Laser length measurement system


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I work for a company that measures shafts. We have a lot of bench gauges with length scales installed in them and use a combination of tooling and software to set offsets for different tooling combinations. One issue I have is that not all of the gauges have the same type of tooling. I’m trying to look into being able to verify linearity in length on these machines. My issue is I dont want to have 50 masters laying around because of all the different tooling types. If everything had a flat to flat tooling, we could have 2-3 masters and be done.

instead, I thought about how cool it would be if I just had a laser or optical send and receive system where I put one on the headstock of the machine and the receiving end on the tailstock. Then get a live read, set a reference point, and check linearity at 2-3 points along the scale. The problem is, I dont know of a measurement system like this. I was hoping that posting here might being forth some options. Does anyone have any ideas?

The way we currently handle this is by having masters that we verify annually and we master the gauge to that. However, this will only show accuracy at one point, but not linearly. Thoughts? Would prefer a measurement system that can do metric and atleast have a resolution of 0.010 (if thats even feasible). Our length measurements usually range in the +\- 0.8mm for our smallest tolerance and +\- 1.5mm for our biggest tolerances. 10 microns might be a stretch, but if its available, we would like to explore that option.


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You don't mention the diameters of the shafts that you are measuring, that makes a difference, but there are certainly tools out there that can do this job. Do a Google search for "laser micrometer" and you will find many choices.


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Not sure what your budget is, or the dimensions of the shafts you would be measuring. We use Vicivision optical shaft measuring systems. A bit pricy but super accurate. Resolution down to 0.0001mm, well below your requested 0.01
They have machines to fit almost any size shafts from micro all the way to 50". The price gets pretty high when you start getting into long lengths.
There are plenty of other manufacturers all making the same types of devices- Mitutoyo, OGP, Marposs, Jenoptik, Mahr, Fowler....
All providing lengths, diameters, angles, tapers, threads, roundness, run-out, parallelism, & straightness.

If you are looking for a mountable setup like you were describing, I can recommend Keyence optical micrometers. You can pass the item through the beam or, mount the device and move the beam over the item. I would probably mount it to a DRO scale to get good length measurements.


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Thank you for the replies. For this particular putpose, I am just trying to get something to verify the length on our current bench gauges fir the annual calibration. This would not need to take into account the diameters of the tube, however the lengths would be anywhere between 400-1800mm. Because if the tooling differences on our machines, it would be easy if I were able to just put a laser on top and some sort of receiver or reference point for the laser and then just check the live distance back to what the laser is reading for verification.
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