The beauty of the portable measuring arm is that it has the capability of taking the measurement device onto the shop floor. Typically, people are bringing items from the shop floor and measuring them in a lab. With a portable arm, you can measure the part in the fixture, the machine tool where ever you want. This gives you the ability for quick and ready analysis in the same environment that the part is manufactured in. That's a bonus.
Portable measuring arms are extremely versatile. Not only to do you have the ability to go out on the shop floor but in cases where a laser is installed you can measure in tactile fashion and also gather clouds of data. One portable arm can be an inspection tool, verification tool, reverse-engineering product or a forward-engineering product. An arm equipped with a laser is a very inexpensive purchase that gives a maximum bang for your buck.
A portable arm should be calibrated by a certified lab at least once every 12 months and every 6 months if it's in rugged use. We do recommend that with every arm a customer purchases an artifact. That allows the arm to be verified once daily, prior and after measurement.
In order to ensure the best performance from your portable arm remember - it is a measuring device and should be treated as one. It should be stored every night in the manufacturer's accompanying cases. Generally, they're pelican cases and they are reinforced to make sure that no shock damages the components. Ensure the measuring arm is verified regularly with some kind of artifact. Make sure it's clean and make sure that the arm is mounted on a solid surface. Remember, anything that’s wobbly will result in poor measurements.
Integrating a laser scanner on a portable measuring arm takes a tactile-based measurement arm, which is essentially a duplicate of a shop floor coordinate measuring machine, and it turns it into a scanning device so you get about 3 or 4 times the amount of use. Most portable arms we sell at CMM have an accompanying scanner or integral scanner. This gives the user the ability to switch back and forth between tactile measurement and scanning. When measuring high-accuracy components of a fixture (a tooling ball) the customer would use the probe but for everything else he would use the scanner. The portable measuring arm is a great tool for the shop floor and for your R&D department.
We want your feedback! How versatile is your portable measuring arm? What brand do you prefer? Let us know!