The global coordinate measuring machine (CMM) market in the automotive industry is expected to reach $1.278 billion by 2021. The global CMM market as a whole is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than seven percent between now and 2021. The primary drivers are 3D inspection of products using CMMs, rising electric vehicle sales and the increasing use of metrology in the power sector.
Events like the Vietnam War, Civil Rights protests, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King punctuated the 1960s which ended with Americans watching astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first man to set foot on the moon. The coordinate measuring machine (CMM) also traces its’ roots to this tumultuous decade. Those early models were limited, capable of nothing more than manual inspections with hard probing.
“Avengers: Endgame” is predicted to pass $937 million shortly. When that happens, media experts will crown the latest Marvel film as the biggest hit ever. The film debuted April 24 but its’ directors along with a number of media outlets have asked viewers not to spoil Endgames for others by talking about it. The point to this is that individuals have gone to great measures to protect the film from leaks and fans have endured long lines and hours of waiting in some cases, to be among the first to see the film on opening weekend.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve closed the books on yet another year. In 2018 customers talked to us about the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). The Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the Cloud and big data have changed the landscape for metal parts suppliers. We saw the demand for 100 percent part inspection increase and reshoring efforts grow. These trends have pushed the CMM into a larger measurement and inspection role on the shop floor.
Five-axis machine tools are becoming more cost efficient as the technology evolves. The capability to produce higher quality parts and increased throughput has pushed 5-axis machine tools into the spotlight over the last few years. Inherent limitations are also being ushered out of the way with updates in cutting tools and CAD/CAM software. The combination means operators can generate smooth, accurate 3D surfaces in challenging materials faster while extending tool life. Mold and die makers are already reaping the benefits but these improvements also support a number of 3D applications for aerospace and orthopedic applications.
We’ve all heard it at one time or another; the phrase ‘…everything comes in threes.’ Some people link this phrase with good things while others connect the idiom with negative events. If you think about it, we’ve been exposed to the idea of things or events happening in groups of three since we were kids.
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.
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.”
Management guru Peter Drucker famously said, "what gets measured gets managed." As manufacturers jump feet first into the brave new world of the Internet of Things (IoT), the Cloud and digital shop floors, metrology is taking on a bigger role than ever.