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Touch probes for machine tools

HEIDENHAIN has been developing and manufacturing touch probes for workpiece and tool measurement on machine tools for over 30 years now, in particular for milling machines and machining centers. The setup, measuring and monitoring functions of the touch probes can be fully automated—in conjunction with most NC controls they can even be controlled by the program—and help to reduce costs. TS triggering touch probes handle the measurement of workpieces, while TT touch probes and TL laser systems are available for the measurement of tools.

Touch probes from HEIDENHAIN have a whole series of technologically convincing features, such as the contact-free optical sensors, the integrated blower/flusher jets for cleaning the measuring point, or the large deflection path with a rated break point in the stylus. Some milestones of these products’ technology include the SE 540, which was the first transceiver unit for full integration in the spindle housing; the TS 444, which was the first touch probe without a battery; and the TS 460 with its additional collision protection.

Effective collision protection

A mechanical adapter on the TS 460 between the touch probe and the taper shank provides additional collision protection by also protecting the touch probe’s housing. In the event of a light collision against a fixture or workpiece, the touch probe can absorb the shock. At the same time, an integrated switch deactivates the ready signal and the control stops the machine. This way an incorrect tilting movement does not lead to serious damage. The collision protection of the TS 460 compensates smaller collisions, and prevents greater damage to the spindle or other parts of the machine.

Signal transmission via radio or infrared signals

The combined signal transmission in the TS 460 and TT 460 touch probes brings together the advantages of infrared and wireless transmission into one system. Infrared transmission is ideal for compact machines with an enclosed work envelope, whereas wireless transmission is mainly used on large machine tools.