News: Product News

5th June 2015

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A Metrology Open Day hosted by Spectrum Metrology, 26th June 2019

Explore New Dimensions at the National Space Centre: Spectrum Metrology will be hosting an Open Day this June in conjunction with Taylor Hobson and FARO. Register now ...

12th March 2019 • Read »

4D Inspec XL micro-defect measurement system wins 2019 Prism award

We are pleased to announce that the 4D InSpec XL surface defect gauge has won the 2019 Prism award in Test and Measurement. The award was presented to 4D Technology during the Photonics West 2019 expo by SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics.

20th February 2019 • Read »

Autocollimator used to test innovative Scanner System to monitor pollution

Autocollimators were used to align the optical components when the University of Leicester built the pioneering CompAQS scanner in collaboration with Surrey Satellite Technology and DL Optics Ltd

18th October 2018 • Read »

Digital Projectors and Video Measurement Microscopes in sharp focus at MACH

Spectrum Metrology invites visitors to the MACH exhibition to witness the optical clarity and precision of their latest digital projectors and video microscopes, manufactured by German designers Dr Schneider Messtechnik.

6th March 2018 • Read »

Alignment Telescopes used by Cammell Laird on the RRS Sir David Attenborough

Shipbuilders and marine engineers Cammell Laird are using the Micro Alignment Telescope to assist with precise alignment of the ships propeller shafts to the marine engine during build of the Sir David Attenborough polar research vessel

26th January 2018 • Read »

New Software makes smooth work of machine tool slideway straightness measurements

electro optics analysis
Electro optics software for the digital ultra autocollimator

With it’s touch screen operation and icon driven menus, the new Electro Optics Analysis software from Taylor Hobson is making life easier for users of the Ultra Autocollimator for a range of machine tool measurement applications.

Among the large number of applications using the Ultra Autocollimator, the most common is the simultaneous two axis straightness measurement of machine tool slideways.  The latest software used with the Taylor Hobson autocollimator offers significant time-savings when carrying out these measurements.  The software is Icon driven which means that all measurement steps are shown as a clear pictorial display.  Each stage of measurement is prompted by the software, which also indicates when any error of operation has occurred, making it simple for even inexperienced personnel to carry out measurements. 

straightness measurementMeasurements are automatically taken for both X and Y directions at each measuring position along the slideway. Typically a ten metre slide can be checked in just a few minutes - a considerable reduction in the amount of time taken compared with more conventional methods.  With the addition of the Talyvel electronic level, twist or roll can also be measured.

The autocollimator is normally mounted directly onto the machine slideway using a bracket, rigidly bolted to the end of the slide.  If this is not possible the autocollimator can be placed directly on the slide.  When small slideways are to be measured and no attachment holes are available, the autocollimator can be mounted on a separate stand or tripod. 

straightness with autocollimator
straightness measurement of slideways with autocollimator

A reflector is used in conjunction with the autocollimator, mounted onto a carriage, specifically designed for dual axis measurement.

Up to 90 measuring steps can be taken for straightness checking and all steps must be of equal distance.  The reflector carriage is moved along the slideway in equidistant steps.  Any out-of-straightness in either of the two surfaces (side and top of the slide) will cause the carriage to change angle with respect to the autocollimator, and it is these changes which are measured and computed to determine the error in straightness.  With the addition of an optical square, squareness and parallelism can also be checked.

The new software also allows the results to be presented in a variety of graphical and tabular forms and printed in the form of a certificate with a record of any additional measurement/environmental data.

See a video of the Ultra Autocollimator in action