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Some machines fundamentally change the way society produces. This is exactly what the Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) has done, allowing North American manufacturers to automate quality control on the assembly line.
CMM machines became more popular when North American production faced serious risks from foreign factories, exacerbated by globalization. Factories in China and other countries had less regulation and a cheaper workforce, and CMM machines helped North American manufacturers remain competitive.
Let’s take a look at some of the four most popular MMCs.
The CMM bridge has been a mainstay of coordinate measuring systems since the 1970s and is still one of the most popular today. Known for its durability, exceptional reliability and reproducible results, bridge CMM technology is very cost-effective.
Bridge CMMs can be used directly in the workshop, especially for bearing or locating systems where the running surfaces are often under protective guidance from atmospheric contamination.
Gantry CMMs are similar to bridge CMMs, except that they scan and measure much larger or heavier parts. Plants that produce parts for machines such as aircraft and rockets often have to rely on the Gantry MMC to obtain accurate readings for extremely large parts.
When a room is between 1.5 and 20 meters away, a CMM bridge is the only way to accurately measure it. Gantry CMMs require little maintenance because the guides and drive systems are well protected against dirt and contamination, just like bridge CMMs.
The reference plate is completely separated from the machine structure and it is difficult to damage the gantry CMM due to improper loading of parts or elements stuck under the bridge.
Portable CMMs are the most popular worldwide. As their name suggests, they are very portable, robust, economical and give very accurate results.
From pure measurement models to integrated scanning systems, ROMER handhelds are incredibly versatile. The portable arm can not only measure and scan complex surfaces, but also reverse-engineer and collect thousands of data points per second.
The CMM portable manipulator and all its components can be transported in a small vehicle, flown over an airport or even moved in the factory. It can be used directly on the factory premises. It is the ideal solution for complex paint jobs, models, sheet metal and plastic injection moulded parts.
Digitization and scanning systems
When a part is too small or too sensitive to measure or scan with a conventional CMM, a scanning and digitizing system is needed. They often use lasers to scan the room.
There is never any contact between the CMM and the part, so it is ideal for small, delicate parts.
One of the reasons why consumers have wide access to exciting and futuristic technologies is that there are powerful and innovative machines that bring them together. These four CMMs have already changed production and are expected to continue to do so in the future.
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