Stylus and Probe Changing
The range of features and components that must be measured in a typical production environment means that manufacturers need a flexible CMM measuring solution. A single CMM sensor and stylus configuration will not be sufficient in most cases to measure parts completely automatically.
Is it best to change sensor, or should you change styli?
Unless you are measuring a simple component, you will need to change your stylus configuration to suit different measurement tasks – e.g. accessing deep features that require long or complex styli, as well as using different tips (sphere, disc, cylinder). Styli should be optimised for the application to ensure sound metrology results. Styli Selection Guidelines.
Styli can be changed manually using a threaded connection, but re-calibration is required. Probe systems are now available with a repeatable, automated means to switch styli, reducing manual intervention and eliminating the need to re-calibrate.
Probe Auto-Change Systems
A scanning sensor is the most flexible probe you can fit to your CMM machine, since it can perform discrete point measurement as well as scanning. However, it is not the optimum sensor for more specialised tasks like measurement of soft materials where a non-contact sensor will be best.
In other words, one sensor may not be suitable for all your measurement needs. If the range of features and parts that you must measure demands a range of sensors, then a sensor changing system is an essential additional to a CMM.
Sensor changing requires a repeatable, automated joint between the probe head or CMM quill and the probes that you want to use. You will also need to store sensors that are not in use.