When you invest in a coordinate measuring machine, you’re investing in a precise measuring instrument that delivers highly accurate reports on the components that you build. More and more clients demand coordinate measuring machines before they award a contract, and today coordinate measuring machines, laser scanners, and other metrology tools offer shops big time and cost savings. More shops than ever have invested in coordinate measuring machines and the growth of industrial metrology is only set to rise.
The single most important maintenance task that needs to be performed on your coordinate measuring machine is calibration. Coordinate measuring machines are used for their unparalleled accuracy in inspecting parts. If the axes aren’t calibrated properly, they can produce errors. Time and use mean that you have to recalibrate coordinate measuring machines annually or any time you relocate them.
Some preventative maintenance you can easily perform yourself and some tasks should be performed regularly, such as removing dust and particles. These are the kinds of things you may need to do daily or
weekly and they include:
- Replacing filters that keep your air bearings from getting contaminated. Air bearings need to be protected with filters and a quality air supply, so never neglect to replace filters. How often you replace filters will depend on the air quality conditions in the shop – dustier environments require more frequent replacements.
- Changing controller filters, something that should be done roughly every 6 months. Overheating is a common cause of coordinate measuring machine shut downs.
- Cleaning particles off of surfaces as they can scratch measuring surfaces or probes. You can also clean bearings with a simple microfiber cloth.
Other tasks, however, are best handled by a professional. That’s when you want to call in a company such as Canadian Measurement Metrology (CMM) that offers ISO-certified repair and calibration. These tasks include repair and calibration on:
- Touch trigger probes
- Scanning probes
- Line laser and video camera sensors
One of the advantages of having a professional metrologist calibrate your machines annually is that they can also inspect the machine’s probes and sensors. In addition to the sensors, make sure they inspect the filters, the bearings, encoder gaps, and the drive. These are all essential components that are costly to fix or replace if they wear down, primarily because they can shut down or seriously slow down your inspection process. You can easily get CMM repair and maintenance services from the metrology shop where you purchased your coordinate measuring machine or a company that provides prompt and easy service. Whether it’s an annual calibration or emergency repairs, an expert metrologist can get your shop back up and running in no time. Companies like CMM also offer services like Same Day Renishaw repair across North America and get your probing systems back up and running after a breakdown.
Breakdowns are costly and time-consuming, but they can easily be avoided by sticking to a regular maintenance schedule. Avoid a catastrophe on the shop floor and make sure you’re keeping your coordinate measuring machines in tip-top condition.