After decades of decline, advances in automation have made North American factoriesagainst factories in less regulated countries, where labor costs are cheaper. Coordinate measurement machines (CMMs) have played an enormous role in this resurgence by enabling automation on the assembly line, often performing quality control.
With incredible precision, CMM machines can scan parts ranging in size from micrometers to over a hundred feet and detect defects in newly produced parts.
If your company owns a CMM machine, you know these electromechanical machines must relay data that is both extremely accurate and reliable. Here are some tips to make sure that you get the best performance from your CMM machine.
Pamper Your CMM Machine Constantly, and from the Beginning
You want to know that the CMM machine is working optimally right from the start, so it’s important to have it installed by a well-trained metrologist. You mustwhat needs to be adjusted for, starting right from the time of installation and throughout the machine’s life.
CMM machines are sensitive pieces of equipment. Even factors like the room temperature and condition in which it is operating can impact the machine’s performance if these variables aren’t properly adjusted.
Authorized dealers offer a range of CMM services, including portable arm recalibration, upgrades and retrofits, CMM calibration, machine relocation, and preventative maintenance. If a company can provide all of these services, it’s a sign that you’re in good hands.
Get Help from the People Who Know
Perhaps your company has an in-house metrology expert. If you don’t, hire one on contract to consult about how best to source replacement parts and calibrate your machine. They know a lot about every kind of CMM machine, including probes, probe heads, and the newest software.
Only consult experts who are ISO 9000 and ISO 17025 accredited.
Train Your Employees Properly
Not all the ways to maximize a CMM machine’s effectiveness come from the machines themselves. There are measurement solutions providers that offer CMM training and e-courses for your employees.
While CMM machines have played a substantial role in production line automation, employees still play a crucial role in factories. Not every aspect of a CMM machine is automated, and employees need to understand how to interact with this equipment to get the most out of it.
E-Learning can teach employees how to operate CMM equipment at their own speed without physically leaving the factory where they’re already working. For employees who have already been adequately trained, the courses can function as a helpful refresher. The software comes with a library of software features to consult for anybody who could use a resource to review.
CMM machines are an incredible tool for your, but only if they work at their maximum capacity. So long as you take these basic steps to get the most from them, your CMM machine will be an invaluable resource for years to come.