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The Rock Pile: A Blog for Metrology Enthusiasts

Six Challenges of Laser Trackers

Deighton Brunson
By Deighton Brunson on Mar 7, 2019 4:19:23 PM

Picture what might have happened if you gave R2-D2 a laser interferometer. He may have become the first laser tracker in that galaxy somewhere, long ago and far away. There are some similarities, after all, between R2-D2 and trackers. They are both sophisticated devices that beep, spin their heads, and project light. However, instead of projecting images of Princess Leia, a laser tracker uses encoders and a distance-measuring technology to track and specify the location of an SMR target in 3-D space. Both are pretty cool.

And just as Luke had to understand R2-D2, laser tracker operators need to fully understand their trackers to get the most out of them, and avoid introducing errors, while measuring. Below is a list of some of the issues that you may want to watch out for when using a laser tracker.

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How often do you change the oil in your laser tracker?

Jim Vaughan
By Jim Vaughan on Feb 4, 2019 3:37:18 PM
A laser tracker provides the ultimate in measurement accuracy. Portable and practical for use in the field, they help many industries ensure quality, safety and efficiency.

However, from time to time, even precise equipment needs verification to ensure that it is still performing within specifications set by the manufacturer (known as MPEs, or Maximum Permissible Errors).

This is exactly why the United States Air Force (AFMetcal) asked NIST to develop an Interim Field Test for laser trackers. That standard became known as IR-8016, the NIST Field Test.

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Would you drive a Ferrari on bald tires?

Jim Vaughan
By Jim Vaughan on Jan 18, 2019 3:22:30 PM

Then why make the same mistake with your Laser Tracker?

Most of us have heard the proverb that ends, "For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail." While most companies have moved beyond horseshoes to the high-tech realms of lasers, the failure of the most inconsequential-seeming part of your equipment can destroy your entire measurement operation.

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About the blog

The Rock Pile is a blog designed to be a platform for collaborative exploration in the field of metrology. You can expect to explore new Brunson products, hear from industry professionals invited to be contributing editors, and gain insight from customers who use Brunson products. So if you are one of the chosen few people who understand that Metrology is not a study of the weather, please join us here.