Our Salt Lake metrology lab recently got an upgrade in their technical equipment portfolio by installing a new CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) from Zeiss. This unique piece of high-end technology enhances our capacity as a contract manufacturer to provide more reliable results in detailed measurements. It provides more accurate data sets to the products we develop in collaboration with our customers. High-speed measurements with outstanding accuracy and precision are critical for part characterization during development, validation, and ongoing production. The addition of the CMM to the metrology lab gives us improves capacity and capability to quickly provide engineering teams the data they need to make the best decisions.
The CMM is a device used to measure the dimensional characteristics of injection molded components, mold components, or assembled parts. A ruby-tipped probe travels around the piece, picking up coordinates of surfaces via single point touches or surface scans. The CMM is controlled manually or by the computer through a routine written by skilled technicians or engineers. The output can be compared to part models to determine any part deviations from the design.
Ultimately, the customer will see increased value as the equipment provides improved results and more accurate data readings on parts. Customers will also see reduced costs in their budgets and reduced turnaround times that will directly affect their project timelines.
A touch probe CMM has been on the Biomerics metrology wish list for a few years now, and we were able to acquire the new machine early in 2020. The machine is now installed, calibrated, and operational in the metrology lab. The CMM allows us to measure parts in-house that previously had to be outsourced, providing better turnaround times and more control of critical metrology. We recently brought on an experienced engineer for the new equipment to develop complex routines, train technicians, ensure operating best practices, and support maintenance and upgrades.
Cassie Wulle, our Quality Manager at our Salt Lake facility, offered her feedback on the new machine and what it meant for the Quality department here in Salt Lake. She said, “With our previous capabilities, we started to see bottlenecks in our processes. It was limiting what we were able to do. Under most circumstances, we only could scan items no larger than 11 inches in width from our Vision system that we had been using for several years. That has all now changed since installing the new equipment. Both larger and smaller components/parts can now be managed and measured by our in-house teams within the Metrology lab.”
The new machine offers a significantly larger measurement platform compared to the vision CMM system in the lab, giving us the ability to measure larger pieces and set up fixtures to measure multiple smaller pieces in a single run. The addition of touch probe capability also allows metrology on features that cannot be accessed with the vision system. The increased capacity cuts down on metrology time, enabling projects to move more quickly with confidence in the data generated. High precision tolerances can now be measured more reliably with measurement error down to 1.9 µm.
Having this equipment in-house also allows us to continue building our vision of being a leading mid-market contract manufacturer in the interventional and radiology markets. It’s just another service we are proud to offer our customers as part of their overall device development program. It will be an excellent resource to support customers developing components or assemblies who do not have access to this type of metrology capability.
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