MasterCalTM is an innovative, high accuracy, portable solution for mastering and calibration of industrial robots from any manufacturer. The MasterCalTM system is comprised of a touch probe, a ball bar, and PC based software with an easy to use graphical interface, and sophisticated, patented mathematics for high precision calculations.
Before a robot is put into operation on a production line, it must be ‘Mastered’ or ‘Calibrated’. Mastering assures that the robot’s servo motors are lined up with the mechanical arm’s home position. This not only ensures that the robot controller software can accurately draw straight lines and circular paths, but also that when a service event occurs (crashes, motor/drive replacement, backlash adjustment, etc.) the robot repeats to the same points without having to re-teach the program.
In the past, robot technicians had to continually touch up points over the lifetime of a robot application. Whether due to gradual drift in robot parameters over time, or to catastrophic events such as a crashes, repairs, etc., robot programs are inevitably adjusted on the factory floor. Not only does this result in critical down time, but the subjective nature of robot programming and time pressure to get the system back on-line can result in disastrous quality variations that may not be discovered until much later in the manufacturing process.
MasterCalTM allows the robot to be quickly and precisely aligned to the original factory specifications in minutes. MasterCalTM eliminates cumbersome mastering fixtures and makes robot-to-robot variations and point ‘touch up’ a thing of the past. With the MasterCalTM system, you can hot-swap a robot on an assembly line without the need to reprogram points!
Theory of Operation
MasterCalTM is based on a patented software algorithm which can fully determine the mechanical parameters of a robot arm by reading the robot’s position as it touches the surface of a sphere with a contact sensitive tool. Two such spheres are required, mounted on a ‘ball bar’, which can be placed at any location in the work envelope.
Simply clamp the ball bar in a convenient location and orientation, clamp the touch sensor onto the tool, and run the test pattern on the robot controller. The PC software runs on a laptop and analyzes the data collected during the test pattern run. The data is “best fit” to the robot model under test, and a set of calibration parameters is generated. These parameters are then loaded into the robot controller and the robot is ready to go on-line!
MasterCalTM is available in a convenient flight case for portability or in kit form for permanent mounting in the robotic workcell. MasterCalTM includes a ball bar, touch probe, software, and a mounting adapter for the robot’s robot tool flange. The robot manufacturer and model must be specified when ordering. Most popular robot models are supported, or a blank mounting flange can be provided. The laptop PC must be supplied by the user.