When your shop needs a new coordinate measuring machine, it can be daunting finding the one that’s right for your processes. Given the fact that these can be a major investment, it’s important that you get it right. Because of the durability of a coordinate measuring machine, it’s also a decision that you’re going to have to live with for years, even decades, to come. There’s little room for error and you need to know that a machine will be both mechanically reliable and deliver the accuracy that you need to deliver quality products. The first step is learning about the leading metrology manufacturers in the world:
Hexagon – Hexagon is one of the biggest manufacturers of coordinate measuring machines and metrology equipment in the world, responsible for brands like Brown & Sharpe, Sheffield, Leitz, DEA, Leica, and ROMER. When it comes to new metrology equipment, Hexagon and its many brands are reliable, accurate, and long-lasting. You can find Hexagon coordinate measuring machines from metrology shops like Canadian Measurement-Metrology, a.k.a. CMM, a company that can take care of your quality assurance needs from start to finish.
Mitutoyo – This Japanese company is known for its older coordinate measuring machines, such Bright models, which last for decades and are mechanically reliable. They can easily be upgraded with new Renishaw PH20 probes and better software if you buy used from a metrology dealer.
Zeiss – Zeiss offers a number of high accuracy coordinate measuring machines that can be found used at competitive prices from the right dealer, such as the Zeiss Prismo Navigator, which runs on Calypso software. Zeiss began as an optics workshop in 1846 and has since become a leading global metrology manufacturer.
Leica – Leica, an optics company that also manufactures cameras, is responsible for bringing the manufacturing world laser trackers that deliver high-precision reports and speeds of 1000 points per second. Laser trackers play an important role in any quality assurance department for large components, sheet metal, or complex geometry that requires you to reliably collect a large quantity of data.
The first thing you need to learn about CMM machine manufacturers is that you can’t start with the price, you have to begin by looking at the kind of work you’re going to be doing. The machine has to meet your tolerance requirements and provide enough speed to keep your shop productive and meeting deadlines. If you can’t find the coordinate measuring machine you want, a dealer like CMM can typically procure one. They will also fully inspect any machine that they resell and refurbish it as needed, so that it’s fully functional when it arrives on your shop floor. A used coordinate measuring machine can save you up to half the cost of a new one, and when you work with a dealer, you’re given a guarantee that it will be operate to specifications or better. Don’t get caught with a bad deal from an auction, or overpay when you can get a fully-functional used machine for less.