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Dimensional Measurement Blog

The Importance of Part Sorting & Inspection Services

Posted by Mike Knicker on Jun 30, 2017 3:21:36 PM

 How Does It Measure Up CMMs vs Articulating Arms.jpg

We all know the old adage, "time is money." For OEMs especially, both time and money are essential factors when it comes to the entire production process, from design down to inspection. With the exponential improvements to the technology involved in the production process, the amount of time it usually takes to mass produce parts has been considerably curtailed, saving companies also on the cost it usually takes to previously produce those parts. But what happens when something goes wrong in the final stages of production, and defective parts are shipped out?

Can it be fixed?

The solution depends on factors unique to your specific schedule and cost of production. Will the cost to recall the parts back to their original destination be significantly more than the cost to have the parts inspected and sorted at their shipping destination? How much time will be involved in the inspection, sorting, and containment of the parts compared to the amount of time it will take to have them scrapped and start over with production? No one likes having to deal with the consequences of mistakes, but part sorting and inspection at the shipment's destination can be a viable solution for these mistakes when the factors of keeping costs down and maintaining the delivery schedule are of critical importance.

What will fix the situation?

Inspecting and sorting parts at the shipment's destination is a corrective measure that may involve quite a few more services. It is important to find a company that is able to deploy personnel quickly to efficiently execute on these types of services, thereby streamlining the process to help get things back on track.

In addition to part sorting and inspection, some of these services include:

  • Part Rework or Repair
  • Light Assembly
  • Part Containment
  • Quality Partnerships
  • Scanning

Every company wants happy customers. Inspecting and sorting parts at their destination may help save time and money in the corrective process to stay on schedule and deliver the right parts. Services that help you provide defect-free products also help to reinforce your relationship with your customers while maintaining your product's integrity.

Q-PLUS Labs offers a full spectrum of solutions

As a registered ISO 9001 and ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, Q-PLUS Labs is committed to making sure your product meets your expectations at the highest standards. With our fully equipped dimensional metrology lab, our personnel are veterans at helping our customers maintain their product's integrity. Whether you require on-site inspection or in a controlled lab environment, we deploy both speed and accuracy with our services, and will help you maintain your tight schedule. With over 30 years of experience in the field, you can be assured that we are deeply knowledgeable in understanding our customer's needs when it comes to maintaining and delivering quality.

Contact us for assistance with your dimensional measurement needs, part sorting and inspection questions, or to request a quote.

Nano Measurement Ebook

 

 
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Topics: dimensional measurement, 3D scanners, dimensional inspection equipment, 3D scanning equipment, dimensional measurement services, metrology lab, part sorting, part sorting and inspection, part containment, part rework, part inspection, sorting services, inspection services

How Does It Measure Up: CMMs vs. Articulating Arms

Posted by Mike Knicker on May 31, 2017 4:18:18 PM

 How Does It Measure Up CMMs vs Articulating Arms.jpg

How are your measurements adding up? Do you need automation combined with a high level of accuracy? Or perhaps, your application demands a portable measurement device for its ability to reach difficult to measure features? With the ever growing need for accurate measurements in a rapid paced manufacturing industry, knowing the best type of universal 3D dimensional measurement device available for your application will help streamline both your manufacturing and quality inspection processes. 

What is a CMM?

Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) are mechanical systems that use measuring transducer technology to convert probe and physical measurements of an object's surface into electrical signals that are then analyzed by specialized metrology software. There are many different types of CMMs; cmm_descrip.jpgthe most basic systems use hard probes and XYZ read-outs, while the most complex employ fully automated continuous contact probing. For a system like a bridge CMM which uses this set of axes, each axis is used to indicate the system's position or location in space. The probe head determines the values on the Z-axis by moving up and down the system's bridge. The system's Y-axis determines its values by moving over the entire CMM's base. The values for the X-axis are determined by moving back and forth across the bridge.

Stationary CMMs such as bridge type CMMs, provide quality assurance with efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility due to their programmability. They can be set up for automated, repeated measuring tasks which do not need to be reprogrammed each time. In general, CMMs come with a wide array of sensors and probes and are ten times more accurate than articulating arms. However, due to the sensitive nature of these measuring instruments such as contact and vision-based probes as well as vision and laser sensors, which comprise most CMMs, a temperature and humidity controlled environment is an important factor to consider prior to incorporating a system into the quality inspection process. Unlike articulating arms which offer portability, CMMs are usually stationary or cumbersome to move. Also, there are a number of different software programs that run the machines, which would mean a significant investment in training CMM operators.

What is an Articulating Arm?

An articulating arm is a type of CMM that uses rotary encoders on multiple rotation axes instead of linear scales to determine the position of the probe. These manual systems are not automated, but they are portable and can reach around or into objects in a way that cannot be accomplished with a conventional CMM to perform 3D inspections, tool certifications, CAD comparison, dimensional analysis, reverse engineering, and more. The movement of the articulating arm allows for ease of use, as well as a broader scope of measuring ability as it pivots at the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and base of the system. The encoders at the system's base triangulate the location of each joint to the probe tip in 3D space.

articulating_arm_descrip.jpg

The measurements of very large parts can be easily accommodated by moving the articulating arm into another location around that part. The system's robust software is able to compile the measurement data from these individual locations and stitch all the data together to extend the measurement volume.

The ability to easily transport a highly accurate system such as an articulating arm allows users to take measurements onsite and in difficult to reach scenarios, without having to disassemble parts or transport large and heavy parts onto a fixed base. Improvements to articulating arms also include the integration of laser line scanners in combination with the traditional touch probe, thereby allowing the system to seamlessly scan across a diversity of surface materials, including those with high contrast, reflectivity, and geometric complexities. Unlike fixed CMMs, the probe of an articulating arm is not restricted to travel within the extent of a confined measurement bed. However, compared to the CMM which can be programmed to automate measurement, the articulating arm is manual and dependent on the operator to take measurements by moving the probe to each location on the part, and produces measurements which are generally less accurate than the fixed CMM. Operators will also have to learn to adjust to the motion of using the articulating arm, as it is fixed to a base.

Consider All Factors

There is not a single particular factor that will determine if a CMM or an articulating arm is best suited for your specific application. However, factors to consider that will inevitably affect the final decision will include:

  • Accuracy of measurement results
  • Portability of the system
  • Size of the parts being measured
  • Features that will be measured
  • Degree of automation required during measurement
  • Cost of the system
  • Cost of training operators

Q-PLUS Labs has been a leading dimensional measurement laboratory since 1987 and, in addition to its wide array of services and products, specializes in helping companies find the right measurement solutions to meet their needs. Contact us for answers to your dimensional measurement and inspection questions or to request a quote.

Nano Measurement Ebook

 

 
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Topics: dimensional measurement, dimensional inspection, 3D scanners, dimensional inspection equipment, CMMs, articulating arms, 3D scanning equipment, Faro Arm, dimensional measurement services, measurement services,, coordinate measuring machines, metrology lab