Mitutoyo Launches FORMTRACER Avant Hybrid Surface Texture and Contour Measuring System

Mitutoyo has introduced the flexible FORMTRACER Avant Series of benchtop hybrid CNC measuring systems that can measure both surface roughness and contour of component features on just one machine by using interchangeable detectors. The top model in the series provides this dual measurement capability out of the box but for applications that do not need both there are two cost-effective single-detector models dedicated to contour and surface roughness respectively. These easily upgrade to full functionality if required just by adding the appropriate detector and software extension.

Conversion between surface roughness and contour measurement happens within seconds by simply turning a thumbscrew to release the mounted detector and replacing with the other type. Shutting down the software and switching off the controller to make this change is unnecessary, a significant advance compared with previous FORMTRACER models. This hot-swap ability saves time and money.

FORMTRACER Avant adapts to an extensive array of measuring tasks, by retrofit, to offer excellent measurement flexibility. For instance, an optional swivelling drive unit eliminates the need for custom work-holding fixtures on inclined surface measurement. A very wide selection of optional accessories such as Y-axis, 3-axis and auto levelling tables, vertical and horizontal rotary tables, swivel centres, vee-blocks and rotary vice provides the ability to mount and measure practically any workpiece within the size capability of a machine.

Apart from a choice of motorised column height and granite base size there is an extremely wide choice of optional arms and styli to fit the various detectors. A double-sided contour measurement capability is available that enables difficult measurements such as internal screw pitch diameter. The contour measuring zone extends to a maximum of 60 x 200 mm, according to model, and features a built-in collision prevention system that automatically stops the machine if the detector interferes with the workpiece or holding fixture.

High drive speed and acceleration of the horizontal (X axis) and column (Z2 axis) movements combined with a reduction of non-measuring movement to a minimum are FORMTRACER Avant features that aid productivity by reducing automatic cycle times. An advanced remote control box provides maximum ease of use and new function keys support fast creation of measurement part programs for maximum productivity.

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