- March 21, 2016
March 21, 2016 - Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence released software and an Ethernet Real Time Feature Pack (RTFP) for the Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 and AT930. This combination delivers a 7DOF measurement solution designed to empower Factory of the Future applications such as laser tracker-based machine control and robotic guidance. This technology adds a time dimension to the measurement data acquired by the laser tracker, made possible by interfacing its LMF communications with the new industrial EtherCAT protocol.
The laser tracker's 7DOF measurement capability enables real-time machine control for milling, drilling, grinding, polishing and other processes in a large-scale manufacturing environment. For example, an off-the-shelf 6-axis robot could be deployed with a Leica AT960 laser tracker and Leica T-MAC to precisely measure and correct in real-time the movement of the robot's end effector for in-place, production operations on the factory floor. The machine control system can be synchronized accordingly and corrections can be applied in real time – even in dynamic robotic setups.
Built on the EtherCAT protocol, the laser tracker's RTFP meets the data-delivery requirements of high-end automation applications. It also adds a host of capabilities such as cyclic data delivery with EtherCAT distributed clock support, several triggering options, and a basic command interface enabling tracker control from non-Windows environments. The system software supports the RTFP and the recently released Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-20-8 handheld laser scanning solution. In addition to improved Tracker Pilot checks and comps, the software release includes new laser tracker service tools including preventative indicators, recertification reminders, and remote technician access for a higher level of customer support.
The RTFP is available as an option with all new orders of the Leica Absolute Tracker AT960 and AT930 models, or as a service retrofit. Both models can also be upgraded to the latest firmware.