Blum-Novotest's new roughness gauge TC64 integrates on CNC machining centresClick image to enlarge

The TC64 roughness gauge from Blum-Novotest is a new gauge the company says represents a significant advancement in machine-integrated quality monitoring.

In the past, a reliable method of surface finish analysis could only be performed post machining with a profilometer. The operator would need to remove the part and take it to a different location for analysis and the surface to be tested had to be flat in order to get a proper reading. If during inspection a defect in the surface was found, the part would either need to be hand finished or returned to the machine for machining, in which case resetting the part to its original orientation would be difficult. If not reset correctly, new defects would be introduced into the surface finish.

The new line of roughness gauges were developed to solve this issue in a revolutionary way. By analyzing surface finish on the machining center, the manufacture is now able to identify errors in surface finish prior to part removal and he is able to do so faster and on various contoured surfaces. For example, an operator of a 5-axis machining center can now scan contours in various axes simultaneously, and do so at speeds 18x faster, neither of which are possible on conventional profilometers. Surface data such as Ra, Rz, and Rmax values are also viewed in real-time via the machine’s control and data is sampled at over 1,000 hz per second while maintaining micron accurate results and repeatability.

Blum’s Roughness Gauges are a first of their kind in the industry, offering integrated process control of surface finish analysis which will change the manufacturing process for many attempting to hold tight tolerances on part surface finish.

Key Points

  •  View real-time Ra, Rz, Rmax, etc… surface data directly on the machine’s control or via PC
  • Unlike conventional profilometers, it is capable of measuring contoured surfaces rather than only flat planes
  • Provides surface finish analysis prior to part removal, allowing rework of parts in their originally clamped positions
  • Attempting rework on a part without returning it to its original position will most likely introduce more defects into the part increasing scrap rates
  • BLUM Roughness Gauges provide the first automated means of surface finish analysis on machine tools
  • BLUM Roughness Gauges can record data at velocities 18x faster than conventional methods
  • Offered with software packages for all major control types
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