looking to buy cmm - software questions

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  • looking to buy cmm - software questions

    Greetings all,
    We are looking at getting our first cmm. One of the front runners is a Brown and Sharpe with PC-Dmis Pro. I want to know for sure what that version fo software does and does not do so I get what I need without upgrading 4 times. I do have some questions, but first a few answers:
    1. We primarily have 2-3 high volume every day running 16 hour parts we want to program in a dcc machine to auto inspect while we run.
    2. we need an inspection report printed off so any program adjustments can be made manually if required
    3. We'd like to get it into some kind of excel spreadsheet/ spc software so we can graph a history and see what we are chasing.
    4. right now we are using an electronic height gage and writing the numbers/ sdjustments down.

    I realise there is PC-dmis-CAD and cad++,,,We do have CAD/solid modeling but rarely need to inspect directly to them. What is the annual service contract costs? I assume this is like solidworks where there is a service contract. What is native, if anything in PC DMIS Pro for spc/ export data/ inspection reports? What else should I be asking?

  • #2
    IMO:
    You're going to need to get CAD, and Datapage. Get it now, because the day you need it, it will be there. The big wigs will be really reluctant to spring 7K for an upgrade. Trust me.
    Pay your SMA's
    Stick close to the forum and all will be ok. Your with us now.....

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    • #3
      Wow, what a scary bunch that is....
      sigpic
      Xcel 15-20-10 - PFXcel 7-6-5 - Merlin 11-11-7 - Romer Absolute 7525SI
      PCDMIS 2012
      Windows Office XP

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rangerboat72 View Post
        Wow, what a scary bunch that is....
        Yeah, and NO BUCKET hat anywhere to be seen!
        sigpic
        Originally posted by AndersI
        I've got one from September 2006 (bug ticket) which has finally been fixed in 2013.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Matthew D. Hoedeman View Post
          Yeah, and NO BUCKET hat anywhere to be seen!
          LOL...
          sigpic
          Xcel 15-20-10 - PFXcel 7-6-5 - Merlin 11-11-7 - Romer Absolute 7525SI
          PCDMIS 2012
          Windows Office XP

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          • #6
            If you don't feel you will ever use the CAD you may want to stay with the program that comes with the CMM that you do buy.

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            • #7
              Well, since we made our smart-a$$ comments, I guess some serious comments would be good as well (not meant to match YOUR list):

              1) Get as MANY options in Pcdmis as you can from the get-go. Sure as snot drips out of kids' noses, the day will come when you need an option that the CAD++ has if you don't have it, and I would imagine that a package-deal to begin with will be cheaper than adding it later. I would bet money that you will never use ALL the cAD++ options (heck, I don't even use half of them!), but then again, I would also bet that you will use SOME of them, some day.

              2) Datapage IS outmoded, but it IS designed to work hand-in-glove with Pcdmis. There are other options and other ways, once you can get them to work, but Datapage works right out of the box, so to speak.

              3) Datapage data CAN be exported to files and read in by Excel, in several different ways.

              4) Datapage CAN make pretty pictures, but so ca Excel, but generally speaking, you probably won't need them. I didn't use them much myself for anything, until I added some to my master Excel files.

              5) Dataview is a Datapage "add-on", I see no need for it myself, but maybe, just maybe, you might like it. There is also MONITOR, which is, as far as I know, part of Datapage, and SHOULD do 'real-time' monitoring of your SPC collections.

              6) Pcdmis CAN put measurement data into an Excel sheet (there are downloads for this) but I have never used them and I do not know if it is automatic or if the operator has to do something.

              7) Datapage is NOT automatic in the creation of reports, but they are pretty simple to do, once you have done them once or twice. Unfortunately, you can not customize the tool bars so you can limit the operators choices to just what you want them to be able to do (specific charts/reports instead of ALL of them).

              Can't think of any more right now, but that should give you some ideas.
              sigpic
              Originally posted by AndersI
              I've got one from September 2006 (bug ticket) which has finally been fixed in 2013.

