Original Date: 07/08/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Coordinate Measuring Machine
In Tolerance implemented a powerful and fully automated Coordinate Measuring Machine that can download CAD models from IGES, STP, and SAT files. The system enables the company to generate a Coordinate Measuring Machine program plan and probe paths without a blueprint or part, resulting in reduced setup and inspection times.
In Tolerance manufactures a wide variety of precision parts for aerospace, industry, medical, and government/military. These parts range in size from small threaded screws and micro-valves to highly complex heat sinks and housing assemblies for military radios. Quantities range from one-of-a kind to volume production. Dimensions and tolerances must be precisely measured to ensure specifications are met before delivery to the customer. In today’s competitive world of achieving high efficiency, economical products, and quick turnaround times, final product acceptance requires optimization of measurement processes. An automated coordinated measuring system offers such a process.
Like many companies, In Tolerance originally invested in a coordinate measurement capability and found the system provided improvements over the manual measurement processes of gage blocks and calipers. Still, data entry, programming, and measurement steps were, for the most part, a semi-manual operation. As parts became increasingly complex, these steps became increasingly more time consuming. In Tolerance invested in a more powerful and fully programmable Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), the Zeiss Eclipse Model 700 with added software options. With this system, the company can download CAD models from various formats such as IGES, STP, and SAT files, all used by In Tolerance. The data can then be analyzed, and a CMM program plan and the probe paths can be generated without using a blueprint or a part. When the part is finished in the machining process, it is fixtured on the CMM table, the proper data is measured, the part is checked using the data collected from the CAD file, and the inspection data is saved in a file. The system can measure parts that fit within a 28”W x 40”L x 20”H envelope and hold accuracy to ± 10 microns.
Previously, an average complex part would require 20 hours to inspect. With implementation of the Ziess CMM, that same part now requires about four hours to program and only 15 minutes to inspect. Approximately 60% to 70% of all jobs are now inspected on the CMM.
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