No, Marvin Gaye never sang about manufacturing. If there is but one takeaway from the R&B legend’s soulful catalog, it is this: let’s get it on (machine). For too long, many of you have brought heavy part after heavy part to your fixed CMM for inspection, ignoring that a simpler, more accurate and less taxing solution exists. You should be inspecting and measuring in-process or finished parts on (or near, I suppose) the machine tool. Here’s why.
1) Environmental Flexibility: Still paying (and working) to maintain a climate-controlled inspection room to house your fixed CMM? Well, stop it. Portable CMMs adapt to the typical factory floor environment. Plus, you’ll reduce machine interruptions during the machining process because the part won’t have to travel to another location for inspection.
2) On-the-spot Analysis: With a portable CMM, users can accurately verify their processes and setups with just a few button clicks. Proper tool and part alignments can be validated before machining critical features. Features can be analyzed after each step of machining. So, problems can be diagnosed quicker, leading to reduced inspection times.
3) Tool Wear Detection: Using a portable CMM can detect if a part is out of spec, true-enough. But, the data collected can help detect if the tool itself is degrading.
4) Time Savings: Tired of walking heavy parts to and from the inspection area? Had enough of lost time due to rework because you didn’t catch part deformities on time? Can’t stand waiting for your machine tool get going after you, again, had to shut it down to go inspect a part? Just asking.
5) Cost Savings: The proverbial “all of the above” answer here. Lost time due to machine outage, out-of-spec parts, tool wear and travel time cost money? Want to save money, effort and potentially days of downtime? Get yourself a portable CMM and start measuring on-machine.