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              • #8
                I would agree as to get as many options cad++ off the bat. I don't have them and now they won't pay for them. Getting a new machine so I hope it will be with that 1
                sigpic
                if you had soap on a rope it would be tied to yer ankle

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                • #9
                  Keep the input coming guys, I have seen a manual mitutoyo cmm operated a couple times, but never run one myself. Its my own money I'll be spending, I am the big whig. Its not that I don't see that some of the features of the CAD and CAD++ would not be used eventually, but for the primary purpose I simply don't need it. This is a tool intended to save time in inspection, increase my inspection frequency due to saved time and improve my quality stats by a better representative population. I am looking to get a motorized probe head so it can be a semi auto cycle with just load and go.... but I need to see one of these work first. It looks like Wilcox may be under the hexagon metrology umbrella, and I was hoping that there were some " experienced user discounts" down the road. The one thing on the more expensive software, 9 days training,,, what " easy to use" software can possibly take 9 days training? The Pro has 2 days I think, the cad++ has 9..... Is this stuff g code like?

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                  • #10
                    Nope, it is NOT G-Code, it is more like verbal text.

                    It can be as easy as CLICK and MEASURE, however, unless you are measuring something like a 1-2-3 block, it IS more than that, move points, clearance planes, relative features, etc. I have not seen a 9-day class, didn't know that there was one. However, the basic class will get you going on simple, mostly flat inspection items, then, depending on how smart the person is that is running it, curves (or sheet metal or CAD++) is not a lot harder. When you get into fixtuing parts, that adds some complications as there are now 'things' to program around. AND, by all means, get a motorized head, stationary heads are a MAJOR pain as compared to a motorized one. I doubt that you need the most expensive one (infinit-indexable) but a PH10T would work just fine.
                    sigpic
                    Originally posted by AndersI
                    I've got one from September 2006 (bug ticket) which has finally been fixed in 2013.

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                    • #11
                      Just a few thoughts.

                      What kind of parts are you running? What kind of measurements do you need to take? Does your customer require PPAP? Are you using fixtures to hold your parts during height gage checks? Do you have a climate controlled area where you can put a CMM? What kind of tolerances do you need to hold? Is your customer going to require you to check your part to "CAD IS MASTER"?

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                      • #12
                        We are our own customer, novel concept that it is anymore. We make several parts for our own firearm product line that we measure geometric features on. Holes, flats, planes, locations relative to hole axis, etc. The tolerances are generally +/- 0.001", some +/-0.0005, depending on feature. The part is in a fixture that will probably change slightly for the cmm. The part is machined in (2) 4 axis HMC's and a broach. The climate controlled room is something we'd be adding for the cmm. The ph10t is what we are looking at. The CAD is master is a BS way to work, its difficult to express any kind of tolerance on CAD models of any type I am familiar with. If you can generate the model you can make an inspection print with only required data.
                        Last edited by willeo6709; 04-23-2007, 05:35 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I believe he means that CAD has 5 days training and then CAD ++ has 4 days training...total of 9
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                          • #14
                            Look into all the environmental requirements of a CMM. The greater the accuracy you need the more rigidly controled your environment will need to be.

                            Also look hard at what types and size of features you are going to be measuring and consider what types of parts future products might require. I suspect that a probe changer might be a good investment for you since you want to run as "automatic" as possible. The tp20 system with a tool rack, (changer), will allow you to switch tips in the middle of a program without an operator's attention, and reduce the amount of time spent calibrating tips.

                            Lastly I would encourage to go CAD++ even if you don't think you need it. If you or someone in your company really learns to use this machine to it's full advantage, these features will allow the machine to do the things you want and need it to do.
                            sigpic"Hated by Many, Loved by Few" _ A.B. - Stone brewery

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by willeo6709 View Post
                              We are our own customer, novel concept that it is anymore. We make several parts for our own firearm product line that we measure geometric features on.
                              Man what a place to work Playing with CMMs and guns all day!
                              Xcel & MicroVal Pfx & Global 37mr4 thru 2012mr1sp3
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                              Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth. Amen.

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