(19)
(11)EP 2 244 053 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 10160745.5

(22)Date of filing:  22.04.2010
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G01B 5/008  (2006.01)

(54)

Coordinate Measuring Machine

Koordinatenmessmaschine

Machine de mesure de coordonnées


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 23.04.2009 JP 2009105205

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.10.2010 Bulletin 2010/43

(73)Proprietor: Mitutoyo Corporation
Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 213-8533 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • Matsumiya, Sadayuki
    Kanagawa 213-8533 (JP)
  • Asano, Hidemitsu
    Kanagawa 213-8533 (JP)

(74)Representative: Erny, Tobias 
MERH-IP Matias Erny Reichl Hoffmann Patentanwälte PartG mbB Paul-Heyse-Straße 29
80336 München
80336 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 983 297
JP-A- 2003 083 741
EP-A2- 0 240 151
US-A1- 2004 221 465
  
  • HANSEN ET AL: "Calibration and Industrial Application of Instrument for Surface Mapping based on AFM" CIRP ANNALS, ELSEVIER BV, NL, CH, FR LNKD- DOI:10.1016/S0007-8506(07)61563-7, vol. 51, no. 1, 1 January 2002 (2002-01-01), pages 471-474, XP022136861 ISSN: 0007-8506
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The present invention relates to a method of measuring an object by means of a coordinate measuring machine.

2. DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART



[0002] A typically known coordinate measuring machine includes: a probe having a measurement piece that moves within a predetermined range while being in contact with an object to be measured: and a drive mechanism that supports and drives the probe, where the object is measured based on the displacements of the measurement piece and the probe (see, for instance, Literature 1: JP-A-2008-89578).

[0003] A surface-profile measuring instrument (coordinate measuring machine) disclosed in Literature 1 includes: a scanning probe having a measurement piece; and a drive mechanism. The surface-profile measuring instrument acquires the displacements of the measurement piece and the probe while the measurement piece is pushed against an object, the acquired displacements being combined to measure the object.

[0004] Since such a coordinate measuring machine employs a drive mechanism for moving the measurement piece to measure an object, it is required that the coordinate measuring machine has a measurement space of a volume larger than the object in order to measure the object. Accordingly, when a large-size object such as a vehicle component is to be measured, a large-size coordinate measuring machine has to be used.

[0005] When a large object on which a plurality of small holes are consecutively formed at predetermined intervals is measured by a coordinate measuring machine, it sometimes occurs that the diameter of each of the holes has to be precisely measured but the pitches between the holes do not have to be measured with a high accuracy. In other words, there sometimes is a mixture of a small area and a large area on an object, the small area requiring highly accurate measurement, the large area requiring not so much accurate measurement.

[0006] However, according to the coordinate measuring machine disclosed in Literature 1, the large area has to be measured with an expensive coordinate measuring machine having a measurement accuracy corresponding to the small area that has to be highly accurately measured.

[0007] Further, since a large-size coordinate measuring machine requires a large drive mechanism, it is difficult to measure the small area at a high speed.

[0008] EP 0 240 151 A2 shows a metrological apparatus having a turntable and a transducer and associated stylus mounted so that the tip of the stylus is deflectable. The transducer is mounted on an arm which is driven by a computer to cause the stylus to follow the workpiece surface.

[0009] The article Hansen et al., "Calibration and Industrial Application of Instrument for Surface Mapping based on AFM", CIRP ANNALS, ELSEVIER BV, NL, CH, FR LNKD-DOI: 10.1016/S0007-8506(07)61563-7, vol. 51, no. 1, January 1, 2002, pages 471 - 474, XP022136861, ISSN: 0007-8506 shows an integrated system having an atomic force microscope (AFM) mounted on a coordinate measuring machine (CMM).

[0010] EP 1 983 297 A1 shows a method for scanning a surface of a workpiece at a constant scanning speed using a scanning probe mounted on a support on a coordinate measuring machine (CMM). The coordinate measuring machine contains a first set of drive means to move the support according to three linear axis and the support contains a second set of drive means for actuating the movement of the scanning probe with two rotational degrees of freedom relative to said support.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0011] An object of the invention is to provide a method for measuring a large object having a mixture thereon of a small area that requires highly accurate measurement and a large area that - requires not so much accurate measurement, by means of an inexpensive coordinate measuring instrument.

[0012] For solving the above-mentioned object of the invention, a method according to claim 1 is proposed.

