CNC and DCC CMMs
Q-PLUS Labs offers a large variety of Coordinate Measuring Machines to fit your needs. We work with several CMM manufacturers so as to best accommodate the varying needs of our customers.
CMMs are the ultimate universal dimensional measurement and inspection system. However, not all CMMs are alike. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a CMM. Among these are:
- Size – The measurement envelope of CMMs ranges from desktop systems to those large enough to measure an entire car and beyond.
- Accuracy – Since volumetric accuracy is usually stated as an equation in which the error increases as a function of size, larger CMMs generally tend to have less accuracy than smaller systems. However, just because a CMM is large does not mean it cannot also be accurate. CMMs that are large and accurate exist but certainly cost more.
- Manual vs. DCC – While both manual (free floating) and DCC (Direct Computer Control) CMMs can be programmed, DCC-CMMs are driven by motors instead of the operator. This makes for huge time savings in inspecting many of the same part configuration. However, with power comes responsibility. Automated measurement systems such as DCC-CMMs can be misused causing damage to the CMM or the part being measured. Newer software reduces the chance of such accidents.
- Sensors – CMMs are not limited to touch probes. Advanced systems can also include continuous contact scanning probes, indexable vision sensors, laser scanning heads, and even surface finish probes.
- Software – CMMs measure points and DCC-CMMs can control the direction in which these points are measured. Everything else is in the software, so software features matter. It’s important that the software offer the right combination of power and ease of use. All CMM software provides for taking measurements of points and basic geometry such as planes, circles, and lines, as well as cylinders, spheres, cones, and more. Operations are then performed on the geometrical elements into dimensional readings, compared against design tolerances, and distilled into reports. Newer CMM software allows for Model-Based Inspection where the CMM measurements and program are written using a 3D CAD model of the part of interest. Special software modules exist for complex parts containing airfoils, gears, or free-form non-prismatic geometry. The choices are many and the range of cost is large.
Q-PLUS Labs can help you navigate these factors and others so that you can make the choice that best suits your dimensional measurement needs. Contact Us to receive more information.