The measuring speed and accuracy of your Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) are two of its most important outcomes, especially when it comes to producing reliable results you can depend on.
Unfortunately, there are many external environmental factors that can affect the way your CMM performs. Specifically, these factors can contribute to negative machine performance as well as machine repeatability. In the end, these poor results will give you inaccurate measurements and an endless amount of frustration on the shop floor.
So, which factors can affect your CMM in a negative way? Here are five factors that you can prevent, and should be aware of, when you work with your CMM on a regular basis:
Whether you are working in an isolated manufacturing environment or in an open environment on the shop floor, temperature conditions can vary widely. Most shop floor environments differ in temperature.
To prevent this from happening, you should try to control temperature gradients. These can occur as a result of: continual heat switching on and off in the shop floor, losing air flow (which is commonly caused by unnecessarily opening doors and gates), and overheating of machine tools.
This is an important factor that also directly relates to preventative maintenance and the lifespan of your CMM. To control the amount of humidity in your shop floor environment, a relative point of humidity should always be adhered to.
In the end, this will help prevent harmful effects of moisture and the corrosion of workpieces and measurement devices. A relative point of humidity will also help maintain measurement accuracy of workpieces that are sensitive to moisture.
A dirty machine will only pose problems for your CMM’s throughput. Dirt and small particles can become trapped or lie underneath the CMM’s bearing surface, causing breakdown during operation or inaccurate measurements. This is why preventative maintenance is extremely important. On a weekly basis you should be cleaning the air bearings, motors, controllers, sensors, and friction controllers. Use a lint-free cloth or methyl hydrate, where required.
When your CMM maintenance becomes an afterthought, contamination can occur within the air supply or guideways. Specifically, a buildup of water and oil will collect in the air regulator bowls. From here, the substance will travel through the air tubing and the bearings, as well as other areas of your CMM, leading to deterioration of machine in future measurement. To prevent this from occurring, you should inspect all air filters once a month
A potential and popular problem area for a CMM is external vibration. To prevent this from happening, vibration isolation systems may be necessary. This will help prevent external and internal components moving out of phase from one another. You should always adhere to the manufacturer’s vibration criteria levels and understand what your machine is capable of withstanding.
Canadian Measurement-Metrology Inc. offers a wide range of software suites, as well as new and used CMM’s that can suit your needs. We are the leading independent measurement solution provider in North America. For more information about our capabilities, contact us today.