If you’re just joining us, this is part three of a 3-part deep dive into the REVO probe system, and how it can help you measure more parts faster. Fortunately, the REVO is so outstanding I can’t finish this in three parts. If you need to catch up, click these to go back. What Can REVO Do For You? REVO Champion. Also stay tuned for the true end of this series. That article will answer “Why you can use a smaller CMM with a REVO compared to a standard articulating probe head” and “What hidden ways the REVO lowers measurement times.” In this article we are looking at why the REVO is easier to program using three comparisons between a REVO and a standard articulating probe head.
Right now, in quality labs all over the world there are thousands of CMMs tied up calibrating probe angles. While calibrations are critical, the CMM is not earning its keep if it’s not measuring parts. With a standard articulating probe head, whether 2.5°, 5°, or 7.5°, every angle needs to be individually calibrated. Using 5 basic angles in a program would lead to a 25-minute calibration routine. If the parts are complex much more time is needed every day. There are ways to infer a calibration over multiple angles, but this approach sacrifices much of the original accuracy of the probe. REVO’s calibration routine is 15 minutes. That’s it. This calibration routine includes ALL THE ANGLES, remembering that the REVO is not limited to a particular angle separation like the traditional probes 2.5°.
Calibration is a starting point to why the REVO is easier to program. When using a standard probe head, a programmer knows that it takes a long time to change and calibrate different angles. While writing a program, the programmer will go to great lengths to use as little angle changes as possible. This mindset dictates everything a programmer does and leads to bloated goto moves, longer than needed programs and hours of wasted programmer time. This is not the fault of the programmer. This mind set has been in place as long as CMMs have existed, simply because it avoids many hours of calibration time.
Relating to calibration, the REVO provides opportunities for better programming. The first opportunity for better programming is keeping the programmer in a rhythm. Imagine you are speeding through the creation of a new part program using a standard probe head. Suddenly you realize you need a new probe angle to reach a feature. Because you had not anticipated this, now you must stop programming and calibrate the new angle before starting to program again. This break in rhythm is frustrating to the programmer but it is expensive to the bottom line. It takes a good programmer minutes to get back in the rhythm, but a younger less experienced person might take as long as 15 or 20 minutes to get back into their rhythm. With the REVO, the programmer is free to add any angle to the program on the fly. Because the programmer is not held to the rule of less angles are better. The programmer can stay engaged and is empowered to be creative. Creative programs utilize more of the CMMs capabilities, meaning the inspection is faster and more robust.
The second opportunity the REVO improves is offline programming. To avoid using more probe angles, programmers are trained to cut it as close as possible when programming. This means with a standard 2.5° probe head, it is entirely possible to complete an offline program only to have it fail on the first real run. This is because you’ve shanked out on a feature because the programmer cut it too close. In the perfect simulation you can’t see the collision but in the real world it happens often. In this case, you will need to go back and edit the program to include the new angle. Then calibrate that angle. Then try the program again. This may happen multiple times while testing an offline program. You can see how this process is much more frustrating for the programmer and management. They both thought they could move on after the program was written. It can take hours of real CMM time to fix a program to no fault of the programmer. The tool is limiting their capability. With the REVO, the availability of all angles at the start of programming leaves the programmer unrestricted and eliminates the need to cut it close. The programmer can choose any probe head position that suits their needs throughout the program. This allows the programmer to execute their vision while removing the need for multiple real test runs.
Lastly, the REVO improves the measurements of repeating features. An example is an impeller but could easily be any part that replicates elements. All modern CMM software allows the programmer to copy and paste features around a repeating part. That’s nothing new but with a standard probe you may not have enough angles to make all the measurements work. What was perfect in software is now unusable in real life. This is one reason why you will see rotary tables on CMMs. The rotary table is there to help the standard probe split its angles. While this does allow the CMM to measure the part, it is expensive, can be slow and is complex work for the programmer. With the REVO the programmer still copies the program around the part but because the REVO has unlimited probe angles, the real world will match the virtual. A related benefit is the REVO will position normal to each repeated feature. Because it will move normal to each feature, the REVO will use the same measurement path over every feature regardless of position on the part. Everyone can appreciate the time and cost savings associated with copy and paste. Now your physical CMM can meet these expectations.
When you add the three programming benefits up with the saving in calibration time, the REVO can pay for its added cost in a few months. It saves programming time and allows less experienced programmers an easier environment to learn. The REVO also allows seasoned programmers the ability to stretch their CMMs capabilities. It’s not until we look at the deeper picture that we see that the REVO is truly rewriting the book on CMMs.
For more REVO content click here and stay tuned for the completion of this series!