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With the HELICHECK NANO, WALTER has developed the first automatable measuring machine for the operator-independent measurement of micro tools.


The trend to miniaturisation in electronics, micromechanics and medical technology is increasing the demand for micro and nano tools. However, comprehensive measurement of these tiny tools with diameters of less than one millimetre is not possible. With current measurement methods - including attempts to measure the tools using microscopy – the human factor usually poses the greatest risk of error. In addition, some measurements require the destruction of the tool, for example when measuring the rake angle of tools with face geometry. "Manufacturers must then hope that the other identical tools correspond to the one measured. There is no proof," explains Bernd Schwennig, who is responsible for product management metrology at WALTER.


The HELICHECK NANO takes a different approach. With it, WALTER offers manufacturers of micro and nano tools a solution for the non-destructive and operator-independent measurement of their products. The new measuring machine measures tools from a diameter of 0.1 millimetres reliably in transmitted and reflected light. This is made possible by new variable optics with up to 800x magnification, whose origins lie in microscopic incident light measuring technology. In combination with high-resolution cameras, these microscopic optics are the basis for measurements in the nanoscale. The variable magnification also allows measurements on standard tools up to 16 mm in diameter.

WALTER-MikroskopoptikThe microscopic optics of the HELICHECK NANO allows measurements in the nano range.

Measuring large series overnight

Mechanically, the HELICHECK NANO corresponds to its big sisters, the fully automatic measuring machines HELICHECK PRO and HELICHECK PLUS. Like them, it has a solid granite base, the basis for the highest certified measuring accuracy and reliable measuring results. The permanently installed cameras are safely protected from dust and extraneous light in the machine's encased measuring chamber. In addition, the HELICHECK NANO offers the possibility of automation. "This means that pallets with up to 7,500 tools can be measured automatically overnight without operator intervention. This is an absolute novelty in the measurement of micro and nano tools," says Bernd Schwennig. Tools that do not meet the specifications are sorted out as rejects. Although the measuring capabilities of the HELICHECK NANO are already impressive, they will be expanded in the future to include further functionalities such as cutting edge rounding, 3D digitisation and measuring surface finish.

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