[0013] A coordinate measuring machine that is used to perform the claimed method may include: a probe with a measurement piece that is movable within a predetermined range; and a drive mechanism that supports and drives the probe, the coordinate measuring machine measuring an object based on a displacement of the measurement piece and a displacement of the probe, in which the probe includes a measurement-piece drive unit that drives the measurement piece; the coordinate measuring machine includes: a first measuring unit that measures the displacement of the measurement piece that is driven by the measurement-piece drive unit; and a second measuring unit that measures the displacement of the probe, and a measurement accuracy of the second measuring unit is lower than a measurement accuracy of the first measuring unit.

[0014] According to the above arrangement, the coordinate measuring machine is adapted to measure a small area of a hole by the measurement piece driven by the measurement-piece drive unit and measure a large area of a pitch by the probe driven by the drive mechanism.

[0015] Since the measurement accuracy of the second measuring unit for measuring the displacement of the probe is lower than the measurement accuracy of the first measuring unit for measuring the displacement of the measurement piece, a large object having thereon a mixture of small areas that have to be measured with high accuracy and large areas that require not so much of accuracy can be appropriately measured. Since only the improvement in measurement accuracy of the first measuring unit is required, the coordinate machine can be inexpensively manufactured.

[0016] Since the measurement-piece drive unit is provided on the probe driven by the drive mechanism, the size of the measurement-piece drive unit can be reduced as compared to the drive mechanism. Accordingly, a small area can be measured at a high speed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0017] 

Fig. 1 is a block diagram showing a coordinate measuring machine according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration showing a part of a coordinate measuring machine body according to the exemplary embodiment.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged schematic illustration showing a probe according to the exemplary embodiment.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)



[0018] An exemplary embodiment of the invention will be described below with reference to the attached drawings.

[0019] Fig. 1 is a block diagram showing a coordinate measuring machine 1 as used in an exemplary embodiment of the invention.

[0020] As shown in Fig. 1, the coordinate measuring machine 1 includes a coordinate measuring machine body 2 and a controller 3 for controlling the coordinate measuring machine body 2.

[0021] Fig. 2 is a schematic illustration showing a part of the coordinate measuring machine body 2. Incidentally, the upper direction in Fig. 2 will be represented as +Z-axis direction in Fig. 2 and two axes orthogonal to the Z-axis will be represented respectively as X-axis and Y-axis, which also applies in the rest of the drawing.

[0022] As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the coordinate measuring machine body 2 includes: a probe 4 having a spherical measurement piece 41A for measuring an object 9; and a drive mechanism 5 for supporting and driving the probe 4. In this exemplary embodiment, the object 9 is exemplified by a large member having a consecutive plurality of small holes 91, 92 and 93 at predetermined large intervals in X-axis direction.

[0023] Fig. 3 is an enlarged schematic illustration showing the probe 4.

[0024] As shown in Fig. 3, the probe 4 includes a stylus 41 having an axis in Z-axis direction, the stylus 41 having a measurement piece 41A at an end thereof (lower side in Fig. 3) and a support mechanism 42 for supporting a base end of the stylus 41.

[0025] As shown in Figs. 1 and 3, the support mechanism 42 supports the stylus 41 so that the stylus 41 is movable in respective axis directions (X, Y and Z-axis directions, represented by arrows in Fig. 3) within a predetermined range. The support mechanism 42 has a drive unit 43 for driving the stylus 41 in the respective axis directions and a probe sensor 44 for detecting the displacement of the stylus 41 in the respective axis directions. The drive unit 43 serves as a measurement-piece drive unit for driving the measurement piece 41A by driving the stylus 41.

[0026] As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the drive mechanism 5 supports and drives the probe 4 so that the probe 4 is movable in X-axis direction (represented by a two-headed arrow in Fig. 2). The drive mechanism 5 has a scale sensor 51 for detecting the displacement of the probe 4 in X-axis direction.

[0027] As shown in Fig. 1, the controller 3 has a drive controller 31 for controlling the drive of the stylus 41 and the probe 4 and a measuring unit 32 for measuring a surface texture and the like of the object 9 based on the results of the measurement by the probe sensor 44 and the scale sensor 51.

[0028] The drive controller 31 outputs to the drive unit 43 and the drive mechanism 5 a position command for driving the stylus 41 and the probe 4 based on a profile data of the object 9 that is input in advance.

[0029] The measuring unit 32 includes a first measuring unit 321 and a second measuring unit 322.

[0030] The first measuring unit 321 measures the displacement of the stylus 41 (i.e. the displacement of the measurement piece 41A) driven by the drive unit 43 based on the detection results of the probe sensor 44.

