D simulation is displayed in CappsNC. Graphics and calculations are performed as soon as data are collected. The calculated metrology characteristics, such as best-fitting a data set to a CAD model, are used as a part of the on the fly decision making and written back to the machine tool controller as a part of the adaptive cycle.

Industry 4.0 Smart Factory CapsNC on machine probing

Multi-Sensor software: CappsNC uses its own generated macros and does not require any OEM generated macros. This allows it to be probe brand independent and can work with the existing probes available on the machine. CappsNC can also work with different probe types such as:

Kinematic Probes: CappsNC can generate vector-based calibration to compensate any lobing errors of the kinematic triggering mechanisms of these probes.

Strain Gage Probes:
Automatic calibration cycles are generated to calculate probe run-outs, effective radius and 5 axis head offset errors. As a result, this not only eliminates the need to independently preset the probes, but it allows to quickly check any 5 axis head misalignments of the machines.

Analog probes:
Automatic contact scanning paths are generated for any geometrical or curves or surface measurements such as airfoil or gear profiles. Advanced data filters and automatic comparison to CAD models with 3D best-fit algorithms allows quick calculation of characteristics for on machine automatic decision making.

Blue Light Laser Sensors:
CappsNC has advanced point cloud functionality which are utilized with high density data collection by using a laser sensor. Laser scan programs are automatically generated by converting NC cutting programs or directly from CAD models. Automatic geometric feature extraction provides very quick data analysis for reporting or G-Code program adaptation to the actual part shape.

Industry 4.0 Smart Factory CappsNC with a Keyence Laser

While CappsNC can operate any machining center like a CMM, the goal is much bigger than simply performing on machine measurements.

Pre-Process Benefits:

  • Quick monitoring of the machine tool geometry by using an artifact
  • Advanced 6DOF part alignment and work offset creating
  • Re-posting of 5 Axis NC programs for non-rigid parts such as composites

In-Process Benefits:

  • Dynamic cutting tool offset and wear compensation. Measures and provides feedback for actual cutting tool shapes during machining process
  • Provide automation decision making based on measurement results

Post-Process Benefits:

  • Eliminate the need to move parts back and forth between a CMM
  • Create complete measurement reports and graphically display or save on servers
  • SPC data base and process charts
Industry 4.0 Smart Factory CappsNC on machine measurement

About Applied Automation Technologies, Inc
Applied Automation Technologies (AAT) is a world leader in supplying software solutions for metrology, quality control and adaptive manufacturing systems. For more than 30 years AAT has developed CAD based online and offline dimensional measurement software products. As an independent software developer, AAT has developed an extensive library of controller interfaces for both CMM and CNC machine-tool controllers. The company pioneered machine tool metrology in the 1990’s working on the 777 program at Boeing and has expanded on its initial experience developing the comprehensive capability to adapt and program any machine-tool as a CMM with integrated capability of providing real time feedback to the controller allowing adaptive manufacturing to be performed.


Applied Automation Technologies, Inc., 1688 Star Batt Drive, Rochester Hills, Michigan, 48309.
Telephone 248-656-4930
IMTS Booth #135539 :Hall 3
For more information:
Ray Karadayi President
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