CMMs, or coordinate measuring machines, are critical to improving quality assurance and inspection capacity in the aerospace, energy, and heavy industries.
Milan Kocic, North American director of business development for service and support at Hexagon, spoke about the need for end-to-end support for CMMs in these areas.
Why are CMMs such a sought-after device and useful for so many industries?
“We all know there is this dream of zero defects in manufacturing,” said Kocic. “Unfortunately we’re not there yet. So, while we’re not there, someone has to look. Somewhere on the production line there is a CMM where someone is putting these parts in, they check it, make sure everything is okay, and if it’s bad, try to find the root cause why something might be broken. And, of course, the reason CMMs are an integral part is because nobody can ship bad parts. “
Regardless of whether the manufacturing task is a large project such as an airplane or a smaller project with a larger production output such as in the automotive industry, the goal is the same: ensuring a smooth production process with an end product that meets quality standards.
When the game is all about precision, it is of the utmost importance that routine maintenance and care is applied to CMMs to ensure consistent accuracy and performance. In the past, Kocic said the maintenance approach is a response – “call for maintenance when a machine fails” – but Kocic also said the approach is changing.
“Nobody can wait. Time is of the essence. One thing that no one can get back is time. If so, you need to figure out how to be the most productive and use it wisely, ”said Kocic.
The trend now is for users to become familiar with their CMMs and to know when to do maintenance. However, Kocic acknowledged that the closer CMMs are to the production process, the more potential delays there can be when the CMM requires maintenance. Postponing maintenance may be tempting, but it is a risky game.
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