Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Programming Coordinate Measuring Machines
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis uses an off-line programming procedure to create inspection data points for checking machined parts using a ZEISS Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). A programmer familiar with the APT programming language can quickly generate a program that automates the inspection of machined part features using the CMM.
The program for the CMM is created off-line in APT language on a Unigraphics workstation. The intermediate moves necessary to avoid collisions with the part being inspected are included in the program at that time. Once the program is verified, it can be downloaded to the CMM for use when the part is ready for inspection.
The benefits of programming off-line include efficient use of the CMM by eliminating the use of manual programming methods. This allows the operator to devote efforts to part inspection rather than evaluating and interpreting engineering drawings associated with the part. It also provides a consistent inspection method regardless of personnel performing the inspection. Another benefit is detecting drawing and model deficiencies before the actual part inspection. Currently, in addition to Dimensional Inspection, off-line programs are able to evaluate cylindricity, straightness, roundness and flatness of the machined parts inspected using the ZEISS CMM. In the manual mode, the CMM is capable of evaluating all geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) functions.
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