One of the impressive things about modern manufacturing is the extent to which it’s run by machines. Automated equipment kept factories competitive when North American companies faced competition from overseas, where labour costs were lower, and there were fewer regulations.
Coordinate measuring machines, known as CMM machines, became common in production lines, automating quality control. This equipment is designed to measure the geometrical characteristics of a part or object and does so by using a probe on the machine’s third moving axis.
However, CMM machines come in different shapes and sizes. Here’s a look at a few of the most common CMM machines.
The Bridge CMM has been the mainstay of metrology since the 1970s. This CMM machine is precise, reliable, and is sold at a compelling price point. If you factor in how much these machines save manufacturers by providing quality control and reducing labour costs, their value is undeniable.
Bridge CMMs are used in many industries because they can scan medium-sized parts and objects, making them useful across industries.
Some factories produce very large parts to build things like spaceships, cars, and planes. How does the automotive sector or the aerospace industry know the parts they’re using contain no flaws?
Their products contain countless parts which need to be perfect — you can’t find out there’s a problem when the plane is in the air! Efficiency in the factory is also important in dire economic times. Gantry CMM machines are like Bridge CMMs, except they work for extremely large and heavy parts and objects.
If you’re looking for new CMM machines for sale for a factory that produces planes, cars, or even spaceships, look for a metrology specialist that has been in operation for decades. They usually have the best selection and expert metrology knowledge, as some also offer metrology courses.
Vision and Multisensor Systems
What about parts that are extremely small and need to be measured precisely? Such cases require a Vision and Multisensor System, as they can scan pieces that are less than 600 millimetres squared in area and less than 200 millimetres tall.
Some pieces are very delicate and can’t be measured through tactile touch. OGP multisensor systems work three to five times faster than a conventional CMM machine and have a very small footprint, allowing for valuable space on your factory floor to be used for other functions.
They allow for multiple measuring strategies. Optical measures what’s difficult to access by a conventional probe. Touch probing measures three-dimensional components, while laser handles extremely delicate or incredibly complex areas.
Finally, multisensor systems are more accurate than CMM machines in 95% of cases, providing the reliability offered by only the best CMM machines.
CMM machines helped rescue North American factories decades ago, and the new equipment has considerably increased functionality. Look for the CMM machine and CMM software that best suits your factory’s needs.