Multiple tool setting and inspection probes on CNC machine tools

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Multiple tool setting and inspection probes on CNC machine toolsRenishaw is adding to its range of radio transmission probe systems, including an interface that allows multiple probe installations on the same machine tool, and a new compact tool setting probe with radio signal transmission which is suitable for larger machines.

The new RMI-Q radio transmission interface allows up to four separate tool setting or spindle-probes with radio transmission to be operated on the same CNC machine, making it an excellent choice for fitment onto CNC machining centres, or machines with rotary tables or twin pallets. RMI-Q is easily integrated on a wide range of machining centres and CNC milling machines, enabling users to enjoy all the benefits of Renishaw probe systems, including cable-free automated on-machine tool setting, tool breakage detection, part set-up and part verification capability.

A number of different multiple probing configurations are possible, typically comprising the new Renishaw RTS tool setter with Renishaw RMP60 inspection probe, or other compatible spindle-mounted touch probes with radio transmission such as RMP40 or RMP600, selected to suit the user’s specific application requirements.

RMI-Q is used to activate either the spindle-mounted touch probe or table-mounted tool setting probe, and gives visual indication of the activated device. Like the new RTS tool setter it features the tried and tested 2.4GHz frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) radio transmission, designed to be compliant with radio regulations worldwide, which enables uninterrupted operation in increasingly busy radio environments.

The system is suitable for applications that have obscured line-of-sight between probe and receiver, and its transmission range of up to 15m makes it particularly suitable for large machines. The RMI-Q has all the functionality of Renishaw’s RMI interface, plus additional features, including the ability via a simple macro to partner all required probes to the interface in a single operation.

During machining processes, dimensional accuracy is dependent upon a number of variables, including tool size deviation, tool/holder run out and tool breakage. Renishaw’s new RTS contact tool setter can compensate for variation during the machining process and update the controller automatically to account for actual effects, such as tool wear, and also allows processes to be automatically stopped when broken tools are detected. This gives significant benefits to users by reducing rework, re-makes, concessions and scrap.

Renishaw’s new RTS contact tool setting probe is a robust, compact and cable-free product which does not restrict table movement. Signals from the probe are communicated using radio transmission which makes it suitable for machines of any size, where line-of-sight is an issue, and for machines with twin pallets or rotary tables, which historically have proven challenging for installations of hard-wired tool setters.

Powered by two standard AA batteries and benefiting from significantly extended battery life, the RTS can be used in conjunction with up to three other radio probes using the new RMI-Q product. For more information about radio transmission probe systems from Renishaw, please go to

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