Digital Readout (DRO) Systems are used for indicating the position of the cutting tool relative to a workpiece. The positions are detected by encoders mounted on the axis. They feature a numeric display and keyboard. DRO systems are used with milling and boring machines, lathes and surface grinders.
Encoders are sensors that electronically collect data, including count, direction, position and speed. They are used with a glass linear scale to convert the encoding. The data is then sent to a machine, which in turn uses the information for the application required.
Measuring for a DRO
Overall length of the scale and the measuring length of the scale’s travel are very different. The overall length is the “footprint” space required. The measuring length indicates how much the scale can measure as it traverses the axes it is mounted on.
Take the following steps to measure the proper travel length for X, Y and Z axes. Use a tape measure to identify the amount of space you have to install an encoder. Then follow the steps below to determine the useful measuring length. Remember that the measuring length must be less than the hard stops of the machine to avoid damaging the encoder.
- X-axis (right to left) measurements can be identified by moving the table to the furthest point on the left, marking a line between the table and stationary surface (saddle), then moving the table again to the far right. Measure from your mark to the right edge of the stationary surface.
- Y-axis travel (in and out/front to back) measurements can be identified by moving the table to the furthest point forward, marking a line between the base of the machine and the stationary surface (saddle), then moving the table the furthest point back. Record that measurement.
- Z-axis travel (up and down) measurements are the total distance traveled by the quill.
- W-axis travel (up and down) measurements can be identified by moving the table to the lowest point, marking a line between the table and the stationary surface (saddle), then raising the table to its highest point. Record that measurement. Typically used with Knee Milling Machines
DRO Equipment from MSC:
DRO Counters are used to display information collected by a scale and encoder. They can display their counts in inches, millimeters, degrees, or RPM units.
DRO Brackets & Mounting Hardware bracket kits, mounting arms, and pivot assemblies are available from MSC. Select the right accessory for your DRO System.
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