Applied Automation Technologies Software Applications for Smart Machining
Applied Automation Technologies Software Applications packages can be used throughout your manufacturing process, whether it be dimensional inspection in the Quality Assurance lab with a Renishaw Revo probe head on a CMM with CappsDMIS software or on a machine tool with a non-contact laser for on-machine metrology with CappsNC software.
Applied Automation Technologies Software Applications CappsDMIS & CappsNC help to integrate and automate dimensional metrology to become a seamless part of your manufacturing process rather than a bottleneck.
In the Quality Assurance lab CappsDMIS can be used on just about every CMM by using AAT’s flexible AAT_RMI to interface with existing controllers, thus avoiding the time and expense of a CMM controller retrofit.
The very same CappsDMIS interface and DMIS programming language can be used on NC machine tools with CappsNC to allow your NC machine to not only cut chips, but to performing on-machine metrology to inspect the part without the need to remove the part from the machine.
The Benefits of On-Machine Metrology
By using an on-machine probing cycle to perform on-machine metrology, the entire machining process can be monitored and a “cut-measure-cut” approach can be performed to avoid scrap or rework.
In-process on-machine measurement results can be fed back to CappsNC software for immediate analysis and offsets applied, thus creating a full closed loop dynamic metrology system.
Some parts, such as composite materials can be very large resulting in extensive time spent fixturing the part for machining. If the part were to be removed, a similar fixture method would be required on an expensive large CMM. Portable arm inspections could be employed, but that requires manual operation of the portable arm, taking more time and resources than on-machine probing would require. NC machine tools are rigid and much more accurate than a portable arm, and the automated NC execution of an inspection program is much more repeatable than a manual inspection with a portable arm.
All of these benefits save time, resources and avoid scrap or rework – all combined to make a potentially large cost saving.
Machine Tool Metrology
All manufacturing facilities need to make an effort to ensure that they are running their business as efficiently and effectively as possible. There are many different factors that are at play here, yet the progression of technology is the main one.
With that in mind, in this blog post, we are going to explore machine tool metrology in further depth, helping you to realize the many efficiency gains and advantages this can bring your manufacturing firm.
The need for machine tool metrology
Let’s begin by taking a look at the current manufacturing processes and the need for machine tool metrology. The purpose of a machine tool is so that the tool is moved along a path that has been pre-programmed and is relative to a workpiece so that the tool-related manufacturing process is carried out, such as the removal of material.
Nevertheless, the tool can often deviate from the path that was prescribed. There are numerous reasons why this is the case, including ambient effects, process effects, machine component mistakes, tool wear, and machine controller dynamics.
These deviations can cause errors in the manufacturing process. This can cause the part to become out-of-tolerance. Errors like this can cost your business time and money.
Therefore, it is advisable to carry out precise dimensional metrology on the machine so that an estimate of the machine tool errors can be attributed to and continually anticipated from the machine.
With correct machine tool metrology in place, it can be utilized to predict machine tool manufacturing errors and correct potential errors before they occur, such as tool wear.
The key benefits that are associated with machine tool metrology
Through the use of an on-machine probing cycle so that on-machine metrology can be carried out, you can ensure that the entire machining process is monitored and scrap or rework can be avoided with a cut-measure-cut approach.
- Machine tool traceability
- Monitor machine tool geometrical integrity
- The ability to inspect a part without having to remove it from the machine, therefore, allowing the idea “cut/measure/cut” scenario to eliminate set-up scrap and reduce/eliminate in-process scrap
Of course, all of the benefits that have been mentioned come together to ensure greater accuracy, productivity, and cost-efficiency at your business. Some parts, including composite materials, can result in a huge amount of time fixturing the part for machining. Plus, any rework or scrap is going to cost your business a considerable amount of money, yet with machine tool metrology, you have the power to eliminate this at your manufacturing facility.