[0031] The second measuring unit 322 measures the displacement of the probe 4 driven by the drive mechanism 5 based on the detection results of the scale sensor 51. The measurement accuracy of the second measuring unit 322 is lower than that of the first measuring unit 321.

[0032] A process for measuring diameters of the holes 91 to 93 on the object 9 and pitches between the holes with the use of the coordinate measuring machine 1 will be described below.

[0033] For instance, when the diameter of the hole 92 is to be measured, the drive mechanism 5 moves the probe 4 to a position adjacent to the hole 92 as shown in Fig. 2 under the control of the drive controller 31, where the second measuring unit 322 measures the displacement of the probe 4.

[0034] When the displacement of the probe 4 is measured by the second measuring unit 322, under the control of the drive controller 31, the drive unit 43 moves the stylus 41 to bring the measurement piece 41A into contact with an inner circumference of the hole 92 and the first measuring unit 321 measures the displacement of the measurement piece 41A.

[0035] When the displacement of the measurement piece 41A is measured by the first measuring unit 321, the measuring unit 32 measures the position of the inner circumference of the hole 92 at which the measurement piece 41A is in contact based on the displacement of the probe 4 and the displacement of the measurement piece 41A.

[0036] Then, the measuring unit 32 measures the center and diameter of the hole 92 while moving the measurement piece 41A along the inner circumference of the hole 92 by the drive unit 43.

[0037] When the diameter of the hole 93 next to the hole 92 is to be measured, the drive mechanism 5 moves the probe 4 to a position adjacent to the hole 93 under the control of the drive controller 31. Subsequently, the measuring unit 32 measures the center and the diameter of the hole 93 in the same manner as in measuring the hole 92 and measures the pitch between the hole 92 and the hole 93 based on the measured centers and the diameters of the holes 92 and 93.

[0038] The coordinate measuring machine 1 according to the exemplary embodiment provides the following advantages.
  1. (1) The coordinate measuring machine 1 measures the holes 91 to 93 by the measurement piece 41A driven by the drive unit 43 and measures the pitch of the holes 91 to 93 by the probe 4 driven by the drive mechanism 5. Since the measurement accuracy by the second measuring unit 322 for measuring the displacement of the probe 4 is lower than the measurement accuracy of the first measuring unit 321 for measuring the displacement of the measurement piece 41A, the large object 9 having a mixture of small areas (e.g. holes 91 to 93 that have to be measured with high accuracy) and large areas (e.g. pitches between the holes 91 to 93 that require not so much of accuracy) can be appropriately measured.
  2. (2) Since only the improvement in measurement accuracy of the first measuring unit 321 is required, the coordinate machine 1 can be inexpensively manufactured.
  3. (3) Since the drive unit 43 is provided on the probe 4 driven by the drive mechanism 5, the size of the drive unit 43 can be reduced as compared to the drive mechanism 5. Accordingly, a small area can be measured at a high speed.

Modifications



[0039] It should be understood that the scope of the invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiment, but includes modifications and improvements as long as they are compatible with an object of the invention as defined in the appended claim.

[0040] For instance, though the drive mechanism 5 drives the probe 4 in one-axis direction (i.e. X-axis direction) in the exemplary embodiment, the drive mechanism 5 may drive the probe 4 in two-axis directions or in three-axis directions. The drive mechanism may not linearly move the probe but may nonlinearly move the probe with the use of, for instance, a robot arm. In sum, any mechanism may be used for the drive mechanism as long as the drive mechanism supports and drives the probe.

[0041] Though the coordinate measuring machine 1 has a single probe 4 in the exemplary embodiment, two or more probes may be provided on the coordinate measuring machine 1.

[0042] Though the probe 4 is supported by the drive mechanism 5 so that the axis of the stylus 41 is aligned with Z-axis direction in the exemplary embodiment, the probe may be supported by the drive mechanism in any posture.

[0043] The coordinate measuring machine 1 according to the exemplary embodiment has the measurement piece 41A that is brought into contact with the object 9 to measure the object 9. However, the measurement piece provided on the coordinate measuring machine may be a non-contact one such as an imaging probe that is adapted to measure an object without being brought into contact with the object.


