High Efficiency Fixed-Head Probing Systems

Tooling configurations used on fixed-head probe systems provide great flexibility in the type of products that can be measured due to their allowance of using longer and heavier probe configurations. However, these configurations often require more complex assemblies which are "built-up" using many standard components screwed together to achieve the alignments needed to measure necessary features. Some of the challenges with these assemblies include the following:

  • Higher Cost – More styli and components are generally needed.
  • Longer Cycle Time – Multiple probe changes are often needed.
  • Difficult Assembly – aligning styli to proper angles, especially for compound angle holes, can be a time consuming and difficult challenge.
  • Tough Maintainability – Components may rotate or loosen over time or after accidental collisions.
High Efficiency Fixed-Head Probing system
Complex assemblies with many parts are both expensive and unreliable.

Custom probe tooling consists of a rigid assembly, fabricated at the proper lengths and angles to measure all the needed features properly. These assemblies are constructed using high quality, temperature stable materials. Properly executed, this approach will provide:

  • Lower Cost – One customized holder can cost less than purchasing multiple standard parts. Custom tooling usually consolidates multiple probe systems to reduce the total number of assemblies needed. This eliminates the need for additional head adapter plates, probe pockets, and the associated table space
  • Shorter Cycle Time – Fewer probe systems require fewer probe changes, shaving valuable time off of longer runs.
  • Easy assembly and maintainability – Just screw the styli in, no squaring or aligning is needed. Broken or worn out styli are simply replaced.
  • Custom designed probe tooling is likely to cost less, is easier to maintain, and often reduces total cycle time.
Custom Probe Assemblies

By designing (or modeling existing) part holding fixtures and custom probe tooling in a virtual 3D space, one can readily test the design for functionality and possible interferences. Proper CAD can prove that all the angles, lengths, and styli are correct for the given application, thus eliminating the need for expensive reworking of the custom manufactured parts.

Probe in Part

In most measurement environments temperature is the largest source of measurement variation, making the use of temperature stable materials critical.

Titanium is the material of choice for customized probe holders because of its low weight and thermal properties.

Temp-Comp™ thermally stable extensions are another critical component due to their high quality and exceptionally low cost. The unique double-wound carbon fiber and titanium construction provide a near-zero coefficient of expansion along with exceptional torsional rigidity that is not possible with typical carbon fiber.

Carbon Fiber Extension
Thermally Stable Extension

There is only so much room for variation from spec before a customized holder becomes unusable. Minor angular errors of a probe can cause probe shanking, leading to invalid measurements.

Customers have come to rely on itpstyli, LLC to provide machined titanium holders because of our consistency in meeting tight tolerances and ability to accurately cut compound angles.

Please call to learn more about how itpstyli and its partners can provide turn key solutions for designing and manufacturing fixed-head tooling systems.

Fixed-Head Tooling System

Customized and affordable tooling systems provide maximum rigidity, enhanced thermal stability and require minimal maintenance and maximum repeatability.