Top 4 Ways to Self-Maintain a Coordinate Measuring Machine

All machines go through normal wear and tear. It’s not a pleasant experience when they break, but it is inevitable. It could be your car’s engine, computer’s processor, or coordinate measuring machine (CMM); nothing lasts forever. 

A CMM faces numerous external factors that can shorten its lifespans, such as vibration, humidity, high temperatures, and dust. However, you can significantly extend its lifespan by doing some preventive maintenance. A CMM can last a very long time if you take care of it.  

This article will discuss what a CMM is and how you can self-maintain it to keep it running smoothly.   

What Is CMM?

Using coordinate processing technology, a CMM can measure an object’s depth, height, and width. A computer does the measurements instead of using conventional hand tools or optical comparators. CMMs can measure the target automatically, record the data, and obtain geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T). A CMM has two types: a contact model that utilizes touch probes and a non-contact model that uses cameras and lasers. 

Here’s how to take care of your CMM:   

Have Good Air Flow  

Having constant airflow where you store your CMM is crucial to keeping it running smoothly. A continuous air flow rids of condensation and humidity, which can negatively affect the machine’s performance. That’s because when there’s high humidity or condensation, the dust collected may turn to gunk. That gunk can obstruct the flow of the machine’s moving parts, which can burn out the motor and break it. 

Have a Good Cleaning Habit  

Cleaning is another crucial aspect of maintaining a CMM, especially if the machine is not in a lab. That’s because the machine can easily collect dust outside a lab setting. After all, the device will most probably be on the floor. Dust removal is a self-maintenance that you must do on the regular. Do this by using a microfiber cloth together with isopropyl alcohol and rubbing the machine gently. Ensuring that the bearing is free of dust and small particles mitigates the risk of the apparatus having precision and motor problems.  

You should check the controller and computer filters weekly. Clogged filters will overheat the machine and force it to shut down. If you see significant dust in it upon checking, replace them immediately if it is beyond cleaning. Having a regular cleaning regimen ensures the CMM will run smoothly.

These are the components that need regular cleaning:

  • Air bearings
  • CMM probe
  • Joystick
  • Controls

Update the Software 

Getting the latest software for your machines ensures that your CMM is working in top condition. When you update your software to the latest version, it will fix all possible glitches that may have come with older versions. Keeping your software up-to-date ensures that your machine works smoothly. It also assures you that the device is as precise as possible.  

Bottom Line  

Prevention is better than cure is an age-old saying for a good reason. This saying applies to almost anything, including human health and machines. Having a preventive maintenance regimen can save you a lot of time and money. It could also save you from the hassle and stress of fixing something broken.