AIMS offers cleaning tips for equipment maintenance

Retrofitting an older CMM probe head like a PH10 with a 5-axis PH20 or REVO can boost throughput significantly. (Courtesy: AIMS Metrology)

For most manufacturers, spring cleaning means more than just manually wiping down machine surfaces and removing waste particles. And besides, basic cleaning, lubrication, and maintenance should be done on a regular basis. Some experts say it’s about organizing paperwork and optimizing production processes. Others might advise looking for ways to digitize and streamline manufacturing flow. Companies also take this time of year to review partnerships, find ways to identify inefficiencies, save time, and communicate with personnel more effectively.

When it comes to quality and inspection practices with coordinate measuring machines (CMM), Advanced Industrial Measurement Systems (AIMS) offers cleaning tips of its own, beginning with software. Are systems up-to-date? In January, Microsoft announced it would no longer support Windows 7 operating system. If you’ve been dragging your feet about making the change, you no longer have an option. You have to transition to Windows 10. And if you are using Modus software, you will need to upgrade to Version 1.8 or higher because the previous version won’t run on Windows 10. Ensuring software is current also means having the latest performance improvements from AIMS as well as maintaining virus protection and malware software, something that is increasingly important these days.

Calibration isn’t necessarily a job reserved for spring but it is something to consider. The general rule of thumb is to calibrate CMMs one year after installation and then annually. If there are multiple CMMs, scheduling calibration for all of the machines at the same time will provide a cost savings. Annual calibration ensures accurate results and establishes documentation that can be traced to NIST standards in support of ISO requirements.

If it’s been a while since the CMM was calibrated, there are several things to keep an eye out for. Are you getting unrealistic numbers from the CMM or data it generates? When you measure a part multiple times without moving it do you get results that vary from run to run? A major crash is a scenario manufacturers look to avoid, but it can be the end result if regular calibrations are overlooked for too long.

Retrofitting older equipment is an effective way to upgrade operations and it might also be something to consider if you’re preparing to support pent-up demand as more business operations resume. Retrofitting an older CMM probe head like a PH10 with a 5-axis PH20 or REVO can boost throughput significantly.