CMMs, or coordinate measurement machines, are crucial for improving quality assurance and inspection capacity within aerospace, power and energy, and heavy industry.

Milan Kocic, North American Director of Business Development for Service and Support at Hexagon, spoke about the need for holistic support of CMMs within these spaces.

Why are CMMs such a sought-after piece of equipment and useful to so many industries?

“We all know, in manufacturing, there is this dream of zero defects,” Kocic said. “Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. So, while we’re not there yet, somebody has to check. A CMM exists somewhere in the production line where somebody puts these parts on, he checks it, makes sure it’s all good, and, if it’s bad, you try to find the root cause of why something might be defective. And the reason why CMMs are integral is, obviously, nobody can ship out bad parts.”

No matter if the manufacturing job is a large project like an aircraft or a smaller sized one with a larger manufacturing output scale such as automotive, the goal is the same – ensure a smooth production process with an end product that is up to quality standards.

If the game is all about precision, it is of utmost importance that routine upkeep and care be taken with CMMs to maintain consistent accuracy and performance. Historically, Kocic said the approach to maintenance was one of reaction – “call for maintenance when a machine broke down” – but Kocic also said that approach is changing.

“Nobody can wait. Time is of the essence. One thing nobody can get back is time. So, if that’s the case, you have to figure out how to be most productive and to use it wisely,” Kocic said.

The trend is now for users to become more familiar with their CMMs and know when maintenance is required. Still, Kocic admitted that, the closer CMMs are to the production process, the more potential delays that could occur if the CMM needs servicing. Putting off maintenance might be a tempting proposition, but it’s a risky gamble.

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