A coordinate-measuring machine, or CMM, is a device that helps ensure consistent and accurate object measurements. It uses coordinate technology to take measurements in three dimensions and record them for future use.
Due to their highly specialized function, CMMs are a significant investment, often costing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your company has decided to get one for quality assurance, it’s essential to take care of it properly. Here are valuable pointers to help you take care of your CMM.
Be Mindful of Machine Placement
One major factor that affects a CMM’s performance and longevity is its placement. The shop floor is often home to different manufacturing equipment, making it busy and noisy.
Depending on the type of CMM you have, the shop floor might not be the best place for your CMM. Vibrations and movements from other machines and processes could affect the CMM’s performance.
You will have to consider whether the convenience of a specific location outweighs the additional maintenance costs it will incur.
If you’re dealing with highly sensitive machines or objects, placing your CMM in a separate laboratory might be best. This practice can help minimize machine error and protect it from other damages.
Invest in CMM Training
No matter how long you or your staff have worked in your industry, regular CMM training is essential. It helps ensure that your team is equipped with the necessary knowledge to operate and maintain your CMM.
Aside from operational knowledge, training also helps improve productivity, efficiency, and product quality. It reduces instances of human error and helps streamline quality assurance processes.
Many employees, particularly younger generations, also deeply value training and upskilling initiatives. Online and in-class CMM training can help your company retain top talent.
Maintain Air Quality
A clean and high-quality air supply is necessary for a CMM’s performance, especially for machines with air bearings. Air bearings help improve the machine’s accuracy by reducing friction, wear, and contamination.
Most factories use the shop’s main air supply for these machines. This practice isn’t inherently wrong. However, these conditions could lead to condensation, especially during the summer.
If left unchecked, these droplets could contaminate the rest of the machine and cause short circuits and damage your CMM. Using a refrigerant air dryer for your machine helps reduce maintenance costs.
Clean Your CMM Regularly
Regular cleaning is essential to keep your CMM in good condition. Dirt and other particles could collect on various surfaces and affect the machine’s performance.
It is imperative to keep your machine bearings clean, along with other parts that get the most wear. It’s best to clean them daily or weekly, at the very least. Machines placed on the shop floor could require more frequent cleaning.
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Provide Adequate Power
CMMs require adequate and consistent power to keep them running smoothly. A well-powered CMM can maintain its accuracy for extended periods. On the other hand, electricity fluctuations or outages could damage the machine.
If your CMM is encountering chronic electrical problems, you might have a power supply issue.
Make sure to invest in a power conditioner or battery backup system upon purchasing your CMM. These devices help ensure a consistent power supply and avoid future electrical problems.
A coordinate-measuring machine is a significant investment for any manufacturer. Before purchasing one, ensure you are ready to conduct proper maintenance procedures to ensure good performance and machine longevity.