Setting up a brand new CMM

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  • Setting up a brand new CMM

    Hello to all,
    I am calling on you guys today to see if you can help me get organized in a logical time efficient way, we received our new CMM, we got the room built around it and Hexagon is here to do the installation, all is going well, the machine that we bought is a Global 07-10-07 with most of the bells and whistles, including scanner, tool changer,etc.
    My question is, once the machine is handed to us I am sure that there will be some issues to decide as far as how o set up filing system and probably some things that I do not know about, can someone who has experience with setting up a machine fresh out of the box help guide me, or give me some pointers as to what issues they ran into and any recommendations on setting things up so we can maximize the usage and potential of this great tool.
    I sure hope I am making sense, but thank you guys very much in advance, I do appreciate any help at all. have a good day.

  • #2
    The first thing you need to do is make sure either you or whoever handles your IT get everything set up properly. This post should help

    Not having the permissions set correctly for the user accounts that will be running the CMM is one of the biggest cause of support calls as it is frequently overlooked. It is normally best to do this BEFORE connecting to your corporate network as once you connect, the domain policies get applied and generally lock everything down.
    Neil Challinor
    PC-DMIS Product Owner

    T: +44 870 446 2667 (Hexagon UK office)
    E: [email protected]


    • #3
      Probably should decide on a measurement routine naming convention early on. The naming convention could work many different ways depending our your business.

      If you are only doing receiving inspection you may want to name your programs with art number, part revision, PROGRAM revision and possibly special cases or vendor. Something like 123456 A4 FAI ACME mfg. If you are making the parts yourself then something along the lines of part number, part revision PROGRAM revision and operation number may work for you 123456 A4 Op 20. Main thing is come up with something that makes sense for you.

      Make sure that whoever is going to do the programming has an excellent understanding of GD&T. They should have very solid surface plate experience too. The training that you get will ONLY cover the software. It assumes that you have a decent understanding of metrology and will not attempt to teach you that.

      Don't go in for level 2 or 3 training too early. Assuming no CMM background it will take 6 months to a year to really figure out what you are doing. Six or nine months down the road you'll look back on some programs and wonder what the heck was I thinking. You'll do the same thing a year after that. This stuff just takes time to figure out. I've worked with PC DMIS for nearly 20 years and I still learn new things about the software or ways of doing things every year. (sometimes every month)

      Make sure that plenty of time is available after training to just mess with the machine. Do not delay getting on the machine after training. First couple of weeks are critical. Things will evaporate extremely quickly.

      Consider buying or making a modular fixture kit. You can make measurement routines to be load and go as long as you can locate a fixture plate at approximately the same location. Dedicated fixtures are nice but you have to store them somewhere close by. May want to invest in several fixture plates down the road just to be able to quickly swap out jobs. DOCUMENT your setup.


      • #4
        Nice bits of kit!

        First get training. Then get more training. Then get more training.

        I'm not disagreeing with kingsld1 btw, I'm not talking about getting Level 2 or Level 3 training (if you try learn too much too soon it will go in one ear and out the other), but after the initial training course if you can get someone in and on-site for a couple of days every month who knows this stuff, you will benefit enormously, not only in terms of not getting into bad habits, but in terms of getting more efficient and making the most of the equipment.

        Automettech - Automated Metrology Technology


        • #5
          program management. 1-out type of work really needs a different setup than production work, which needs a different setup than short-term work.

          1-out kinda sucks as all the work you do is 'done with' when the 1 is gone.
          production requires not only accuracy but speed, both in programming and in execution and 'idiot-proof' management so a program for 'part a' doesn't get run on 'part b'
          short-term is sorta like production, just more limited in scope. You will want something easy to 'archive' to a safe backup location once done.

          my work is short-term, we are a build shop. Build a tool, prove it out, fix what is wrong, then ship it to a production shop. I have a cad package, often I need to do some of my own design work for the job. It sucks having Pcdmis programs "here", cad package files "there", cad package IGES files 'over there' and part iges file 'way over there'.

          I have a batch file that I use for a new job, pretty simple and easy, type in "NEWJOB "xxxxxx (where xxxxxx is the job number). It creates all my folders & sub-folders (directories for us old guys).
          Makes it so I have a 'known' location of each type of file, and all in one 'main' sub-directory, so when it is time to archive the job, it is just one folder that needs to be moved.

          BUT, directory structure is important for both long & short-term work. Helps to keep things organized which makes the job easier.

          Originally posted by AndersI
          I've got one from September 2006 (bug ticket) which has finally been fixed in 2013.


          • #6
            2 Things that are hopefully part of the room/setup already, but in case they aren't:
            • Great air filtration ensuring the machine never gets oiled thru the airlines.
            • Good UPC (Uninterruptible Power Supply) - You probably don't need more than about 15 minutes to get to a safe shutdown, but if you loose power suddenly it is very helpful to have that time to stop a program and park the machine in a place it will be able to home from when the power comes back up. At a bare minimum you need a great surge protector, once you price that, you will find a full-on UPC is not much more $ and well worth it, in my opinion.

            The previous posts have all made good points. I want to emphasize DOCUMENTATION. You think you will remember, you won't. I use my cell phone for photos, but if you have the coin a nice digital camera that automatically uploads the images via wi-fi or blue tooth for you is a very nice to have. Take photos of all setups and anything you are about to disassemble, and often during the disassembly.

            Lastly, the main point I want to make is interim checks. Designate a golden part or two. Or do like Matt did an make yourself a cheapo ballbar by gluing a couple of tooling balls to a rod. Make a quick little routine to measure these things. Ideally the golden part has features that are very representative of the majority of features you check with the CMM across most of the measurement volume of the machine. You don't need to measure the entire part, just a dozen or so features. Run the routine several times to establish a base line and again as soon as possible after each time the machine is serviced/calibrated. Repeat monthly for the first year, then you can drop to quarterly if time is that much of an issue. Anytime there is a crash or things seem off, you can run your interim check routine to quickly verify the machine is performing as expected. It is even possible after several years to use the results from interim checks to justify pushing annual calibration to a bi-annual cycle. Most people who would scoff at this idea and call it a waste of time start to nod and smile when you mention potentially saving $. Not to mention having this in the tool box often makes troubleshooting easier and faster.

            HTH & ymmv

            sigpic"Hated by Many, Loved by Few" _ A.B. - Stone brewery


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