Metronics Digital Readout Systems

METRONICS has become a well known and much used DRO in the South African engineering and manufacturing industry. It is the only completely SOUTH AFRICAN designed and manufactured range of DRO systems.  Klaus Zimmermann, the owner of METRONICS, started the company in 1989 and the very first scales and counter units were, as now, designed by him and manufactured here in South Africa. The initial response to the METRONICS DRO SYSTEM was quite overwhelming and from those first enquiries, the company has grown to become a major DRO supplier to South African industry at large. The METRONICS DRO system has earned its place and reputation in South African industry. It is highly accurate, reliable, robust and durable.

One of the major advantages of a locally manufactured DRO system is that it is immediately available. When a DRO system fails it poses a great inconvenience to the user and a tremendous slow-down in productivity. Down-time also means a substantial loss of income from an investment due to waiting for imported parts to arrive. The METRONICS range of equipment can be repaired, replaced and supplied within hours. It was designed specifically to integrate with all well known imported DROs. METRONICS scales or counters can be readily inter-changed and substituted with existing imported systems and visa versa. Usually it is only the connector, which needs to be changed, or sometimes the signal type (sine to square wave on counter or scale). The METRONICS service-team is familiar with just about any type of DRO product ever made.

In response to the claims of sales representatives of imported metal-tube-scales, glass scales rarely if ever break. The mechanical damages and breakages are the result of bad installations and scales being too short! The same applies to the metal-tube-scales which are made of a flimsy tube with a wall-thickness of only 0.5 of a millimetre! The aluminium profile of a glass-scale provides enough protection to ensure that any force capable of breaking the glass scale would similarly inflict serious damage to a metal-tube-scale.

The world’s largest DRO manufacturers have continuously favoured optical glass scales for many years now.  This is not because they are easier or cheaper to produce, but because of the inherent accuracy of the product.

With respect to both the robustness and the accuracy of glass scales Metronics has been called upon to replace some of those ‘superior’ metal-tube-scales with glass scales several times. This was in each instance as a result of the inaccuracy revealed when metrology services conducted tests for the purpose of issuing a certificate of standard measuring accuracy. In each case, the verification of accuracy with a laser, those metal-tube scales failed the test. The last case was a jig-borer at very high-tech company. Metronics considers these findings important from the perspective of the correct equipment being installed for the appropriate requirements of its clients. Accuracy requires a high precision measuring scale. Applications that require a lesser precision are suited to less accurate scales such as magnetic or inductive metal-tube-scales.

METRONICS endeavours to improve its products to remain competitive in the modern engineering industry.

Some of the features provided by the METRONICS multi-axis software counter include:

A very robust aluminium pressure die-cast housing!

Inch/ metric conversion via software switch.

Feed-rate indicator in mm per min. on all axes.  This is very useful on variable speed control feed drives.

Preset facilities on all axes.

100 datum points on all axes simultaneously.

Toggle between two positions.

Counting direction up/down via externally accessible software switch

Halving of display for each individual axis.

Radius/diameter conversion for lathes via software switch.

System can be set to any graduation and resolution that is commonly used in industry.

Zero output capability for EDM (Z-axis) or any other axis.

Reference point evaluation.  METRONICS scales have a reference point every 25mm. (This makes reference evaluation easily possible after a power failure).

METRONICS also manufacture their own scales.   These are available in a 40 and 20 micronmeter grating-pitch (GP). This results in a 0.01mm or a 0.005mm resolution straight off the scale. By using a METRONICS 5 or 10 FOLD INTERPOLATION-BOARD the display-step can be reduced, depending on the grating-pitch, to 0.001mm or 0.0005mm. METRONICS linear scales are available with measuring length from 50MM up to 3200mm. Scales of up to 6400 mm have been supplied by METRONICS and are made to the same standards and accuracy as those of any of the international manufacturers.

METRONICS also supplies scales with a short graduated section and the rest of the scale (machine travel) a blank piece of glass. This makes a scale on a long lathe, which is only used for short chucking work (e.g. in a tool room), much more affordable. This special type of scale is also very useful and popular for the ‘Z’ axis on a horizontal boring mill.

The METRONICS’ DRO COUNTERS and SCALES are generally capable of integrating into existing equipment of most other well or not so well known MAKES.  This means that in the event of damage, repair, or additions the necessary replacement or product is available ex-stock from a LOCAL SOURCE.

Visual information and display of the METRONICS Digital Readout System may be seen in the MTM Machine Tool Market journal and can be contacted at their main office in Johannesburg or at one of their agents at:

Johannesburg: Klaus Zimmermann (011) 646-8738 Cell: 083 268 6074

Port Elizabeth: Steve Cooper (041) 360-8171 Cell: 082 854 0486

Kwazulu-Natal: Alan Thompson (031) 764-2419 Cell: 082 450 4361

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