CMM Software Then and Now Podcast: How to Measure Parts Faster
All images courtesy: InnovMetric
Listen to Quality's latest podcast with managing editor, Michelle Bangert. She spoke with InnovMetric's Marc Soucy who explains how CMM software can help you measure parts quickly and accurately, how to use these techniques most effectively, and how automating can help.
Listen to the complete podcast here.
Below is an excerpt from the podcast:
What changes have you seen in software for CMMs?
I’d like to talk about three key changes related to measurement planning, operator productivity, and machine performance.
Firstly, the measurement planning process is simplified
Manufacturing organizations used to convey their parts’ dimensional requirements solely through 2D drawings. As a result, CMM operators had to interpret these drawings and determine and create the geometry and dimensions to be measured, a manual and time-consuming process. Modern CMM software can now import part CAD models and Product Manufacturing Information associated to 3D CAD geometry, thereby automating the creation of geometries and dimensions to be measured by a CMM.
CMM operators are also more productive
Previously, the programming of CMMs used to be a long and tedious process. A cohort of expert CMM operators has mastered these techniques, but many of them are approaching retirement. Fortunately, change is on the horizon with new, more user-friendly, and automated programming methods. The new generation of operators will learn to program a CMM much more quickly than before. And the easier-to-use CMM software will also help break down silos in metrology labs. Portable metrology operators can now learn to use CMMs, making work organization easier.
Finally, machine performance is optimized
Manufacturers can continually optimize their measurement performance by leveraging their CMM software, for example by laser scanning entire surfaces or using innovative probe heads or sensors to measure their parts more quickly.
How can manufacturers get the most out of their software?
There is a lot to be said on this topic. Let me present five different strategies to maximize the impact of your CMM software solution.
Ensure appropriate training for all the staff who will be using the software
Without adequate training, it can be really time-consuming to find your way around new software. Save a lot of time and effort in the long run by hiring experts to show you the ropes. Getting inside knowledge and expert advice means that there is less time spent trying to work out where things are and what they do, and more time concentrating on the job at hand. You need your team to be as productive as possible, and with the right training and support, they will be. It’s also a fact that if an employee is confident in their job, they are happier, more motivated, and have greater job satisfaction.
Next, allocate a ‘Super User’ within your team
Select one or two people to dedicate their time to the software solution and learn all the processes and procedures. This way you have knowledgeable people on hand for advice, and issues can be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. This approach will pay for itself many times over.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from technical support and dedicated user groups
Issues and questions will inevitably arise when your staff is actually using the application to do their job. Having experts available to provide guidance and address questions is critical.
Make an effort to participate in user-community activities such as seminars, conferences, and forums in order to exchange, and get advice and guidance from people who use the software on a daily basis. The user-community members are people minded just like you, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
Another strategy is to update your software on a regular basis
Performing updates when new releases are available is a must. Software updates address existing issues, such as bugs and crashes, and provide new and improved functionalities that can help speed up your measurement processes. Software updates also provide device plug-in upgrades that can extend the service life of your CMMs.
Of course, businesses grow and change over time. Using an application the same way it was configured years ago, when it was first implemented, may not match up with today’s business requirements. The wasted time and issues that result can be significant. Updating to the newest software version can definitely boost efficiency and productivity.
Finally, make the most of free self-learning training
Sometimes, staff simply forget what they were taught if it isn’t used on a regular basis. You can find free training online to assist you with your software and updates. Even if you’re an expert, you might learn something new!
Listen to the complete interview in the podcast below.
Listen to more podcasts here.Michelle BangertMarc Soucy Listen to the complete podcast here.What changes have you seen in software for CMMs?Firstly, the measurement planning process is simplifiedCMM operators are also more productiveFinally, machine performance is optimizedHow can manufacturers get the most out of their software?Ensure appropriate training for all the staff who will be using the softwareNext, allocate a ‘Super User’ within your teamDon’t be afraid to ask for help from technical support and dedicated user groupsAnother strategy is to update your software on a regular basisFinally, make the most of free self-learning trainingListen to the complete interview in the podcast below.