Coordinate Measuring Machines Need Regular Service
Once you’ve purchased a new coordinate measuring machine, it’s important to start thinking about preventative maintenance. Regular cleaning and calibration keep your metrology instruments functioning and accurate, and that keeps your assembly line rolling. Coordinate measuring machines bear parts that are tens of thousands of pounds and measure them to fractions of a millimetre. Debris build-up and accidents can easily cause problems with the bearings or change the way bridges move over time. Regular visits from a metrology company can keep your inspection equipment running smoothly and accurately.
When you first purchase a coordinate measuring machine, you will have to verify its specifications after it’s installed and before you use it. Metrologists will perform tool verification even on instruments not purchased directly from them.
Unexpected breakdowns are mostly likely to occur when maintenance is sporadic and neglected. An unexpected breakdown can cause you to panic, scrambling to come up with a fix while your delivery deadline approaches. A preventative maintenance plan is important and it should include a calibration schedule from a metrology house. While breakdowns are disastrous, missing an error can mean thousands of inaccurate components. Remember: these inspection tools are meant to correct inaccuracies before you produce too many of them. Scrapping and remaking parts with errors is not only expensive, it also hurts your delivery schedule and your shop’s reputation. Buyers are looking for suppliers who can provide accurate components in-house and stick to their schedules. Make sure your quality assurance measures are working for you.
There are a number of reasons a metrology instrument develops errors and needs to be recalibrated. You may need to service one because of changes in temperature, operator errors, or issues during a move and installation. The installation or moving of a coordinate measuring machine can also cause miscalculations. Any time you need to relocate equipment, call the metrologists at companies like Canadian Measurement-Metrology Inc. They mitigate tilting and the accidents that can make bearings go haywire, whether you’re moving it from one room to another or to an overseas facility.
How often you need recalibration depends on how you use your inspection tools. If it’s on the shop floor or sees frequent use, you’ll need regular maintenance visits. However, a well-maintained and rarely used instrument may only require annual attention. Ultimately, the equipment operator should determine how often calibration is required.
You can keep your quality assurance department accurate with CMM machine calibration at Canadian Measurement Metrology. If you’re still not sure how often you should be calibrating, keep what’s called a “golden part.” This is a component, preferably one you make frequently, that has been thoroughly measured. If you can verify the accuracy of the component, you can then compare your coordinate measuring machine’s performance against it. Periodically re-check the component and compare the results against the dimensions you know to be true. This way you can be sure that deviations are created by the CMM and not your assembly line. Call an expert metrologist for service and repairs today.