Increasing Quality Control and Productivity with CMM Automation
Shops of all sizes and types are feeling pressure from customers to improve consistency and quality of the machining process. As tolerances are being tightened in high-volume manufacturing settings, such as a manufacturing cell or transfer line, simply delivering parts that satisfy documentation and regulatory requirements is no longer the gold standard.
This challenge of increasing quality control and production efficiency has a solution: automating coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) to inspect parts on the shop floor.
Advancement through Automation
Before in-line CMM automation, dimensional integrity of machined parts produced in a high-volume setting was accomplished by operators performing manual spot-checks of part dimensions using single-purpose gage heads stationed on the production line. These gages, however, were only able to access a few dimensions due to physical constraints and high costs, and the result was many unusable machined parts.
With the automation and incorporation of CMMs on the shop floor the manufacturing process is optimized, enabling corrective actions with real-time feedback. This allows operators and attendants to easily verify part quality and check machine tool setups with speed and efficiency.
Consequently, customers up the supply chain benefit from:
- Improved product quality
- Optimized throughput
- Higher productivity
- Superior cost efficiencies
- Closed-loop manufacturing
- Low operational cost
ZEISS Offers the Best Integrations of CMMs and Automation
ZEISS offers CMMs with fully automated feeding systems and robot cells, providing the ideal inspection solution for companies that want rapid inspection while maintaining a continuous flow of production.
Maximum precision and speed, combined with a fully automated pallet feed system, make ZEISS CMMs the automation solution for a harsh manufacturing environment. A variable workpiece base makes for ideal automated loading. Roughness sensors further increase the flexibility of the entire system, enabling the effective capture of size, form, position and surface parameters on one machine all without re-fixturing.
Automated CMMs are designed as processing centers, ensuring high rigidity with a large measuring volume of more than one cubic meter. Sensitive guideway elements are outside of the loading zone, and a sensor system ensures machine and plant safety, allowing for unmanned operation.
ZEISS CMMs without an automated feeding system can be integrated into a robot cell. An arm within the cell picks up and loads parts into the CMM. This activates the CMM to inspect the part in the process. Once the part is qualified, the robot puts finished parts on an outbound belt.
The Value of Metrology Expertise and Experience
The demand for higher quality and greater consistency of parts can be met with the increasing versatility of CMMs. Through automation, with both automated feeding systems and robotic cells, CMMs are essential to the overall production process.
When selecting the best CMMs to be integrated directly in the production line, you can have confidence with ZEISS Industrial Quality Solutions as a reliable metrology partner by your side.