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Title: A new approach to rotary 2D metrology using an IME (Incremental Motion Encoder)
Author: Watkins, Adam James
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2005
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Machines, such as gantry robots, CNC or milling machines, must be able to perform consistently over time, and any degradation in performance due to changes in speed, age or mechanical failure must be detected or predicted as early as possible. Ultimately these changes lead to positioning errors and vibrations within the machine. To maintain accuracy the machines may checked 'on-site' or they may be 'mapped' in terms of desired and actual tool-tip position. These maps can then be integrated into the controlling software or hardware to improve performance. Monitoring the machines can form part of a feedback control loop. In order to carry out machine monitoring a number of devices are available. These include interferometers, ballbars, grid encoders and accelerometers for measuring vibration levels. None of these techniques forms a complete metrology solution. Some have limited coverage of the machine bed, others are too fragile to use on a working machine, and some do not provide the level of detail required to carry out a proper assessment of the machine. Initial investigations showed that vibrations are a key parameter to be monitored when making an accurate measurement of machine performance. Vibrations can reveal wear in components indicating imminent breakdown and they can themselves cause damage to the machine. Vibrations are commonly caused by rotating mechanical components. Patented in 1992, and developed within the Intelligent Machines Group, the Incremental Motion Encoder (IME) is a novel means of monitoring the motion of rotating shafts. The IME is a development of the angular encoder which uses 3 or more read heads. One read head allows the measurement of angular change. The use of multiple read heads allows it to detect lateral, as well as angular, changes in position. It is capable of measuring the submicrometre vibrations in rotating shafts over a wide bandwidth. By attaching an IME to the end effector of a machine it is possible to monitor the complete range of vibrations that occur at the end effector. A novel metrology technique, based on the attachment of the IME to the machine head, has been developed. This technique complements the measurement of vibrations with the remote monitoring of machine position. Laser triangulation is used to constantly track the position of the IME as it moves with the machine. The angles required to perform the triangulation are measured by using a laser that rotates with the IME. The laser beam strikes photosites at the periphery of the machine's range of motion allowing their angular position to be recorded by the rotating IME. The new technique has been developed and a test rig scanning unit has been constructed for evaluation. The test rig's construction allows for the measurement of angles against background torsion al vibrations. Lateral vibrations were prevented from occurring. Results from the test rig scanning unit indicate that the IME can be used for the measurement of angles of the order of 0.006 radians, which can then used for the triangulation of the scanner's position. Small changes in the position of the scanner (O.lmm) can also be detected making the technique suitable for the tracking of crude machine position. Further, investigations have involved the addition of an external torsional vibration source to the scanning unit and it has been shown that they distort the angular measurements. Algorithms based on filtering have been developed to use the IME data to compensate for such distortions. The algorithms have been evaluated using known angular changes and show a considerable reduction in the angular errors due to vibrations (a five-fold decrease in standard deviation from just under 0.0006 radians to 0.0001 radians).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available