4/14/2011 | 1 MINUTE READ

Read In to Digital Readout

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Recently, I came across an article online from Production Machining that sums up five options that are cited to produce higher productivity in a shop. The first option jumped out as something I could pass on to my readers: “Add a digital readout (DRO) to any mill, lathe or grinder currently without one.”

Accuracy and quickness are attributes that every shop strives to obtain. Once you think you’ve mastered this art, you discover ways to improve even further. It is a never ending road. Recently, I came across an article online from Production Machining that sums up five options that are cited to produce higher productivity in a shop. The first option jumped out as something I could pass on to my readers: “Add a digital readout (DRO) to any mill, lathe or grinder currently without one.” Sounds easy enough and well worth the investment and effort, considering the results boost both speed and accuracy. The article, “Five Options for Higher Productivity,” explains that DROs provide instant fingertip control over the most frequent shop operations. It cites several examples of common DRO functions that can quickly add to a shop’s productivity, including a ½ function to divide the current axis value in half, allowing quick and accurate location of the center of a workpiece.

 
Other functions of a DRO include the ability to drill or bore bolt holes, compute a cut across an incline, preset dimensions, absolute or relative modes and a scientific calculator.  
 
Another article explains that a DRO makes it possible to follow circular arcs on a manual machine. “Interpolating Axes on Manual Machines” states that once the user has entered the desired tool path into the control—a tool path built out of straight lines, circular arcs and bevels—the DRO presents this tool path on the display as a target for the operator to follow. This feature of the DRO increases the scope of what a manual machine can do.
 
If you didn’t already know the benefits of DROs, I hope this article and its links have acted as a starting point to help you “read in” to the technology and discover how it may help your shop’s productivity.  

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