As anyone who works in manufacturing knows, the industry lives or dies by efficiency. With the rapid growth of global competition placing more pressure than ever on North American producers, forward thinking manufacturers are looking for areas where they can reduce waste, improve speed, and lower costs without compromising the quality of their products. For this reason, quality control is more important than ever for businesses that want to keep ahead of the curve and stay competitive.
Effective quality control relies on a combination of the right machinery and the right software for checking your parts. With all the different metrology options now available, from traditional tactile probe bridge and gantry coordinate measurement machines (CMMs) to video and laser scanners, choosing the measurement solution that is right for your business can seem a little daunting. Fortunately, help is available.
If you want to ensure the best quality control on your factory floor, you will want to ask two questions: first, is your metrology equipment optimally suited to providing measurement solutions for your products, and second, is your company using the latest CMM software that has been tailored to your systems?
Choosing The Right CMM Equipment
When it comes to choosing the right CMM equipment, the most important thing to keep in mind is function. Different types of CMM machine are made for different kinds of measurement, and no one machine can meet every need. So it’s important to do your research and find out which type of metrology machine is best for you.
For example, portable metrology machines, like ROMER Arms or Leica Laser Trackers, are popular on factory floors for their flexibility, but they may not be as effective dealing with very large or very small parts. A Delta gantry machine, on the other hand, which uses a tactile probe, is best suited to measuring large parts like those produced for use in the automotive industry, and video measuring systems are better for dealing with smaller parts that may be too delicate for a probe.
Choosing The Right CMM Software
The last two years have seen a lot of new software reach the market, but with so many things to keep track of in day-to-day operations, it can be hard to stay on top of all the new developments. Two of the most exciting recent breakthroughs in CMM software involved updates for PC-DMIS and Polyworks that came out in 2017, both of which are busy setting new metrology industry standards.
The most important developments happening in metrology software revolve around making it more responsive to errors as they happen, and both PC-DMIS and Polyworks are a major step toward the realization of one of the goals of Industry 4.0, to have machines require less oversight and become capable of a greater degree of problem solving and course correction.
Maintaining a competitive edge in manufacturing isn’t getting any easier, but improving the speed, efficiency, and accuracy of quality control on your shop floor is one of the best ways to cut costs without compromising quality, and the latest CMM equipment and software can help you do that.