With the International Manufacturing Technology Show ─ IMTS ─less than five weeks away, Mark Gearding, vice-president and co-founder of AIMS Metrology, talks about what manufacturers need most and how coordinate measuring machine technology stacks up to the challenges
We’re all aware on some level that the amount of information is growing exponentially while the amount of time we have to sift through it is shrinking. In fact, if you take a look at some statistics, the amount of data produced on a daily basis is staggering.
When it comes to coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) most of us focus on what’s right in front of us—the parts we need to inspect. Fabricators tend to be equally concerned about CMM features that can increase throughput while maintaining accuracy and quality requirements. In today’s smart factory environment the need for machine-to-machine communication and the capability to collect data that is actionable has put the spotlight on another piece of the package; the software.
No one wants to get the call that a bad part found its way to a customer. Founding father Benjamin Franklin had the solution when he said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In this case a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) makes a strong “cure.”
If you look at customer service trends for 2018 you are likely to read about things like chat support with chatbots. In theory, the chatbot eliminates the wait for customers who want answers in real time. But 73 percent of customers surveyed about their experience reported that the experience was less than positive.
In April I attended EXPOMAQ at the Poliforum Exhibition Center in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. The show is held every two years and attracts more than 10,000 visitors from a wide range of markets. Metrology equipment is among the featured machines and technology advances. Guanajuato, the show’s location, is considered the most dynamic state for automotive manufacturing with an annual growth rate of approximately 20 percent. Vehicle production is primarily located in the Bajío and fed by companies like Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW.
The ability to look back gives us the gift of hindsight especially where technology is concerned. A historical review can show us the effects of innovation over time. History can also be educational. George Washington said, “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”
We talk a lot about how important accuracy is when it comes to measuring parts. The aerospace, medical device and automotive markets, in particular, crave precision. Yet the coordinate measuring machines that perform these tasks also have to be able to withstand rugged environmental conditions. Intuitively, we all know that temperature variations impact probe measurement characteristics as well as the characteristics of the parts being measured.
Until recently, conventional 3-axis CMMs proved largely sufficient. A probe attached to a third moving axis measured a part’s physical characteristics. But slower cycle times, limited flexibility [5 to 7 1/2 degrees of polarity] and lack of mobility have proved problematic in an Industry 4.0 environment. Rigidity and high costs have made custom gauges—another type of measurement instrument— less attractive since the tool can only inspect the part it was designed for.
American singer, actor, pianist and comedian Jimmy Durante was known for two things: his distinctive gravelly speech and his prominent nose which he referred to as the Schnozzola. He coined the phrase, “The nose knows.” The ‘nose’ of 5-axis measurement technology also ‘knows’ when it comes to measuring complex part surfaces. The REVO-2 shoulders the fast motion required for higher throughput while the CMM moves in a slow, linear manner. The REVO-2’s flexible tip-sensing probe boosts accuracy and performance.
Expo Manufactura 2018 was held in February and drew more than 12,500 visitors to Monterrey, Nuevo León. The 3-day event targeted Mexico’s manufacturing and processing industries and featured the technologies and processes needed to support automotive spare parts, aerospace, energy, medical devices, electronics and home appliance supply chains. More than 300 companies exhibited their products.
A new year has most people thinking about resolutions, fresh starts and the need to purge closets, basements and garages of items destined for the Goodwill. We're here to tell you that tidying up also plays a role on the shop floor. Performing annual preventative maintenance and calibrations on your coordinate measuring machine (CMM) should be an important part of a company’s housekeeping. There are many factors you should keep in mind when doing these annual checks - so read on!
A lot of manufacturers are asking: Is Industry 4.0 actually here? Reports acknowledge that 2017 was “a breakthrough year for digital factory solutions. Additive manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and digital transformation all gained momentum, cementing the need for factory Ethernet if manufacturers want to compete globally.” Predictions for 2018 trends include IT and OT convergence, the rise of smart mechatronics, big data and analytics and the emergence of intelligent automation. So where do coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) fit in?
In the 1959 film Some Like It Hot, two male musicians witness a mob hit and flee the state disguised as women in an all-female band. Of course, things begin to heat up as further complications set in. Job shops are also looking to avoid the heat or "coefficient of thermal expansion" when it comes to needing a mobile coordinate measuring machine (CMM) that can withstand temperature variations on the production floor.
If you're a regular reader, you know we've recently explored the automobile, airplane and medical device markets and the way these manufacturers use CMMs. We've summarized some of those key points as well as some additional information into a new ebook, which we'd like to introduce with this blog. Let's start with the airline industry!
The Reshoring Initiative was founded by Harry Moser in 2010 to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. In 1985 Moser served GF Machining Solutions (formerly known as GF AgieCharmilles) as president before retiring in 2010 as chairman emeritus. His passion for manufacturing in America has fueled his reshoring efforts which have been recognized nationally. Moser was inducted into the Industry Week Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2010 and was named Quality Magazine’s Quality Professional of the year in 2012.
During the last few years Industry 4.0 has ushered the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) onto production floors across the U.S. According to IHS Markit, the number of connected IoT devices worldwide “will jump 12 percent on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030." Simply put, the IoT is a massive network that connects people, machines and devices. So what does that mean for quality?
FABTECH is North America's largest metalforming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, held every November at one of three rotating venues. This year, FABTECH opened to vendors, exhibitors and visitors in Chicago at McCormick Place. With more than 750,000 sq. ft. of floor space dedicated to approximately 1,700 world-class suppliers and the latest in industry products and developments, you're bound to see some interesting things.
Medical device makers have a lot to keep up with these days when it comes to measuring parts. Adoption of additive manufacturing is growing. 3D printed parts must meet dimensional integrity standards but may not be suited to conventional measurement methods. Casting, plastic and metal injection molding and electrical and chemical erosion techniques also create components too complex for traditional measurement methods. So what is a manufacturer to do?
These days baby boomers are more active than ever. As 70 becomes the new 50, the demand for medical implants is on the rise. According to the American Joint Replacement Registry, “hip and knee implants account for more than 85 percent of the joint reconstruction and replacement market.” The American Joint Replacement Registry also notes that more than 7 million Americans have had a knee or hip replacement surgery.
The prismatic or 3D parts that are used in joint replacements - along with other medical devices like stents and their coatings or instruments like scalpels - are tough to manufacture and even more difficult to inspect. Myriad geometries and materials contribute to the challenge of producing parts that meet stiff regulatory requirements. Meeting delivery deadlines can also present another snag if a manufacturer doesn’t have a fast and accurate inspection system.