Lasers Offer Viable, Non-Contact Alternative to Touch Probes

Specialized optics and automatic, real-time calibration make Nextec’s laser systems a viable alternative to mechanical touch probes for high-volume inspection applications involving complex geometry and tight tolerances.

Nextec’s non-contact sensors unlock the full potential of the inherent speed of laser measurement. By nature, measuring part geometry by tracking a beam across the part surface is faster than taking a series of points with a touch probe, especially for non-prismatic parts with complex, freeform geometries. Such components often require complex motion to keep the probe in constant contact with the surface, not to mention special fixturing that can be expensive and time-consuming to machine and set up. Minute, sculpted features like blade edges can be particularly problematic, even for the smallest-diameter touch probes.

Non-contact sensor’s role can be major or minor – depending on the application

  • Major role – Automatic movement compensation along with the optical beam, when sensor defines the movement path for the Motion Controller
  • Minor role – Motion Controller works in CNC mode and movement path is defined by the user

Non-contact sensors, full integration with rotary stage and Renishaw motorized head equipment, allows us to provide advanced inspection solutions and to significantly shorten inspection cycle time.

Nextec sensors are not sensitive to the environment lighting, shading; steady and durable in collision. Nextec software includes unique functional and algorithmic calculation methods and are fully compatible with all the other Nextec equipment.

The two types of Probes work in different methods and are designed for different purposes, but both have undoubted advantages over classic touch probes.

Nextec products automatically self-calibrate in real time to compensate for changing energy levels. Together, the specialized optics and adaptive control enable Nextec systems to measure components with virtually any geometry, material and surface characteristics within microns.

The company’s standard product is the Wizprobe, which features a standard PH-10 interface for installation on CMMs in place of mechanical probes. It is also available as a standalone product with customized software packages for integration into any process control.

Also available are the Wizblade, a system designed specifically for aerospace jet engine blades as well as industrial turbine, marine and compressor blades in production and MRO environments; and the Wizinspect, a turnkey, production floor inspection system for direct integration with robots and conveyors.

Benefit of Probes

  • Non-contact sensors, full integration with rotary stage and Renishaw motorized head equipment, provides an advanced inspection solution with significantly shortened inspection cycle time.
  • Sensors are able to make measurements on nearly any kind of materials, with exceptional accuracy.
  • Non-Contact method for measuring the shape of an object.
  • The part can be with intricate geometry or very small.
  • The part can be sticky or magnetic.

More Probes information