Claims

1. A method for measuring a measurement area of an object (9) having a plurality of holes (92, 93), which are separated by a pitch between the plurality of holes (92, 93), using a coordinate measuring machine (1) including a probe (4) based on a displacement of the probe (4), wherein a measurement piece (41A) is movable within a predetermined range and is positioned at an end of a stylus (41) of the probe (4), the method comprising:

driving and supporting the probe (4) by a drive mechanism (5);

driving the measurement piece (41A) by a measurement-piece drive unit (43) of the probe (4) by driving the stylus (41) in each of directions of three axes orthogonal to each other;

measuring, by a first measuring unit (321), the displacement of the measurement piece (41A) in each of the directions of the three axes;

measuring, by a second measuring unit (322), the displacement of the probe (4), wherein a measurement accuracy of the second measuring unit (322) is lower than a measurement accuracy of the first measuring unit (321);

outputting, by a drive controller (31), to the measurement-piece drive unit (43) a position command for driving the stylus (41), when a hole of the plurality of the holes (92, 93) of the measurement area of the object (9) is measured; and

outputting, by the drive controller (31), to the drive mechanism (5) a position command for driving the probe (4) when the pitch between the plurality of the holes (92, 93) of the measurement area of the object (9) is measured.


 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zum Messen eines Messbereichs eines Objekts (9), das eine Vielzahl an Löchern (92, 93) aufweist, die um einen Abstand zwischen der Vielzahl an Löchern (92 93) beabstandet sind, unter Verwendung eines Koordinatenmessgeräts (1), das einen Tastkopf (4) aufweist, basierend auf einer Verschiebung des Tastkopfs (4), wobei ein Messstück (41A) innerhalb eines vorbestimmten Bereichs bewegbar ist und an einem End eines Stifts (41) des Tastkopfs (4) positioniert ist, wobei das Verfahren Folgendes aufweist:

Bewegen und Tragen des Tastkopfs (4) durch einen Antriebsmechanismus (5);

Bewegen des Messstücks (41A) durch eine Messstückantriebseinheit (43) des Tastkopfs (4) durch Bewegen des Stifts (41) in jede Richtung von drei Achsen orthogonal zueinander;

Messen der Verschiebung des Messstücks (41A) in jede der Richtungen der drei Achsen durch eine erste Messeinheit (321);

Messen der Verschiebung des Tastkopfs (4) durch eine zweite Messeinheit (322), wobei eine Messgenauigkeit der zweiten Messeinheit (322) geringer als eine Messgenauigkeit der ersten Messeinheit (321) ist;

Ausgeben eines Positionsbefehls durch eine Antriebssteuerung (31) an die Messstückantriebseinheit (43) zum Bewegen des Stifts (41), wenn ein Loch der Vielzahl an Löchern (92, 93) des Messbereichs des Objekts (9) gemessen wird; und

Ausgeben eines Positionsbefehls durch die Antriebssteuerung (31) an den Antriebsmechanismus (5) zum Bewegen des Tastkopfs (4), wenn der Abstand zwischen der Vielzahl an Löchern (92, 93) des Messbereichs des Objekts (9) gemessen wird.


 


Revendications

1. Procédé pour mesurer une zone de mesure d'un objet (9) ayant une pluralité de trous (92, 93) qui sont séparés par un pas entre la pluralité de trous (92, 93), à l'aide d'une machine de mesure de coordonnées (1) comprenant une sonde (4) basée sur un déplacement de la sonde (4), dans lequel une pièce de mesure (41A) est mobile dans une plage prédéterminée et est positionnée au niveau d'une extrémité d'un stylet (41) de la sonde (4), le procédé comprenant les étapes suivantes :

entraîner et supporter la sonde (4) grâce à un mécanisme d'entraînement (5) ;

entraîner la pièce de mesure (41A) par une unité d'entraînement de pièce de mesure (43) de la sonde (4) en entraînant le stylet (41) dans chacune des directions des trois axes orthogonaux entre eux ;

mesurer, grâce à une première unité de mesure (321), le déplacement de la pièce de mesure (41 A) dans chacune des directions des trois axes ;

mesurer, grâce à une seconde unité de mesure (322), le déplacement de la sonde (4), dans lequel une précision de mesure de la seconde unité de mesure (322) est inférieure à une précision de mesure de la première unité de mesure (321) ;

transmettre, grâce à un organe de commande d'entraînement (31), à l'unité d'entraînement de pièce de mesure (43), une commande de position pour entraîner le stylet (41), lorsqu'un trou de la pluralité de trous (92, 93) de la zone de mesure de l'objet (9) est mesuré ; et

transmettre, grâce à l'organe de commande d'entraînement (31), au mécanisme d'entraînement (5), une commande de position pour entraîner la sonde (4) lorsque le pas entre la pluralité de trous (92, 93) de la zone de mesure de l'objet (9) est mesuré.


 




Drawing












REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description