CNC Machine Calibration

Fast and affordable CNC machine axis calibration with LICS-100A

The new LICS-100A linear interferometer calibration system from IS tecnik provides a highly accurate axis laser calibration reference for any CNC machining centre, machine tool or CMM machine, and provides advantages in:

  • Simplicity of Operation
  • Reduced Setup Time
  • High Affordability
  • Excellent Portability

Compared to traditional laser interferometer measurement systems, the LICS-100A is simple and fast to set up and align to each CNC machine or CMM axis to be calibrated. It is also small enough to allow machine tool calibration over full axis travel without the removal of any guarding.

It is interesting to understand how these advantages are delivered.

The LICS-100A laser system uses the latest miniaturised electronics and patented laser doppler displacment measurement technology to deliver powerful interferometer measurement accuracy over distances up to 15m from a laser head measuring only 24 x 13 x 6cm. This innovative 2-component co-axial laser calibration system operates without the complexities created by an offset return beam and the traditional need to align separate interferometer optics to the laser and the reflector.

Compact Laser SystemTherefore when setting up a CNC machine calibration run, it is simply necessary to mount the laser head on the machine tool table, attach a USB cable to a laptop computer, connect the atmospheric compensator and magnetically attach the compact retro-reflector to the machine tool spindle. The laser beam is then easily aligned to the CNC machine axis by just steering it with a swivelling mirror at the front of the laser. Thats it – the CNC machine tool or CMM is now ready to calibrate.

This process is both faster an easier than setting up a traditional calibration interferometer, which typically requires the laser to be mounted on an external tripod with machne guarding removed. The laser then has to be physically oriented to pass the beam through a table mounted interferometer optics to a spindle mounted retro-reflector, with the offset return beam returing through the optics to strike a separate receiver orifice on the laser head, with all the above aligned to the machine axis.

When calibrating any CNC machines or other machine tools, including lathes, long bed milling machines, floor borers and 5-axis machining centres, the features of the LICS system are able to reduce total alignment times by more than 50%.

The single orifice design of the LICS unit also allows the system optics itself to be miniaturised, with only a 13mm retroreflector required. The miniaturised electronics of the signal processing module are fully integrated into the laser head itself, with only a USB connection required to a laptop running the readout, measurement and analysis software.

With these design features, the total laser calibration system is so small it is readily packed into a small carry-on sized protective case weighing only 6kg, allowing a machine tool technician to easily carry the system along with his other equipment without special shipping considerations or excess baggage costs.

Measuring accuracy of the LICS system is equivalent to many large and more expensive systems, delivering less than 0.1ppm stability and 1ppm total uncertaintly. All systems are factory calibrated within 0.5ppm and provided with detailed calibration certificates traceable to the international length standard.

For more information, please call us on 1300 699 176.