Coordinate measuring machines play a vital role in ensuring a production line maintains the highest standards of quality control, and protects a business’s reputation and bottom line. But even top-of-the-line CMMs can produce errors when left too long without necessary re-calibration and repair. Given the importance of having properly calibrated and fully functional CMM equipment for the overall success of your business, it is important to make sure that the equipment on your factory floor is running as smoothly and accurately as possible.
The good news is that if you need to upgrade or repair your CMM equipment there are plenty of options available. In addition to selling new and used CMM equipment, companies like the Mississauga-based Canadian Measurement-Metrology Inc. also leverage their extensive knowledge of the field to offer calibration and repair services both in Canada and across North America, giving full service on measuring machines, optical projectors, and vision systems produced by most of the top brands, including Brown & Sharpe, Sheffield, Leitz, DEA, Starrett, Wenzel, Mitutoyo, LK, Metris, Zeiss, Tarus, Trimek, Poli, OGP, Faro and ROMER machines.
So how do you know when it’s time to recalibrate your machine? While measurement errors and software issues during use will alert you to potential problems with a machine, they also immediately create costly bottlenecks that can slow down the whole production process while you try and find the error. Here are a few things you should keep in mind generally to make sure your equipment is getting the attention it needs before it starts causing problems.
First, it’s important to remember that no matter where you got your machine from and whether it is new or used, it is always best to have it installed professionally by a metrology technician who knows the equipment and how it should be set up. Hiring a technician to take care of installation is the safest way to guarantee that your machine will be running at its most efficient and productive from day one. Guide ways are easily damaged in transport unless handled by a technician who understands the machine. They can also verify your set up by checking your air supply and electric supply. Water and oil vapors can quickly cause problems in the air bearings, but they are easily avoided.
Second, you don’t only need to calibrate machines that are new to your shop. You should also consider recalibration every time you move a machine. Because CMM technology is so sensitive, it is important to make sure that no calibration errors have been introduced accidentally through changes in temperature or alignment. When reorganizing production spaces or moving to a new facility, take the time to make sure your equipment is calibrated to the new space.
Finally, you should consider scheduling repair and calibration check ups at the same time as certification. Coordinate measuring machines need to be certified annually. Anyone can do it, but a technician with an ISO 9001:2008 registered company can bring a machine up to the manufacturers’ specifications or even better. With new business coming in and finished product going out all the time, it can be easy to put off repair and calibration checks until some indefinite time in the future. To make sure you don’t fall behind on monitoring and maintaining the machines that keep your business working, make a point of booking regular check ups. Not only will this ensure your equipment is always functioning at peak efficiency, it means you’ll catch potential problems before they become costly errors.