Manufacturers and testing services use coordinate measuring machines, or CMMs, to inspect the dimensional quality and characteristics of manufactured goods to ensure they meet design requirements. CMM inspections use these machines to measure parts or the entirety of a three-dimensional object and compare those measurements against the design file's specifications. They measure objects along the X, Y, and Z axes to provide a three-dimensional assessment of the product.
CMMs work by having a probe that moves along the surface of a product or uses sensors to indirectly measure surface qualities. Along with its probe, each machine has a base or bed that holds the product and a computer that both directs the probe and gathers the resulting measurement data.
Because CMMs can measure components along all three axes, the machines can collect a lot of in-depth data about the item. The probe offers very sensitive readings because the CMM's attached computer notes the exact position of the probe against a product's surface, allowing it to map the measured object's orientation, size, features, and position. Some of the different types of measurements it can take include the following:
CMM inspections are valuable throughout the manufacturing sector. As parts and assemblies become more complex, more specialized, and more efficient, manufacturers need tight quality control processes to ensure that parts fit the parameters of the original design project. So CMMs are used to inspect geometrically complex goods, molded or machined parts, electronic assemblies, and more. With advanced CMMs, manufacturers can measure everything from the dimensions to the smoothness of the surface finish to ensure quality compliance.
CMM inspections are particularly vital in these industries:
CMM inspections are frequently used for:
Automotive manufacturers use CMM inspections to assess the dimensional requirements of the following parts within accepted tolerances:
Manufacturers use CMM inspections to confirm the quality of essential products such as stents, pacemakers, and artificial joints.
Military manufacturing companies use CMMs to ensure aircraft engine parts, weaponry components, and missile parts comply with necessary standards.
CMM inspections are used to assess microchips, electric connectors, and printed circuit board configurations.
Molds are tested to ensure they maintain all necessary design considerations.
CMMs can measure tools and dies across every dimension before production begins.
CMM inspections are vital for ensuring the high-quality production of turbines, generator components, and power transmission systems.