3 steps to upgrading your metrology software
A coordinate measuring machine is one of the longest-lasting pieces of equipment in your shop. That’s great in terms of your ROI, but while mechanically sound for decades, the machine does need to have parts of it upgraded regularly, including its computer, controller, and software. Software is constantly changing and the difference between updates is often substantial. If you need to upgrade your software, follow these three steps to finding the right solution.
Step #1: Evaluate Your Objectives
Before you can consider what kind of metrology software you need in your shop, evaluate your objectives: what do you want your metrology equipment to accomplish? If you can replace the long, drawn-out process of creating CADs with reverse engineering, laser scanning and laser scanning software can save you hours of labor time. Anytime you use laser scanners or white light scanning, you need software that can handle hundreds of thousands of data points and output data in 3D. Polyworks Modeler is a reverse engineering software that generates manufacturable polygonal models. There’s also tube inspection software from ROMER that allows you to eliminate the trial and error in adjusting your CNC tube bending machine parameters.
Consult with a metrology dealer like Canadian Measurement Metrology Inc. (CMM) about your inspection needs. They can help you clarify your objectives and direct you towards a software program that will get the job done.
Step #2: Select the Right Program
Once you have clear objectives, it becomes much easier to decide what software program you need, but what if you don’t need to perform a specialized task or use equipment like a laser scanner? You have a number of options, as most OEMs also offer software, but PC-DMIS is one of the most widely used coordinate measuring machine software programs in the world. It simplifies set up and alignment and reduces manual inspection. It monitors the performance and accuracy of your machine tools and allows you to identify machine tool errors, programming errors, tool wear, and errors due to set up. Different PC-DMIS programs exist depending on the parts you’re inspecting, including gears and blades, as well as programs for laser trackers and portable arms.
When you have multiple machines across your shop collecting data, managing it can also become unwieldy. That’s when a program like DataPage+ SPC comes in handy, allowing you to collect data from across your shop in one place and monitor inspections in real time.
Step #3: Training
The final step to upgrading your shop’s metrology software is online CMM training, available for popular programs like PC-DMIS. There are many levels of expertise with a program like PC-DMIS, and while basically-trained users can competently operate and program a coordinate measuring machine that runs on PC-DMIS, they may lack advanced skills that can help them identify programming or machine tool errors. The advantage of online training, available from metrologists CMM, is that you don’t need to lose more working hours from members of your QA crew than necessary while they go out-of-shop to train.
If you want your shop to stay ahead of the curve, you need to upgrade your metrology software. Evaluate your inspection needs, choose the right program for your shop, and train operators.