Zeiss' Metrology Extension Enables Dimensional Accuracy
The Metrology Extension (MTX) from Zeiss offers high-precision measurements of small components and complex parts.
Zeiss has released the Metrology Extension (MTX) for Zeiss Xradia 620/520 Versa. The extension enables dimensional measurements that are more accurate than conventional X-ray computed tomography (CT) technology, according to Zeiss. Zeiss recommends the MTX for assessing internal and external structures, particularly components that are not accessible to traditional tactile or optical CMMs, such as internal cavities, difficult-to-reach or ‘hidden’ features and flexible or easily deformable materials. It can be calibrated to a Maximum Permissible Error (MPE) value of (1.9 + L/100) μm.
“The miniaturization and integration of components in smaller devices is creating an increasing demand for high-resolution metrology in industrial manufacturing,” according to Herminso Gomez, X-ray quality solutions manager at Zeiss Industrial Metrology.
The MTX is designed to determine dimensional deviations from the nominal geometries defined in computer-aided design (CAD) for functional features in small components, such as injection-molded plastic connectors or fuel injector nozzles. Complex parts, such as a smartphone camera lens assembly, can be measured using a variety of criteria. “With the Metrology Extension, our users receive traceable results in the smallest of volumes,” Gomez says.
The MTX option adds the ability to make measurements in small volumes (in a cube of 5 mm per side, for instance) with high dimensional accuracy. Zeiss also offers XRM Check, a length measurement standard, in accordance with the relevant VDI/VDE 2630-1.3 guidelines. Thanks to the integrated, user-guided calibration workflow, users can calibrate their Zeiss Xradia Versa X-ray microscopes to a verified measurement accuracy of MPESD = (1.9 + L/100) μm, where L is the measured dimension in millimeters. This allows the collected data to be accessible for further dimensional analyses with standard metrology software. MTX is available as a field upgrade option and for new instruments.
A laser scanning system helps this shop capture the free-form surfaces on a hand-sculpted original. The resulting digitized models are the basis for CAM applications such as programming a CNC machining center.
Measuring workpiece dimensions is relatively simple for machine operators but measuring workpiece geometry which involves more complex comparisons of part shape to an ideal shape--is now also practical on the shop floor. The gaging equipment for doing this is coming down in price while becoming easier to use.
Simple "roughness" measurements remain useful in the increasingly stringent world of surface finish specifications. Here's a look at why surface measurement is important and how to use sophisticated portable gages to perform inspections on the shop floor.