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New compact tool setting probe from Blum
New compact tool setting probe from Blum

New compact tool setting probe from Blum

Added to MTDCNC by Blum-Novotest on 03 February 2015

Blum-Novotest, the leading suppliers of innovative, high-quality measuring and testing technology has now launched its new Z-Nano probe system. Despite the name being familiar, this latest Z-Nano is a development of the existing and accomplished system that already exists under the same name. The new and extremely compact tool measuring system can be used on CNC machining centres to conduct automatic tool length measurement and breakage detection. It can also undertake temperature compensation in one machine axis.

Blum-Novotest Sales Engineer, Mr Winfried Weiland explains: 'We are sure that we will have the same resounding success with this new Z-Nano as we had with the previous version that is currently used every day, all over the world. With the further development of this system we could implement some improvements. One of these technological advances is an exchangeable measuring surface that allows a potentially worn or damaged surface to be replaced. Another improvement is the additional spherical disk in the base. This enables easy adjustment and set-up on the machine table, which is ideal for manufacturers loading large billets that could potentially fill the machine bed.'

The principle of the linear guide has been implemented to perfection by the engineers of Blum-Novotest. Instead of the previous sliding guide system, the new Z-Nano works with a ball guideway. This further reduces the measuring force. The advantage is that now even smaller tools starting from 0.1mm diameter can be measured, depending on tool geometry and material. Furthermore, in its standard version the probe offers an impressively high repeatability of 0.5 µm 2σ. For special applications, it is also available with a ‘High Precision’ design with a guaranteed repeatability of 0.2 µm 2σ.

Like all other tactile systems available from Blum, the Z-Nano complies with protection class IP68 and it works with an optoelectronic measuring mechanism. During the measuring process, the trigger signal is generated by shading a miniature light barrier inside the probe. This guarantees an absolutely wear-free probe with constant reliability even after millions of operation cycles. The switching status is indicated via LED and this allows extremely easy control during operation.

There were many reasons for the remarkable success of the previous Z-Nano probe and many of the factors for its success can also be noted in the new design. For example, the system identifies a broken tool to avoid further damage to the workpiece or machine tool. If a tap breaks during threading and the following tap has a collision, the consequences are often damage on the machine and the potentially expensive workpiece. With the new Z-Nano such errors are eliminated.

The Z-Nano can be mounted in vertical as well as in horizontal orientations. Practically proven and optimized measuring cycles for all common control types are included in the delivery program. For the production of large series runs, time-optimized software is available to enable fast tool breakage detection within 1-2 seconds. Accessories offered by Blum are different mounting sockets with nozzles to clean the measuring surface and the tool. Also available is a mechanical chip protection system for horizontal mounting.

'The probe is delivered with a highly flexible connecting cable and 1.5m of steel mesh. If installation with cable is not possible, e.g. in machines with a pallet changer, the probe is also available without cable and IR transmission,' Winfried Weiland concludes.


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