Touch Probe Power Out of Thin Air

Touch Probe Power Out of Thin Air

TS 444 touch
The TS 444 touch probe generates its own power.

Heidenhain Corp.’s (www.heidenhain.com) TS 444 infrared touch probe offers an effective alternative to batteryoperated touch probes for machining applications. Compressed air supplied through machine tool spindles powers the TS 444, which works with all Heidenhain control systems.

In operation, compressed air enters the TS 444 via a taper shank and spins a turbine wheel within the probe. The turbine wheel generates electrical energy through changes in a magnetic field, and this energy is stored in high-power capacitors.

Exiting air cleans the probe point on the TS 444, which means as the touch probe is charging, the probing point is simultaneously cleaned. The compressed air does not need to be specially cleaned.

With fully charged capacitors, the TS 444 can probe for 2 min, and charging times vary depending on compressed air pressure. The higher the pressure, the shorter the charging time, and Heidenhain recommends a supply pressure of 5 bars or more to ensure complete charging happens in a reasonable amount of time. At 5.5 bars, complete charging takes about 3 sec.

As with other Heidenhain touch probes, the TS 444 features optical sensor technology for generating trigger signals. This sensor endures a probing accuracy of +/- 5 microns.

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