North American manufacturing was in decline for years due to the forces of globalization — cheaper labour and fewer regulations abroad almost led to the demise of manufacturing here. Coordinate measurement machines, known as CMMs, have played a huge role in this resurgence by enabling automation on the assembly line, often performing the role of quality control.
CMM machines are able to scan with incredible precision parts ranging in size from micrometres to over a hundred feet, and they can tell whether there are any flaws in the newly produced parts.
Any machine relied upon for quality control must be absolutely dependable, so it’s easy to understand why CMM machines must deliver data that is both extremely precise and reliable. Here are a few paths you can take to help get the best performance from your CMM machine.
Install and Maintain Your CMM Machine Properly
CMM machines are highly sensitive machines, and they need to be installed correctly by a well-trained metrologist in the specific location where they’ll be used. Factors like the temperature and condition of the room in which it is operating need to be properly adjusted for at the time of installation, or it can impact the machine’s performance.
Maintaining your machine is important to do throughout its lifetime. You can learn more from Canadian Measurement Metrology about how authorized dealers are also often specialists who offer a broad range of maintenance services, such as upgrades and retrofits, CMM calibration, portable arm recalibration, machine relocation and preventative maintenance.
Only Get Expert Help
Does your company have an in-house metrology expert? If not, you can hire one on contract to consult about how best to calibrate your machine and source replacement parts. They know a lot about every kind of CMM machine, including probes, probe heads, and the newest software.
Only get help from metrology experts who work for a company that has been in business for years, and that is capable of repairing most brands. Do not trust a metrology expert unless they are ISO 9000 and ISO 17025 accredited.
Service and Preventative Maintenance Contracts
If your company requires that its CMM machines work in “top-notch” condition, you need a metrology expert that issues a Service and Preventative Maintenance contract. Ideally, it should also offer a guaranteed response time and a fixed-cost per annum.
Service contracts should be flexible and tailored to meet your needs. Finally, the metrology experts you engage should be capable of offering eight-hour response and weekend service.
Train Your Employees In Automation
Though it may sound like an oxymoron, one way to maximize your CMM machine’s effectiveness comes from training your employees in automation. Measurement solutions providers offer CMM training and e-courses for your employees: while CMM machines have helped enable production line automation, several aspects of CMM machines are not automated, and employees need to understand how to interact with this equipment for the company to get the most out of it.
CMM machines are an incredible tool for your factory, but you need to be certain they’re working perfectly before you rely on them to perform quality control. If you follow these steps, your company’s CMM machine will have a truly long life.