Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) are a vital part of most assembly lines. Regardless of what the particular product or part your manufacturing operation is making, chances are that at some point in the process, high-level metrology equipment is being used to monitor production and guarantee quality control.
But CMMs are only as good as the software that powers them. From large scale gantry CMMs used to measure parts in the aerospace and automotive sectors to the high-tech laser scanners that provide accurate measurement of small components that are too delicate to be measured with a physical probe, it is just as much what is inside a CMM that makes it an effective tool as the lasers or probing arms that do the actual measuring. If you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your CMMs, it is important to learn about the latest CMM software and explore how it can help you make your production line even more integrated and efficient than it already is.
As many industry watchers know, 2017 was a big year in the CMM software world, and the latest products prove that huge strides are being made in making metrology more integrated with the whole production process than ever before.
For example, PolyWorks Inspector, a point cloud inspection solution that is revolutionizing CMM functionality, can not only provide a full inspection of first assembled products to make sure they meet the correct specifications, it is also capable of identifying deformations and fixing issues introduced in earlier stages of the manufacturing process. It also automatically measures the wear and tear on tools as a way of monitoring the production cycle for potential problems, such as abrupt degradation in product quality that may indicate a malfunctioning machine.
While Inspector makes metrology equipment more responsive to issues upstream in the production line, PolyWorks Modeler helps turn CMMs into important creative tools as well. Modeler offers state-of-the-art solutions that allow for remarkably sophisticated reverse engineering. Modeler helps you generate manufacturable class A polygonal models, and it can reconstruct perfect polygonal features from imperfectly digitized geometry. It can also apply typical CAD operations directly to polygonal models and prep them for manufacturing applications like milling and rapid prototyping.
For portable CMMs, there is SpatialAnalyzer Portable Metrology Software. SpatialAnalyzer allows portable CMMs to inspect parts, analyse data, report, reverse design, and interface with other portable CMMs to perform complex tasks. Portable CMMs are an important tool in many industrial contexts, and with this software they are more powerful than ever.
It is an exciting time in the manufacturing world, especially in Canada, and with every new innovation that makes it easier for machines to solve problems and interact seamlessly with the whole production process, it becomes easier to imagine the next step forward. CMMs have long been important for quality control, but with this new software opening up fresh possibilities, they are more vital tools than ever before.