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Automated Probe Calibration AutoClock

Fast, accurate
and automated tool axis setting.

We automate what should be the first step of your part process - the probe calibration. Our patented AutoClock is the only device that can eliminate the human error from manual probe calibration.

The knock-on effect of early errors.

Inaccurate clocking affects your entire process. It leads to inaccurate probe calibration, skewed benchmark results, and imperfect parts. Worst of all, you’ll only discover an error further down the line, when it’s already too late.

Full automation. High accuracy.

With AutoClock, you can eliminate inaccuracies at the very start of your machining process. Get accurate, reliable, and repeatable measurements – and automatically calibrate the probe to match.

AutoClock tool render
AutoClock tool render

Find the offset to one micron.

Other methods might work to 40 microns. AutoClock automatically finds the offset to just one micron. One.

Better benchmarks

Because it dramatically reduces inaccurate calibration, AutoClock will increase the reliability of your benchmark reports from NC-Checker, giving you a real picture of the machine’s condition.

Work at speed

If you’re used to clocking manually with an MSP performance pack, AutoClock will work up to 20 times faster. If you’re using other manual methods, you can expect it to be up to 40 times faster. And it takes just 20 seconds.

Calibrate more often.

Ever felt reluctant to calibrate, for fear of downtime or introducing a new error? Never again: AutoClock takes just 20 seconds, so you can calibrate more often, for maximum accuracy all the time.

Health and Safety:

AutoClock is fully automated, so there’s no reason for anyone to enter the machine volume. Safer for your people. Better for your business.

Tool mockup

How does it work?

Your AutoClock device can be palette-loaded, or permanently mounted in the machine volume. Initially we’ll help you set it up on the shop floor. After setup there is nothing to do; just admire your perfect benchmark reports

Where AutoClock fits in part process automation

At the moment, tool axis setting or “clocking” is a manual process, carried out by someone using DTI equipment and or feeler gauges. The accuracy of this is totally dependent on the skill and care of the setter. It also takes time to ensure maximum accuracy.

Automated part process production lines requiring high accuracy need regular recalibration of the probe to maintain that accuracy. Until now there has been no solution to this problem as the only methods have been manual.

MSP AutoClock is the answer. It’s our patent-pending fully automated solution, delivered to the machine tool volume by an automated palette loading system, or by robot, or by having it permanently mounted under a can.

Don’t need total automation? This is for you.

AutoClock comes in a semi-automatic version. It uses the same transformative technology to bring speed and accuracy to clocking, but it won’t automatically update the controller. Instead, it can send the results to any wireless-enabled device, and you can update the axis offset in the appropriate controller by hand.

Why is accurate tool axis offset setting important?

If you use machine tool probes for part setup, inspection or other in-process measurement, then there are three things you need to get right: tool axis setting, probe calibration, and the quality of the probe.

An error in any of these will compromise the accuracy of the measurement results you get. These inaccurate measurements will directly affect the quality of your parts. The problem can be far-reaching: errors in one aspect may magnify those in another, which can have a large overall effect on part quality. If you only discover the errors in the CMM final inspection report, it’s extremely difficult to work back to the initial cause. So what can you do?

Buy the best probe you can.

When it comes to tolerances, everything depends on the quality of the probe. If you buy a probe capable of maximum accuracy to (say) 100μm, that is the maximum accuracy you can ever achieve, and everything else will add to it. Poor procedure in other areas in the part process can easily double the error in the probe, which is why you might easily see parts with 200-400μm. But if you start with a probe with an accuracy of 5μm those same errors only get you to 10-20μm. That’s the difference between a viable business, and scrap.

Probe calibration.

Poor probe calibration puts avoidable error into every measurement you use the probe for. For example, you might perform 3-axis calibration but use the probe for 5-axis measurement. The errors will vary from zero to large and complex, depending on the head orientation. This type of error compounds other errors in the system.

Tool axis setting.

All machine tool programming needs to understand where zero is for the tool axis. This is especially important for a probe, as you could be using it for setup adjustment or other in-process measurements. Any error here and you will be guaranteeing poor part quality: the setup will be incorrect, and the machining will only add to it. It’s also very easy to get wrong, unless you have a skilled operator.

What’s included in the AutoClock package?

There are two versions of AutoClock: automatic and semi-automatic.


AutoClock device– for fast and accurate calibration. It also acts as a sphere stand for a probe calibration sequence.

AutoClock macro– for the controller. If you order the semi automatic version, this will come on a USB drive. The automatic version transfers the macro to the controller during set-up.


Semi-Automatic PLUS:

Controller Interface Box (CIB)– to connect the AutoClock device to the controller. It has two Ethernet ports: one to transfer the clocking result into the relevant parameter or register on the controller; the other to maintain any existing connection to the controller.

Ethernet cable– to save you from having to hunt one down.

See AutoClock in action

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