AIMS Metrology Blog

The Power of Choice: New, Retrofit or Upgrade

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Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” It can sometimes seem that way in manufacturing. Take coordinate measuring machines. Everyone is looking to improve throughput for parts inspection. However - is purchasing a new CMM the only way to get there?  Many CMM manufacturers (OEMs) will say "yes." We say that new isn’t always better. Retrofitting or upgrading an existing CMM are also effective options. Some OEMs offer all three - new, retrofit or upgrade -  and making an informed choice can lead to results that boost your bottom line.  Let's take a closer look at the three choices. 

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A retrofit includes software and hardware modifications while an upgrade focuses solely on software improvements. How do you determine which path is right for your company? An OEM that provides new machines, retrofits and upgrades will first evaluate your current equipment to assess its value. For example, if you're dealing with a small CMM, a replacement may cost about the same as a retrofit. However, the Delta value gap jumps significantly when you compare the cost of a new large CMM and the investment a retrofit might require.

Any data analysis should include a budget, time studies and throughput demonstrations based on an inspection of your parts. You'll get cost and performance comparisons for both purchasing a new machine and retrofitting an existing one. (AIMS performs its data analyses using Renishaw 5-axis technology.) In addition, the time studies the OEM provides should compare 5-axis measurement technology with the inspection process you, the customer, are currently using.

If a manufacturer’s budget doesn’t support a new machine purchase, it's essential to work with an OEM that provides retrofit services for all CMM makes and models. This requires an OEM service team that has a deep knowledge pool and actual field experience with servicing, calibrating and programming CMMs  from all markets and brands.

Software upgrades should be performed by an OEM that is equipped to provide demonstrations and comparison studies based on the latest software. AIMS demonstrates its MODUS software offline on a laptop, and can demonstrate software and hardware using PH20 or REVO scanning technology in an online WebEx meeting. WebEx demonstrations help our customer's bottom line, saving on travel and meeting expenses. A WebEx demo can accommodate up to 12 engineers, providing an environment that promotes a good exchange of questions and ideas.

Manufacturers are continually being asked to do more with less, and in shorter time frames. Why waste time? Choose the OEM that can help you make the right choices for your hardware and software.

AIMS Metrology at IMTS

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