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Perfect geometries through volumetric compensation

After the active LaserTracer system has set new standards in the calibration of machine tools and coordinate measurement machines, Etalon has extended its product range with a passive version of the LaserTracer specially designed for small and medium-sized machine tools.

Sophisticated design

The LaserTracer-MT is guided mechanically by highly accurate spherical joints and very smooth and damped telescopic stages. Moreover, it makes use of a newly developed metrological beam guiding method of the laser interferometer. Thus, it was possible to create a new system with considerably reduced size and weight, while still making use of the proven principle of the heavier LaserTracer.

Calculation of compensation values for the linear and rotation axes

The LaserTracer-MT is a self-tracking laser interferometer with nanometer resolution that fundamentally simplifies the acquisition of geometric errors of small and medium-sized machine tools with axis lengths up to 1.5 m: Using conventional measuring equipment, the determination of all geometrical deviations of a 5-axis machine requires extraordinary efforts – the entire process can take several days. In contrast, the LaserTracer-MT by Etalon requires no more than three to four hours to comprehensively track all geometrical deviations of a 5-axis machine.

Software package TRAC-CAL

Combined with the elaborate software TRAC-CAL, the LaserTracer-MT equipped with a multi-telescopic stage analyses the whole working volume of the machine tool. It delivers an accuracy of 1 µm and determines position deviations, straightness deviations, rotational deviations (pitch, yaw, roll), and the squareness of axes to one another. Angular positioning deviations, axial and radial movements, and wobbling of the rotational axes are comprehensively recorded as well.
The compensation data obtained such is automatically transferred to the control software of the machine tool. The result: Maximum reduction of all geometrical errors, process-reliable production starting from the first component, and thus, almost no scrap or rework.


Do you wish further information? Contact us!

"Once the measuring process is set up, a complete machine tool can be measured within one morning. With respect to performance, measuring speed, and accuracy, there is no alternative in the market to this measuring device."
Hans-Jürgen Bozner, Manager of the Technology Center of Alzmetall Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik und Gießerei Friedrich GmbH & Co. KG
Measurement of XYZ Axes
Measurement and Compensation of C- Axis
Measurement and Compensation of A- Axis
  • Volumetric calibration of Cartesian machines with axis lengths up to 1.5 m (all component deviations including squareness)
  • Calibration of rotation axes (all 6 component deviations and squareness)
  • Increase of geometric accuracy by 75% on average with minimum effort compared to conventional measurement devices
  • Volumetric compensation allows for shortening of the run-in time of production processes
  • Automatic transfer of compensation data to control software of the machine tool
  • Applicable flexibly on each site
  • Calibration of small and medium-sized machine tools
  • Testing of machine tools according to standards


Published in Optik&Photonik, issue 2/2014.

Read the whole article in the online library of Optik&Photonik


Accuracy U(95%) =1 µm
Measurement volume 260 mm–980 mm
Angular range swivel axis unlimited
Angular range pitching axis -30° - 85°
Weight 2 kg (without electronic box)