Before we delve into why getting a retrofit controller for your CMM is a good idea, it will help to start with the basics as to what a CMM is and what it does. A CMM or coordinate measuring machine is a tool that measures the geometry of the surface of an object by sensing the points on that surface with a probe. CMM machines come in many forms. Some are computer-controlled while others are controlled manually by an operator.
CMM machines also use various kinds of probes to sense surfaces. For example, there are CMM machines that use laser probes, mechanical probes, optical probes, and white light probes. CMM machines use a reference point in order to specify a probe’s position. Some CMM machines allow for probe angling in order to measure hard-to-reach surfaces. Hence, CMMs generally offer greater precision than other measurement tools such as micrometers and calipers.
CMM machines allow for parts to be upgraded and one of the parts that are likely to be upgraded is the CMM controller. There are numerous benefits to upgrading your CMM controller which we are going to explore in this article.
Reduce CMM Downtime
A worn-out controller can easily lead to serious measurement errors or worse, complete breakdown of the CMM machine. For this reason, it is better to catch the problem early and change the controller before it gets to this point. Even though the changes will necessitate some downtime, this is short relative to the downtime that would be occasioned by a breakdown. Proactively changing the controller leads to fewer errors and eliminates any chance of the complete breakdown due to a malfunctioning controller.
Take Advantage Of New Technologies
The technology around controllers is always changing and replacing your CMM controller allows you to take advantage of modern technology without having to get a completely new CMM. Better controller technology leads to more accurate readings and helps to keep the CMM machine operating at optimal levels.
Prepare For The Future
Related to the previous section is the fact that changing your CMM controller will put you in a better position to prepare for next-generation CMMs. What this means is that by upgrading your CMM, you are ensuring that your machining process can keep up with modern technologies and prepare for future expectations.
Extend Your CMM’s Capabilities
By upgrading your CMM controller, you ensure that your CMM can do more. For example, upgrading to some of the new CMM controllers can transform you CMM and give it new capabilities such as touch-trigger and also add non-contact measurement capabilities. All these changes lead to more precise measurements and greater flexibility when using the CMMs.
Lower Your Training Costs
Newer CMM controller technologies come with simulation capabilities which mean that you can effectively train machine operators via modern digital technology. This translates to significantly lower training costs and shorter training time.
As you can see, there are quite a number of benefits to retrofitting your CMM controllers. If you notice that your CMM controllers are reaching the end of their shelf life, don’t be afraid to upgrade and install new controllers. It will give your CMM machines a new lease of life as well as offer you many other benefits.