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Preventative CMM Maintenance You Need to Know

After investing in your Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), it’s important that you do everything possible to take proper care of this valuable piece of machinery. Preventative maintenance on a routine basis will ensure that it runs trouble-free over the course of its lifespan. 

Maintenance should be applied to the following parts that are within your CMM: motors, guideway, controller electronics, filters, transmission or friction rollers, drives, and air bearings.

Why is preventative maintenance so important?

-        It allows the machine to perform at its optimal measurement capability

-        It will allow your CMM to run for a longer period of time

-        You will diminish downtime and unplanned breakdowns

-        It will allow you to become more efficient on a shop floor environment.

What type of maintenance can I do myself?

- The air bearings are one of the most important parts of the machine that you need to protect. In saying this, you should routinely replace the filters that are on the back of your CMM machine (as necessary). The frequency will depend entirely on the type of environment you are working in – ie: whether it is a dusty shop floor, or meticulously clean.  

Dust can clog the bearings and affect how the entire machine performs. A good rule of thumb: filters should be checked once a month.

- Controller filters should be checked every 6 months and replaced if necessary. If this is not done, it could lead to overheating problems and future shutdown.

- Any particles lying underneath or in-between visible surfaces may lead to inaccurate measurements. It can also cause future damage to a workpiece. Dust particles or dirt in bearings or notches can be cleaned with a lint-free microfiber cloth and alcohol.

What maintenance should I leave to professionals?

The electronic touch trigger probe, the scanning probe, the single point laser, the line laser and the video camera are the sensors inside your Coordinate Measuring Machine. These sensors should be inspected during annual calibration, when your service company does a preventative maintenance check. During this annual check-up, make sure the following is thoroughly inspected: the condition of the bearings, drive components, all filters, and encoder gaps. 

What are the risks if I neglect to perform routine maintenance?

If preventative maintenance is not performed on a routine basis, you risk having bearing failure. When the bearings get clogged, your machine will require costly repairs. A CMM tech will be required to pull out and clean each individual bearing and airline. Rehosing of the machine and flushing the lines might also be required in some circumstances.

In summary, spending five or ten minutes on a daily or weekly basis can save you many headaches down the road. Not to mention, it can also save you costly repairs. 

If you require assistance to repair your CMM, we offer full service repair and same day service on most brands and styles of measuring machines.

We also repair optical projectors and vision systems including: Brown & Sharpe, Sheffield, Leitz, DEA, Starrett, Wenzel, Mitutoyo, LK, Metris, Zeiss, Tarus, Trimek, Poli, OGP, Faro and Romer brand machines.

Contact us today for more information.


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