The prevalence of coordinate measuring machines in manufacturing industries of all types often means that alternative solutions can go unconsidered. Depending on the types of parts your shop produces, there may be alternatives that are more accurate and more efficient for your niche. Vision systems are ideal for measuring parts with an area of less than 600 mm2 and a height of less than 200 mm2, putting them in a whole other ballpark from many conventional machines. When it comes to quality assurance, precision is the goal, so you need the most accurate technology for your industry.
In some cases, contact is destructive or detrimental to the part being measured, meaning non contact CMMs are the way to go. Vision systems should provide flexibility and the choice between optical and contact analysis. Contact is optimal for three-dimensional components whereas noncontact optical probes are ideal for pieces that would be damaged by pressure. Reflective or transparent parts can wreak havoc on devices that calculate through optics, and need to be measured with a hard probe. Optical sensing can be done with either video or laser measurement equipment. Video takes an image of the part and then measures the image, rather than the object, whereas laser measurement equipment captures reflected light from the part.Vision systems are also the way to go when handling deformable materials, i.e. something soft that will alter with pressure.
In the field of vision systems, manufacturer OGP has also introduced micro-probes such as the interposer, the feather, and the rainbow probe. The feather uses a stylus that is 1 millimetre or smaller in diameter and applies minimal pressure. It allows the examination of pieces that are too small for video but still sensitive to pressure. The rainbow, on the other hand, produces white light and detects the reflection, reading changes to the optical spectrum. The interposer is a hybrid touch and no-touch solution that combines a probe ball with video, allowing it to evaluate recesses and very small internal elements.
There’s always more to learn about alternative metrology machines, so stop by Cmmxyz.com to find out which machines will work best for the parts you make. Vision systems have faster throughput speeds than coordinate measuring machines, sometimes transferring data up to five times faster. They are also known for their accuracy and achieving high repeatability results. Repeatability is all about getting the same results sequentially over a short time span, a sign that your equipment is providing accurate results.
When you’re shopping for new metrology equipment, it can help to work with a company that tailors maintenance and service contracts to your needs. Metrology vendors that operate across North America and provide same day service like Canadian Measurement-Metrology Inc., eight-hour response, or weekend callouts at a fixed cost can be a great investment when it comes to repairs. They may also offer a variety of upgrade, retrofit, maintenance, and installation services for coordinate measuring machines and vision systems. It always pays to work with the pros.