The coordinate measuring machine (CMM) industry is experiencing a significant increase in market size as more companies look for highly specialized and accurate manufacturing services.
CMM machining has become ideal for meeting manufacturing standards, especially in industries that need measurement-sensitive and specialized parts.
It is a significant investment if you currently have a CMM in your workplace, as CMMs don’t usually come cheap, even on the lower-end units.
And although CMMs are known to be resilient, they still need some TLC to ensure that they work well throughout their decades-long lifetime.
What Does a CMM Do?
A CMM uses probes and coordinates technology to measure the dimensions of various objects with utmost accuracy. It could effectively measure an object’s length, width, and depth, then use it as a standard for quality control.
This piece of equipment is instrumental for fields that require great accuracies, such as weapons and aircraft manufacturing, space travel, and automotive industries.
How to Care for Your CMM
A properly cared for CMM could last for decades, but it requires effort from the people who work with it daily. It’s recommended to consult your user manual for the best ways to care for your machine, but we also collected some additional helpful tips.
1. Ensure Proper Machine Placement
CMMs come in various makes and models, and some are sturdier than others. When considering your industry, it might be better to place your machine in an enclosed environment, such as a laboratory, instead of the shop floor.
The shop floor is often the site for more laborious and machine-heavy processes. The movements and vibrations from the shop floor could affect the CMM’s precision unless the machine is made to withstand such disturbances or if the company is willing to shoulder more frequent maintenance procedures.
2. Clean It Regularly
Depending on where you place your CMM, it could require weekly to daily cleanings. A good rule of thumb is to clean the granite workspace daily and the electrical cabinet filters weekly.
Regular cleaning ensures that the machine doesn’t collect any dust or debris for extended periods, minimizing the chances of imprecision or machine failure.
3. Check for Power Issues
A CMM performs highly specialized tasks, and it requires a consistent energy source to do so. Before you notice any energy fluctuations affecting your machine, it’s best to invest in a power conditioner and a power backup system.
Appropriate energy backups ensure a steady stream of power to your CMM, helping it perform without interruptions and keeping it from breaking down.
4. Conduct Regular Machine Inspections
Your company should conduct regular machine inspections on whether you’ve encountered significant machine malfunctions. This practice alerts you of any potential problems as they arise, so you get to address them before they worsen.
It’s best to conduct visual inspections daily, noting possible loose nuts, bolts, and screws or possible noises or movements that are out of place. You could do them every quarter for overall checks, deep cleans, or filter replacements..
5. Consult a Professional When Necessary
If you encounter problems out of the regular maintenance scope, it’s time to call in a professional. Some common issues best handled by a professional are software inconsistencies, sensor malfunctions, and clogged air filters.
Importance of CMM Care
Caring for your CMM is an essential part of working with it. Having a strict and proper maintenance routine helps your equipment last longer, minimize repair costs, and perform at its best, boosting your productivity and maximizing your company output.
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