North American manufacturing might have disappeared altogether after the forces of globalization resulted in decades of decline, but automation was there to swoop in help rescue it.
Automation occurs when machine labor replaces human labor, specifically to perform tasks with more efficiency and for reduced costs. One machine that’s commonly used in automation is the coordinate measuring machine or CMM.
CMM machines measure the physical geometrical characteristics of an object either manually, using a human operator, or through running a computer program. The machine’s third moving axis acts as a probe, which scans the parts or objects. It compares the results to the part or object’s blueprint, which has already been uploaded into the machine.
If any difference between the results of the scan and blueprint, the machine knows the part which has a flaw. It is why CMM machines are so well suited to performing quality control tasks along the production line.
There is a range of CMM machines available on the market, so click on this link to learn more, or read on to get a sense of the different CMM machines available.
The ROMER Arm, the most well known portable CMM machine, is designed to perform quality control, inspection, virtual assembly, on-machine verification, and Modeling. It can also reverse engineer blueprints from already existing parts.
Portable CMMs are extremely accurate and built tough. The arm swings around the part or product being scanned to measure the dimensions on all its sides. Inspection is possible right on the shop floor because of its integrated scanning system. Its white light or laser system makes it possible to collect thousands of data points a second.
Bridge CMMs have been the bedrock of coordinate metrology for decades. Today they are still the most commonly used machines because the broad range of parts sizes they can handle makes them ideally suited across many industries.
The combination of precise, reliable, and repeatable results makes it a beloved machine. It’s also offered at a very attractive price point.
Gantry CMM machines are like Bridge CMM machines; only they’re designed to scan much larger parts or objects. For this reason, they are commonly found in the automotive and aerospace sector along production lines building parts for cars, planes, and spaceships.
It’s easy to load parts either by crane or forklift because of the Gantry CMM’s open access to the measuring volume. The guideways and drive systems are each located far from contaminants or dirt, so they’re low-maintenance machines.
Vision and Multisensor Systems
For parts that are too small and delicate to be scanned with a tactile probe or measured through physical contact, a Vision and Multisensor System is required. Video scanners and white light scanners measure parts smaller than 600 millimeters squared in area, and below 200 millimeters tall.
The type of CMM machine you need will be dictated by the nature of what your factory produces. There are all types within each category. Talk to your local metrology expert to find out which exact CMM machine is right for you.
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