Using standard probing equipment, Delcam’s NC-Checker program verifies the in-process performance of a range of commonly-used machine tools. The program can be used before machining to confirm that the equipment has been set up correctly, and it also can be applied during the production run to detect any out-of-tolerance movements.
The program is first used to calibrate the probe and the machine tool setup against a known artifact, normally a sphere or a set of three spheres. It then generates a series of probing and performance tests for regular use to ensure that the machine is operating correctly. The test routine can be applied at various stages during a production run, with the frequency determined by the value of the parts, the complexity of the shapes and the required accuracy. Check frequency is increased when producing more expensive or more complex components with stricter tolerances.
All results can be archived to provide a traceable history of each machine’s performance. The program can detect any deterioration in performance over time, even before any out-of-tolerance parts have been produced, possibly signaling the need to schedule maintenance work.
The software can also be used to check various other machining problems, such as tool breakage or a collision with an incorrectly loaded part. It can again provide a quick confirmation about whether users can continue the production run with high confidence in the quality and accuracy of the finished parts.