For production lines that want to guarantee the highest possible standards of quality control, coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are one of the most important pieces of equipment. Not only do CMMs help create accurate prototypes and useful CAD models for already-finished parts, they also play a vital role in making sure that every part your production line produces matches blueprint specifications. A production line without a functioning CMM has no way of guaranteeing the true accuracy of its products.
As any production line manager knows, important pieces of equipment need to be properly cared for if they are to provide optimal performance.Preventive maintenance can save huge amounts of time and money by catching minor deviations before they become major errors. As the lynchpin in the quality control process, it is even more vital that CMMs receive regular attention — a CMM that hasn’t been properly calibrated or is not providing accurate data can lead to serious manufacturing errors being overlooked.
But how can you make sure that your CMM is providing accurate information and operating in the best possible condition? How often should you calibrate your CMM, and how can you make sure you are getting the latest software and hardware updates? Here is a short guide to keeping your CMM in peak condition, and some tips for making sure it stays accurate for as long as possible.
Calibrate CMMs Regularly
One of the most important aspects of proper CMM maintenance is regular calibration. Monitoring CMMs for accuracy should be part of maintenance routine, and having your CMMs recalibrated as soon as their certification expires is vital to guaranteeing good performance.
When calibrating your CMM, hire a properly accredited metrology services provider that can offer the best possible lab conditions for testing your equipment and recognized certification to prove that your CMM has been recently serviced.
Use A Metrology When Relocating CMMs
Whenever you relocate a CMM, you should have it recalibrated. Even small environmental changes can have a major impact on CMM performance, and it is best not to take any chances. Consider having your CMM professionally moved by a metrology services provider like Canadian Measurement Metrology that can offer a full moving and calibration service package to ensure that your CMM works just as well if not better in the new location as it did in the previous one.
CMMs are sensitive pieces of equipment, and significant changes in temperature can have a cumulative and not insignificant impact on accuracy. In the case of CMMs measuring very small or very delicate parts, shifts in temperature that may seem unimportant can have a significant detrimental impact.
Train Staff On Proper Use Of All Metrology Equipment
As with any other piece of machinery in your production line, training your staff to operate it properly will go a long way toward guaranteeing it is always in the best possible operating condition.
By ensuring the best standards of quality control, CMMs can play a vital role in saving your company time and money. They reduce the chances of costly bottlenecks and help cut down on waste caused by part errors, and can help you create parts that conform to the highest standards of accuracy. But a CMM is only as good as its calibration, which is why it is important to make sure that any CMM your production line relies on is kept in the best possible condition.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.