Companies continuously invest in their operations in various ways, from equipment upgrades to employee training. When it comes to streamlining your shop floor operations, there are few avenues that garner the results you need, quite like coordinate measurement machines.
These machines, known as CMMs, are pieces of equipment designed to measure the geometric surface of any object. They’re most often used in complex industries, including aerospace and manufacturing, that require precise data collection and measurements in order to facilitate the most efficient and streamlined operations.
Investing in a CMM is a substantial opportunity for your business, but it’s not without its responsibilities. This is a significant investment — one that requires long-term effort and maintenance to ensure it’s able to carry out its responsibilities without error.
To ensure you’re doing what’s best for your company and its bottom line, there are specific responsibilities to be aware of when it comes to owning and operating a coordinate measuring machine. Let’s explore.
Purchasing: New or Used?
Just as you would find at a car dealership or any equipment company, there are fully reconditioned used options for CMMs in addition to the latest models. This is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make and should be exercised with precision and thoughtfulness.
If you decide to trim your costs and select a used machine, it’s important to go through a reputable metrology company with the proper ISO licensing — this ensures they have the qualifications to sell CMMs and that they have done their due diligence to ensure their machines are in top shape.
Maintenance & Repairs
Maintenance is essential to ensure your machine’s longevity. Regular maintenance will help prevent any catastrophic breakdowns because you’ll continuously be monitoring your machine’s progress and should be able to identify any potential issues before they impact your production line or operations.
This attitude should also be applied to any repairs that take place. By addressing repairs as they arise, you’ve considerably lowered your chances of any significant issues that could derail your progress and compromise the machine’s accuracy.
In many cases, if you’re unable to carry out maintenance on your own, it’s important to take the time to speak with a professional metrology company who should be able to provide the experience and resources you need to ensure your machine is up to your standards.
Calibration is a crucial part of your CMM’s quality control. This process ensures your machine is performing up to the industry’s current standards and will alert you of any errors.
Calibration can be done at your factory or on your shop floor if you’re simply checking your machine for common errors. If a full calibration is required, seek out a trusted and licensed company to perform those tasks.
Without functioning software, your CMM will be unable to accurately calculate the measurements of any geometric objects. As the industry evolves, the software for certain CMMs will often evolve alongside it.
Software upgrades will ensure your machine can collect data points with precision and prevent any errors that could affect your productivity and bottom line.