New Advances In Metrology Equipment Increase Production Line Efficiency

After decades of decline, the manufacturing industry in North America is seeing something of a renewal in recent years, in no small part due to increases in automation that have made it possible for companies to keep overhead low while producing quality products closer to home. Automation has disrupted the orthodoxy that manufacturing operations need to follow the cheapest available labour.

One of the most important developments has been in increasing the interoperability of production lines. By making it easier for the Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) performing quality control assessment to provide instant feedback to upstream production functions, the more integrated systems that automation is making possible can respond to errors in real time, addressing issues before they become major problems.

If you want to ensure that your production line is running the most up-to-date metrology tools, you’ll want to see the latest CMM equipment and tech and learn how it can help your production line improve efficiency and produce high quality parts. From cutting-edge laser scanners to ROMER portable arms, specialized metrology equipment can play an important role in everything from prototyping new parts to reverse engineering CAD models. Leveraging the power of new metrology equipment is one of the most important ways to guarantee you are using the best tools available, and these are just a few examples of advances in metrology that are making it possible for manufacturers to reduce waste, improve accuracy, and speed up the production process:

Vision And Multisensor Systems

As an umbrella term, CMM covers a lot of different technologies. Some of the most exciting new developments have revolved around the use of measuring tools aside from the tactile probes that dominate the industry. Multisensor systems use lasers and other non-tactile tools to measure parts that are difficult to handle with a probe, and can do so three to five times as quickly as more convention CMMs  

Integrated Inspection Software

Some of the biggest metrology developments in the past two years have to do with software rather than equipment, and perhaps no software development has gotten more attention than Polyworks Inspector 2017 — the first-ranked point cloud inspection software in the world.

Among the many new features that come with the Inspector software, its ability to measure and monitor wear and tear on tools and detect decreases in product quality has been particularly lauded.

Portable CMMs

One of the most significant developments in recent years has been the growing availability of sophisticated portable CMM options. ROMER arms have long been an important measurement solution for parts and products not well served by traditional gantry-style CMMs, but portable 3D scanners like the RS1 Integrated Scanner are perfect for situations where a fast, flexible scanner that can inspect, measure, and reverse-work pieces is needed.

The coming decades will see huge opportunities for manufacturers who are able to take advantage of the increased automation and greater interoperability that is coming with the fourth industrial revolution. Adopting the latest metrology equipment and software is central to ensuring that your production lines are as responsive, flexible, and accurate as possible, and can deliver high quality parts and goods as efficiently as possible.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.