Are you sitting on an older, outdated coordinate measuring machine that’s mechanically sound, but not performing up to current metrology standards? Instead of trading in the old equipment, it may make more sense to retrofit it with new technology. Retrofitting is a cost-effective way to improve the performance of your quality control department if you can find the right solution.
Every coordinate measuring machine retrofit is unique – your shop, your production line, and your staff need their own custom solution to minimize down time and errors and speed up the efficiency of your inspection process. However, there are a few retrofits common to used CMM machines because they deliver higher accuracy and faster inspection times. Consider some of these solutions if you’re debating upgrading your quality control department.
Upgrade Your Probing Systems
Your probing system determines your throughput, repeatability, and accuracy, and it’s one of the most important retrofits you can make to an older machine that will deliver returns. Upgrade to a Renishaw probing system, now the world standard in touch-trigger probes, 3-axis, and 5-axis probes, and you can automate your inspection process, reduce operating costs, and introduce a common software across machines. Renishaw retrofits are available through metrology dealers like Canadian Measurement Metrology (CMM), a company that retails new and used coordinate measuring machines, services and retrofits older machines, provides training for operating and programming, and sells software. If a new contract requires you to introduce 100% inspection or you’ve been struggling with inspection bottlenecks, a probing system retrofit is probably the answer for you. Rather than shell out a large investment for brand new equipment, rely on a source for high quality used CMM parts to upgrade your facilities.
Laser Scanners, Visions Systems
Laser scanners and vision systems can be used alongside coordinate measuring machines and make them useful for new applications. Laser scanners can collect data points at a high enough speed to use them efficiently on sheet metal, while vision systems allow you to inspect components that can’t be measured with a touch probe. Any malleable material or material that can be damaged by the ruby stylus can be inspected with a vision system.
Whether or not you also upgrade your inspection tools, software is regularly improving and you can find yourself using an obsolete system if you neglect to upgrade your software. It may “work for you,” but software upgrades enable you to use faster data collection tools (like laser scanners), analyze inspection data in real time, and program parts routines offline from CAD. Software upgrades are a must if you want to implement closed loop manufacturing, 100% inspection, or start displaying results graphically. When you do upgrade software, consider what you’re running on your newer machines. You can reduce training expenses by using up-to-date software across the board.
You don’t have to spend on a new coordinate measuring machine to gain from more advanced inspection technology. Future-proof retrofits will keep your old coordinate measuring machine productive and useful for years to come, extending its life without sacrificing efficiency. Talk to an independent metrology dealer about retrofitting and save.