Quality Innovations: One-Stop Solution for Manual Machines

September 1, 2006
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A new digital readout can be used for many manual machine tools, including milling, turning, boring and drilling machines.

Heidenhain Corp.'s (Schaumburg, IL) new universal digital readout (DRO) system, the ND 780, is compatible with most manual machine tools, including milling, grinding, turning, boring and drilling machines. It can be used for bench gaging, electrical discharge machines and rotary tables, and most manual applications where position needs to be displayed. Previous DROs were designed and dedicated to specific applications such as milling or turning. "The ND 780 has software specific to multiple machining operations selectable by user," says Chris Weber, product manager of machine tool and metalworking at Heidenhain Corp.

It is compatible with all single- or multi-axis machine tools up to three axes. The unit has an extensive library of onboard user cycles, as well as menu-driven text. It has newly designed ergonomic housing, soft keys and a bright six-inch LCD.



The DRO's interactive language assists with milling machine's operation. Source: Heidenhain Corp.

Conversational programming assists operators with positioning tasks and explains the display's special functions. Traditional displays do not have a segmented display, which allow for on-screen text or help, Weber says. Comprehensive tables for tools, threads and cutting speed, as well as simple cycles, speed up everyday machining tasks such as a bolt circle calculator. It also comes equipped with a calculator-arithmetic, trigonometric and taper calculations-as well as a stopwatch and display of feed rates.

Operators have the ability to check critical tolerances on parts still on machine using the KT edge finder. The 3-D triggering edge finder has a spring-mounted cylindrical stylus. Deflected when it contacts the workpiece, the finder then sends a triggering signal through the connecting cable to the digital readouts.



The DRO enables precision turning on a lathe. Source: Heidenhain Corp.

Instead of purchasing a new machine, the same unit for multiple machine types reduces the learning curve for operators of multiple machines. It has an on-board stopwatch for recording job time, allowing billing by hour. For small shop owners, this DRO could be shared between machines. For instance, it could be moved between lathe and mill because it has software functionality for both.

Features of this DRO include:

• An LCD screen for standard on-board text help for all readout functions, which also allows for graphical representation of work to be performed.

• Onboard software specific for both milling and turning, selectable by operator.

• It can accept both linear scales and rotary and angle encoders, such as a boring mill with a rotary table.

• It has variable resolution capabilities. Operators independently change resolution on each axis depending on job or machine requirement.

• It has onboard diagnostics that allow signal checking from feedback

systems-scales and rotary encoders-on installation and for trouble shooting and service.

Machine operators can choose from from multiple help screens with graphic support, canned routines and on-board calculator to prevent arithmetic errors. A tool table with radius compensation helps prevent ruining parts. "Operators can set tooling ahead of time in the tool table," Weber says. "When they want to machine something, they can just call up that specific tool and the information about the tool is in there." Its LCD screen has on-board prompts and plain language, dedicated help screens for all set-up and operation, graphics and multiple languages.

The ND 780 has selectable resolution, error compensation-linear and nonlinear-and trouble-shooting tools such as signal diagnostics. Operators select the type of machine, the number of axes and required resolution; the readout does the rest. This DRO will be the standard in all of Heidenhain's retrokits, allowing the possibility to connect a low-cost standard grounding-type edge finder or Heidenhain's own KT 130 edge finder.

Features of the on-board diagnostics include:

• Operators can pull up a phase meter to look at the existing signals.

• The DRO contains prompts for initial set up to ensure accurate readings with automatic detection of signal input.

• Distance-to-go display for hitting

target position.

• Edge-finder input for correct datum setting and part measurement.

• Tool radius compensation.

• Built-in on-board hole patterns.

• Linear and nonlinear error compensation compensate for machine geometry issues.

• Built-in backlash compensation.

An available RS 232 port allows communication of its position and probing data. Available optional switching outputs can participate in other integrated functions. For instance, it could be programmed so that when a certain position value is reached a signal is sent.



QUALITY SPECS

• It is compatible with all single- or multi-axis machine tools up to three axes.

• Machine operators benefit from an easy learning curve, multiple help screens with graphic support, canned routines and on-board calculator to prevent arithmetic errors.

• Its LCD screen has on-board prompts and plain language dedicated help screens for all set-up and operation, graphics and multiple languages.



TECHNOLOGY CONTACT

For more information on the ND 780, contact:

Heidenhain Corp.

333 E. State Parkway • Schaumburg, IL 60173

(847) 490-1191

E-mail: info@heidenhain.com

URL: www.heidenhain.com

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