When it comes to large-scale manufacturing and production, the need for precise measurement and accuracy is of the utmost importance. That’s why coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) have become an essential tool in factories and workshops around the world.
With such a large selection of CMMs available on the market, how do you choose the right one? This article will help you make that decision by outlining the basics of coordinate measuring machines, their types, and their various applications.
What is a CMM?
A CMM measures the shape and size of objects and their components. The equipment maps out the coordinates of points on the object’s surface, which helps calculate dimensions.
Manufacturers introduced the equipment to address the gaps in the traditional method of measuring parts. With no CMM, operators must have the experience and skill to inspect components. If done wrong, the mistake can lead to the production of low-quality parts.
The CMM has the accuracy and speed to measure parts better than manual methods. The equipment also helps boost productivity while lowering the risk of making errors during the measuring process.
Types of CMM
Various coordinate measuring machines are available on the market, each with its own features and applications. The most common types are:
Manual coordinate measuring machines are the simplest type of CMM. They consist of a ruler or other straight edge with calibrated measurement markings and a device to measure angles. A manual type of CMM is best suited for simple measurements on flat surfaces.
Optical coordinate measuring machines use a digital camera to capture an image of the object being measured. This image is then processed to calculate the object’s coordinates. An optical type of CMM is ideal for measuring curved or irregular surfaces.
Laser coordinate measuring machines use a laser to map out the object’s coordinates. A laser type of CMM is best suited for big objects or ones that are difficult to measure with an optical CMM.
Touch coordinate measuring machines use a probe to touch the surface of the object being measured. A touch type of CMM is used for highly accurate measurements down to the micrometer level.
How to Choose the Right CMM
When choosing a coordinate measuring machine, there are a few factors you need to consider:
- What type of objects will you be measuring?
- What is the size and complexity of those objects?
- What level of accuracy do you need?
- What is your budget?
Once you have answered these questions, you can narrow down the selection of CMMs to those that best suit your needs.
Choosing the Right CMM for Your Business
CMMs have become an essential tool for the industrial revolution. Various manufacturing plants have used these machines because of their ability to measure the shape and size of objects with precision at scale.
Just remember, when choosing a CMM, there are several factors you need to consider. Make sure you know what type of objects you will be measuring and what level of accuracy is required. Knowing all of that will ensure you make an informed decision before purchasing.