The coordinate measuring machine (CMM) market has grown over the years. According to market research, it’s estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2026. The growth is mainly due to the automotive industry. For many businesses, using a CMM streamlines production flow with increased speed and accuracy. Leveraging its benefits boils down to choosing the right CMM for you.
When selecting the suitable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for your shop, there are many factors to consider. You’ll need to think about things like volume, cost of ownership, software integration, and so on. However, one important aspect is how well a CMM machine fits your team and production processes.
Choosing the CMM for Your Business
Here’s how you can get started:
1. Know the Basics of CMMs
A CMM is a computer-controlled measuring machine for inspecting, testing, and measuring parts and other components. They automate the production processes of engineering and manufacturing industries. The main difference between a CMM and different types of measuring equipment is that with a CMM, you can measure three-dimensional objects. On the other hand, other types of machines can only calculate two-dimensional objects. There are many different types of CMM machines, but they generally have the same functionality.
2. Identify Your Current and Future Needs
Before shopping for CMMs, you should identify your current and future needs. Ask questions like:
- What kind of work do you do?
- What is your production volume?
- How many parts do you measure per day?
In addition, you should also consider the type of industries you currently cater to and plan to serve. Considering all these factors is essential because they help you narrow your list and select CMMs that best suit your business.
For example, if you are in the aerospace industry and are currently using a CMM for wing tip parts, you will probably want to look for a CMM specialized in measuring wings.
On the other hand, if you are also in the automotive industry and primarily measure wheels, you are probably better off with a CMM specialized in wheels. Both the aerospace and automotive industries predominantly use CMMs.
3. Research the Market and Speak With Experts
Talk to experts. Find out which CMMs are recommended in your industry and speak with customers who use CMMs. You can also reach out to engineering software companies that integrate with different CMMs. You’d want a CMM with accurate calibrations.
4. Decide on a Budget
How much can you invest in a CMM? How much is your team willing to spend on a new CMM? What is your ideal budget? Going too cheap with CMMs may sacrifice quality. Investing too much may take away the budget from other aspects of your operations. Set a budget and stick to it.
5. Don’t Forget Ergonomics and Usability
Another factor to consider when choosing CMM machines is ergonomics and usability. You want to choose a CMM that is easy to use and has an ergonomic design that will assist your team in working more efficiently. This will help you save money in the long run. For example, you may want to choose a CMM with a laptop integration for more mobility.
There are multiple factors to review when selecting the right CMM machine for your shop. You’ll need to think about volume, cost of ownership, software integration, etc. You also have to ensure you have the right resources so your team can learn how to use CMM equipment. Follow these tips to choose the right CMMs for your business.