What is a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)?

For every manufacturing process, accurate geometric and physical dimensions are important. There are two methods people use for such purpose. One is the conventional method that involves the use of measuring hand tools or optical comparators. However, these tools require expertise and are open to lots of errors. The other is the use of a CMM machine.

CMM machine stands for Coordinate Measuring Machine. It is a tool that can measure the dimensions of a machine/tool parts using coordinate technology. The dimension open to measurements include the height, width and depth in the X, Y, and Z axis. Depending on the CMM machine’s sophistication, you can measure the target and record the measured data.

Extracted from: https://www.rapiddirect.com/blog/what-is-cmm-machine/

The very first CMM made its appearance in the early 60s. Originally developed by Ferranti Company in Scotland in the 50s, this 2-axis CMM used a 3D tracing device with a simple digital readout that displayed XYZ positions. Ferranti used its CMM to measure precision components for their military products. Three-axis models were developed in the later 60s.

CMMs are most often used to test a part or assemble to determine whether or not it respects the original design intent. CMMs are integrated within quality assurance or quality control workflows to check the dimensions of manufactured components to prevent or resolve quality issues.

The advantages of using CMMs over manual inspections or checks performed with conventional metrology instruments, such as micrometers and height gauges, are: accuracy, speed and the reduction of human error.

Extracted from: https://www.creaform3d.com/blog/what-is-cmm-and-their-types/

Why do I need a CMM Machine?

The traditional method of measuring parts has many limitations. For example, it requires experience and skill from the operator inspecting the parts. If this is not well represented, it can lead to the supply of parts that are not good enough.

Another reason is in the sophistication of the parts that are produced in this century. Development in the technological sector has led to the development of more complex parts. Therefore, a CMM machine is better used for the process.

The CMM machine has the speed and accuracy to repeatably measure parts better than the traditional method. It also increases productivity while reducing the tendency of having errors in the measuring process. The bottom line is that knowing what a CMM machine is, why you need them, and using them will save time, money and improve your company’s reputation and image.

Extracted from: https://www.rapiddirect.com/blog/what-is-cmm-machine/

How does CMM Works?

A CMM does two things. It measures an object’s physical geometry, and dimension via the touching probe mounted on the machine’s moving axis. It also tests the parts to ascertain that it is the same as the corrected design. The CMM machine works via the following steps.

The part that is to be measured is placed on the CMM’s base. The base is the site of measurement, and it comes from a dense material that is stable and rigid. The stability and rigidity ensure that measurement is accurate irrespective of external forces that can disrupt the operation. Also mounted above the CMM plate is a movable gantry that is equipped with a touching probe. The CMM machine then controls the gantry to direct the probe along the X, Y, and Z axis. By doing so, it replicates every facet of the parts to be measured.

On touching a point of the part to be measured, the probe sends an electrical signal which the computer maps out. By doing so continuously with many points on the part, you will measure the part.

After the measurement, the next stage is the analysis stage, after the probe has captured the part’s X, Y, and Z coordinates. The information obtained is analyzed for the construction of features. The mechanism of action is the same for CMM machines that uses the camera or laser system.

Extracted from: https://www.rapiddirect.com/blog/what-is-cmm-machine/

Above sharing just for your reference. When you’re interested in investing a CMM Machine to improve your quality process, select a supplier who offer a quality service and meet your specific needs.

If you have any enquiry with dimensional equipment, welcome to contact us by email: enquiry@mspmetrology.com


10 Mar 2022

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