Bringing extreme precision to complex 3D part measurement on machine tools, a new touch probe from Renishaw Inc., Hoffman Estates, Ill., combines two advanced technologies — high accuracy strain-gage sensing and frequency-hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) radio transmission. The design allows sophisticated part checking precision on 5-axis machining, contours, deep cavities, undercuts, etc. where obstacles or part features can block transmission by optical line-of-sight probes. The RMP600 touch probe makes possible rapid, automated part set-up and changeover, in-process control of critical dimensions, and even final inspection on certain parts. A compact design, solid-state electronics, and interference-free signal transmission allow application to all sizes of machining centers, harsh environments, and noisy plant floors with competing wireless communications.

The company's strain gage technology — Rengage — combines a patented sensing mechanism and advanced electronics to allow sub-micron 3D probe performance on contoured surfaces, even with long styli. Regarding signal transmission, the FHSS transmission system does not use a dedicated radio channel. Instead, the probe and receiver “hop” together through a sequence of channels. FHSS enables multiple machining centers with the probe system to coexist with confidence in noisy industrial environments, particularly as wireless Wi-Fi proliferates on plant floors. Paired with an RMI receiver, the probe's signals are transmitted over long distances with a negligible chance of interference. For more information, visit www.renishaw.com.