Machine Design
Making accurate measurements on large gantry machines

Making accurate measurements on large gantry machines

Gantry machines used in the aerospace and die/mold industries process large components that need to be machined accurately. But it is difficult to mount an accurate scale on a gantry machine’s large work envelope. To solve this problem, engineers at Heidenhain Corp., Schaumburg, Ill. (, developed the LC 200, a multisection absolute scale that assembles and mounts on a gantry or other large-scale machine tools. Its tongue-and-groove design lets the extrusions of the scale easily slide together.

The scale, a steel tape, can measure components and raw materials up to 28 meters long with ±5-μm accuracy. But even with large measuring lengths, the position value comes from only two graduation tracks. The absolute track has a serial code embedded in it that provides unique values over its entire length. The other track, an incremental track, is interpolated for the exact position value.

The LC200’s optoASIC ensures high output signal quality. The device can be powered by 3.6 to 14-Vdc power supplies.

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