Take Advantage of Spindle Probes

Most new CNC machines purchased today are equipped with spindle probes but few of these are being used effectively, if at all. Some manufacturers are reluctant to use spindle probes because they believe that expensive CNC equipment should not be used for measuring parts.

The reality is that when parts have to be brought to a CMM for in-process inspection, far more valuable time is expended transporting the part, waiting for the inspection, transporting the part back to the machine and setting it up again. Probing during setup allows for a faster and more accurate orientation of the part with more precise tool offsets.

During manufacturing, spindle probe data delivered directly to the inspection software may be used to generate reports just as if the part had been measured on a CMM. Until recently, programmers had to insert manually generated macros at appropriate intervals to incorporate probing into CNC programs. Now the Productivity Plus probing module in the latest version of Mastercam allow the programmers to create these probing functions from within Mastercam. Learning how to use this capability can improve quality with more immediate in-process gaging feedback, reduce inspection time and improve overall manufacturing productivity for many Mastercam users.