Dec 07, 2021 | Updated: 07:19 PM EDT

Surveying the 4 Basic Kinds of CMM Machines

Nov 13, 2019 02:50 PM EST

Surveying the 4 Basic Kinds of CMM Machines
(Photo : pixabay)

In the later part of the 21st century, manufacturing in North America might have disappeared after decades of dominance as globalization unleashed competition from factories overseas, where labour is cheaper and regulations are fewer. One of the ways factories here competed was having machine labour replace human labour, a concept known as automation.

One of the star pieces of equipment in automation is a coordinate measuring machine, or CMM. A CMM machine measures the physical geometrical characteristics of an object either manually, using a human operator, or through running a computer program. 

A probe on the machine's third moving axis scans the part or object and compares the results to the blueprint, which has been uploaded into the machine already. If there is any difference between the part and the blueprint, the machine knows there's a flaw.

Both new and used CNC CMM measurement machines are perfect for performing quality control along the production line - take a look at a few types of CMM machines to learn more about what's available on the market.

  1. Portable CMMs

The ROMER Arm is the most well known portable CMM machine and it has a few functions. In addition to quality control, it can perform inspection, virtual assembly, on-machine verification, and 3D modelling. Portable CMMs can also reverse engineer blueprints from already existing parts.

Accurate and rugged, the arm of the portable CMM swings around the object so it can scan every surface. You can conduct inspection right from the shop floor thanks to its integrated scanning system. White lights or laser systems collect no less than thousands of data points every second.

  1. Bridge CMMs

Bridge CMMs have been the mainstay of metrology since the 1970s, and they're the most commonly used CMM machines across industries today because they handle the broadest range of part sizes. They are loved for being precise and reliable machines which deliver repeatable results.

Plus, it is sold at an attractive price point. 

  1. Gantry CMMs

Gantry CMMs are like Bridge CMMs, except they're designed to handle much larger parts and objects. This makes them suited to the automotive and aerospace sector working in factories building parts for cars, planes, and spaceships.

Parts can easily be loaded by crane or forklift due to the Gantry CMM's open access to the measuring volume. They're also low maintenance machines because the guideways and drive systems are located at a safe distance from contaminants and dirt.

  1. Vision and Multisensor System

Some parts are too delicate and little to be measured through physical contact or scanned with a tactile probe. In these cases, a Vision and Multisensor System is needed. 

Video scanners and white light scanners measure parts less than 600 millimetres squared in area, and less than 200 millimetres tall. 

The kind of CMM machine you need will likely be determined by the nature of what your factory produces. Consult the experts in CMM equipment to get the machinery that will drive your company's success.

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