Portable CMMs

Portable CMMs: The Most Versatile Measuring Tool Today

Portable CMMs have become the most popular shop floor measurement tool in the world and for good reason. Portable CMMs or PCMMs are highly portable, inexpensive, highly accurate and incredibly rugged, making it the number one measuring instrument for a modern manufacturing facility. The CMM software allows multiple part setups to be integrated together to produce one inspection program.

At CMMXYZ, we’re proud to be a leading metrology solutions provider specializing in portable CMM arms and portable CMM machines. As North America’s coordinate measuring experts, we help clients understand the importance of high-quality metrology equipment and how it translates to a more efficient and accurate production process.

Portable CMMs offer a unique ability to accurately and intricately measure even the most complex geometric objects. Their measurement capabilities are more flexible and convenient and can be adapted to any shop floor.

We offer a selection of new and used portable coordinate measuring equipment designed to stream your operations, improve production practices, and generate reliable on-site measurements.

Contact us today using the form below for more information on our selection of portable coordinate measuring machines.

Frequently Asked Questions About Portable CMMs

What is a portable CMM?

A portable coordinate measuring machine is a device that’s used to collect data points from the surface of a geometric object. The difference between a portable CMM and a bridge CMM or gantry CMM is its ability to be transported to various areas of a shop floor and can collect data from different types of parts and at various angles.

What is an optical CMM?

An optical CMM is a non-contact measuring machine that uses images to perform its measurements. Using image processing technology, an optical CMM can perform automatic measurements that are equally fast and accurate.

How does a Portable CMM work?

A portable coordinate measuring machine measures the surface of a geometric object using a measuring arm — also referred to as an articulating arm.

With each point of contact, portable CMM arms collect 3D coordinates or measuring points, which are then compared to CAD models through computer-aided inspection. This ensures whether or not the measured part meets current quality standards.

These lightweight and convenient measuring machines can accurately gather data points from different angles of a specific part and can be used for additional purposes, including rapid prototyping and reverse engineering.

Why would someone use a portable CMM?

There are several reasons why manufacturers and shop floor operators use portable CMMs and CMM arms to streamline their production and operation processes, including:

  • To collect data from different angles on a singular geometric surface
  • To effortlessly transport their CMM across the shop floor without disrupting production
  • To make their quality control process more efficient
  • To achieve a greater level of accuracy during the measuring process

At CMMXYZ, we work with manufacturers and shop floor operators across North America to achieve greater efficiency and accuracy within their production process. We offer a selection of quality new and used metrology equipment, including portable CMM machines, to suit every industry and every measuring need.

Why are there six-axis and seven-axis arms?

Six-axis arms are used for hard probing, whereas seven-axis arms are required when additional articulation is needed for specialized probing or a laser scanner.

What is the average accuracy of a portable arm?

Six-axis portable arm with a solid probe will deliver accuracies between 15 to 20 µm, whereas armed with a laser scanning probe precisions vary but are generally within the 50 µm range.

Can anyone use the portable arm and get the same results?

Getting the best precision from a portable arm does require experience but for the most part, it is a very subjective measuring device and is dependent on the stability of the machine and the experience of the operator.

What standard is the portable arm certified to?

The current standard is ISO 10360-12 with the scanning accuracy according to ISO 10360. This must be performed by an ISO 17025 certified Laboratory.

Who are the major manufacturers of portable arms?

There are three primary manufacturers of portable CMM arms — Faro, Hexagon (formerly ROMER), and Kreon.

Each machine offers a unique set of features and benefits, and can be tailored to meet your metrology needs. Our specialists will take you through our selection of new and used equipment so you can better determine which CMM manufacturer is right for your business.

Once a portable arm is set up for measurement, can it be moved?

Portable arms may be moved around the job to be measured, this process is generally termed as leapfrogging. The operator may accomplish this by selecting data points on each surface to be measured that can be acquired in the new position.

Portable CMMs vs. 3D scanners

Although both pieces of equipment are designed to digitize objects, there are distinct differences between portable machines and 3D scanners.

Portable CMM machines are designed to collect data swiftly, simply by using the machine’s probe to make contact with the object. This type of equipment is ideal for scanning objects with hard edges, including sheet metals, in addition to reflective, dark, or shiny parts.

3D Scanners, on the other hand, are non-contact tools that capture an image of an object, which collects more data points. It is often used to measure complex surfaces, although, unlike a portable coordinate measuring machine, using a 3D scanner is more time-consuming.

Portable vs. Fixed CMMs

While both machines are used to measure and collect data points, there are important differences to note when deciding whether a portable or fixed CMM is right for you.

A portable CMM can be transported around the shop floor with ease and is typically used for large-scale inspections, rapid prototyping, and reverse engineering. This type of machine produces accurate measurements in controlled environments and is often a more cost-effective option than its counterparts.

A fixed CMM, on the other hand, is often best suited for projects that require collecting measurements of oversized parts in a more automated manner. Depending on the degree of automation, a fixed machine repeating inspections at a high volume with ideal cycle times is more efficient. In most cases, this type of equipment is more costly than a portable CMM or a portable CMM arm.

What to know before you buy a portable CMM

If you’re considering purchasing a portable coordinate measuring machine, there are several specifications and factors to be aware of before purchasing any metrology equipment.

Level of Accuracy

Understanding your accuracy requirements will ensure you purchase a machine that meets your current needs and avoid overspending on equipment.

The Measured Part

A portable CMM is designated by its working volume. Select a machine that is capable of measuring your desired parts and can handle any complex surfaces.

Your End-Goal

Your desired end results will ultimately determine which CMM is best suited to your needs. If you’re performing an inspection, your requirements will likely vary from machines that are tailored for reverse engineering. This will also help ensure you don’t spend money on additional software you don’t need.

What portable CMM services does CMMXYZ offer?

At CMMXYZ, we’re proud to offer a selection of premium portable CMM services for both measuring and calibration purposes.

Measuring Services

Calibration Services

We work with clients across a wide range of industries, ranging from healthcare to energy and power, aerospace, automotive and more. Our metrology specialists will take you through our services and help you select the right metrology solution for your needs.

What is the cost of a portable CMM?

The cost of a portable CMM can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether you’re purchasing a new or used model.

At CMMXYZ, we believe in offering quality metrology equipment at fair and competitive prices. Our specialists will work with you to identify your coordinate measuring needs and determine which machine is best suited for your shop floor.

Why choose a portable CMM from CMMXYZ?

Portable coordinate measuring machines offer advanced flexibility and convenience that shop floor leaders can benefit from.

Due to their lightweight nature, this type of measuring machine can be moved around the shop floor with ease, ensuring you don’t have to move any important manufacturing equipment. With a flexible CMM arm, users can collect measurements from a variety of angles on any surface of a geometric object.

Alongside their operational ease, PCMMs are often one of the most cost-friendly metrology solutions.

At CMMXYZ, we offer a selection of new and used portable CMM machines to help you streamline your operations and gather data with increased accuracy. Our specialists will work with you to determine which model is best suited to your needs.

How to purchase a portable CMM from CMMXYZ

If you’re looking for a more convenient, flexible, and accurate way to gather data, CMMXYZ offers one of the largest selections of portable CMMs and portable CMM arms in North America.

Choose from a variety of new and used equipment and ask about our range of measuring, repair, and training services. Our metrology specialists will help you find the perfect coordinate measuring solution for your business.

Contact CMMXYZ today to get started.

Get in Touch

Please fill out the form below and we will be in  touch as soon as possible, thank you!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram