What is a Coordinate Measuring Machine?

2 min read

What is a Coordinate Measuring Machine?

There are many different tools that can be used when it comes time to verify the tolerances and dimensions of a part. Traditionally, these measurements have been taken visually using hand tools or an optical comparator. These techniques are still commonly used but do have their disadvantages when dealing with accuracy, speed, and possible human error. To continue to deliver the highest quality parts to our customers, PGC’s quality team invested in two Coordinate Measuring Machine tools. Here we will discuss how PGC use this technology to ensure that all parts are conforming and meet high quality expectations.

A Coordinate Measuring Machine, also known as CMM, uses a probing system to detect discreet points on the surfaces of objects. This allows easier measuring on more complex parts. CMM technology offers highly precise measurements, far exceeding common tolerances in the rubber and plastic industry. This precision allows PGC to make informed decisions using data to make adjustments well before custom manufactured parts become out of tolerance. The precision of the CMMs also greatly lowers the risk of impact to inspected product if the machines are found to be out of tolerance during their calibration cycle. If a CMM would be found out of tolerance (OOT), it is unlikely that this condition would impact any previously inspected products.

CMMs also reduce variation of inspection results by automating the inspection process and removing much of the human factor that commonly impacts inspection accuracy when using hand tools. PGC has two matching CMMs that allows for a high level of throughput and efficiency and reduces downtime due to having equipment redundancy. PGC’s CMMs allow our Quality team to inspect 100% of a product’s dimensions in just minutes, far exceeding the capabilities of hand measuring inspection tools. Measuring all part features further reduces the likelihood for nonconforming product to escape, versus past practices of measure a sampling of features such as height, width, holes size, etc.

This type of technology is just one of the many ways that PGC has made quality a top priority. PGC has exceeded 99% quality month over month for the past 63 months.