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BLUM ZX-Speed: Most advanced tool setting probe series

Source:International Metalworking News for Asia June 2017

Date Published:3/22/2017 03:03:39 PM

Blum-Novotest introduces the new ZX-Speed tool setting probe at the 2017´s trade fairs. 

The wired BLUM ZX-Speed combines impressive economic efficiency with a compact and rugged design. Optionally, a nozzle is available for tool cleaning.

Wolfgang Reiser, Technical Director at BLUM explains: “The new ZX-Speed is aimed at customers who wish to profit from automatic, quick and economical tool measurement and monitoring. The tool length measurement and breakage detection processes are carried out while the tool is stationary. Only large tools such as facing mills, which must be measured off centre, as well as radii are measured under rotation with the help of cutting edges that rotate in reverse. The measurements are performed, for example, after a new tool has been loaded or for control measurements between machining steps. This is a reliable method of avoiding costly rejects due to undetected tool breakage, wear and poorly adjusted tools.“

A particularly noteworthy feature of the new ZX-Speed is the modern, multi-directional measuring mechanism of the latest generation: Unlike standard probes, its rotationally symmetric design offers constant and extremely precise measuring characteristics in all measuring directions without a preferred direction. This allows the measurement of even very small tools starting from a diameter of 1 mm with an ultra-precise repeatability of 0.4 µm 2σ. The trigger signal generation system used by the BLUM tool measuring probe is also remarkable because it is based on optoelectronics and the shading of a miniature light barrier rather than a simple micro-switch. This wear-free system guarantees consistently high measurement accuracy even after millions of switching cycles.

The new tool setting probe is available in three versions: wired, infrared and radio transmission. The highly economic wired version is recommended if it is possible to mount the probe at a fixed location in the machine room without causing interference. It is supplied as standard with a highly flexible connection cable and 1.5 m steel spiral protective hose.

If a BLUM workpiece touch probe is already fitted to the machine or if wired installation is not possible, wireless variants are available. The ZX-Speed IR is the perfect solution for machines with pallet changers: Via infrared transmission, the trigger signal is forwarded to the IR-receiver IC56. When operated in “DUO-Mode”, it allows two measuring systems to approached sequentially using only one IR-receiver.

The ZX-Speed RC with BRC radio technology is used if a direct line of sight between the probe and receiver cannot be guaranteed. One advantage of the new transmission technology is that each single bit of the radio signal runs across the entire width of the frequency band, thus making transmission particularly resistant to interference. The proven BRC radio technology also allows sequential activation of up to six BLUM radio measuring systems with one receiver as well as the simultaneous use of two radio measuring systems on a single machine operating in TWIN mode.

“Thanks to its robust construction according to protection class IP68, the ZX-Speed is perfect for the tough demands of machine tool applications,” says Reiser. It is also worth mentioning that the newest addition to the BLUM tool setting probe series is comparatively compact, making it ideal for use in machines offering limited space. To meet the needs of each customer, BLUM offers a comprehensive range of accessories for the probe systems. This includes replaceable measuring surfaces, different mounting brackets as well as blow nozzles for cleaning the tool and measuring surface.

The radio-transmitting ZX-Speed RC is always used if a line of sight to the receiver cannot be guaranteed. Like all probe systems of this series, it is used for tool setting in length and radius as well as for tool breakage detection.

The new ZX-Speed IR is particularly easy and cost-effective to retrofit, for instance, if a BLUM workpiece touch probe with infrared transmission is already installed.

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