The invention of the touch trigger probe
in the early 1970s revolutionised the development of the co-ordinate
measuring machine as the industry standard for 3D measurement.
Although the potential for
applying probe routines on machine tools was quickly realised, it was
not until the mid-1980s and development of more sophisticated machine
controls, that probing became adopted by the world's largest machine
Historically there has been a
marked reluctance by the users of machine tools to use probing, typical
objections included "increased cycle times" and "machine
tools are for cutting not for measuring". Both sentiments have been
largely based on misconceptions as to the real applications and benefits
and also entrenched attitudes to improvements in methods of machine tool
Today, the acceptance of quality
control in the production environment and drive towards maximising
machine productivity, have finally seen probing accepted as standard
practice in the field of production engineering.
The application of probes to the set up of CNC machine tools brings
significant productivity improvement by reducing the downtime associated
with manual set up of tools, fixtures and workpieces, including the fast
accurate inspection of first-off components.