The world of metrology is undergoing some major changes this year and will continue to make incredible transformations in years to come. All of these changes are spurred on by what’s being called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” or Industry 4.0, a new method of manufacturing in which automated inspection is more important than ever. The concept relies on cyber-physical systems in which the Internet of Things connects tools to products, and tools to one another. It’s a data-driven approach that allows manufacturers to collect, analyze, and quickly respond to insights gathered from massive data sets. Collecting and analyzing all of that data is where new metrology software and equipment comes in.
Faster scanning, automated inspection, and real-time data analysis are the themes that will dominate the future of metrology. In 2017 alone, new coordinate measuring machines, new software, and new laser trackers have been launched that smart factories will be adopting as they meet new challenges. These are some of the biggest coordinate measuring machine news stories to come out this year.
PC-DMIS 2017: Better workflow control is the name of the game with several high-profile software updates released in 2017, including PC-DMIS, already the most widely used software in global manufacturing. The idea behind this year’s release is taking the complexity out of complex measuring operations with a superior user experience. It makes it easier to collect and view data, especially through Slideshow software, which allows you to create customizable layouts and view data results in real time, as it’s collected.
There’s also Aicon optical scanner support; the Aicon white light scanner is a great tool for shops that want to move toward automated inspection. White light scanning creates digital 3D models from dimensional measurements and it’s a very useful technology for non-contact measurements, reverse engineering, and high point density measurements. If you’re looking for PC-DMIS software upgrades and the training that goes with it, metrology supplier CMM (Canadian Measurement Metrology) offers upgrades as well as e-courses for PC-DMIS.
PolyWorks 2017: A control-centric, workflow-oriented software update, PolyWorks 2017 is designed for portable metrology equipment and metrology specialists who regularly need to share large, complex projects with customers and suppliers, or who need real-time collision analysis on machines operating across the factory floor. As a 3D measurement software, it provides invaluable insight into parts and the performance of your machine tools. PolyWorks 2017 was recently featured by CMM as part of a metrology knowledge consultation with clients who came with complex programming, modeling, and alignment questions. It’s a game-changing software that can dramatically improve your shop’s performance and data management.
Hexagon Global S: The Global S is the latest coordinate measuring machine from HMI, a machine that leverages smart technologies and improved user experience to create a more productive inspection machine. One of the highlights of the Global S is its eco-friendly mode, which reduces compressed air consumption by 90 percent when idle. The Global S is a solid machine for automated inspection combined with new PC-DMIS software for program selection and data management.
Metrology is moving ahead to meet the challenges posed by the smart factory revolution, creating machines and software that can handle automated inspection and large quantities of data. If you’re ready for automated inspection and better data management, it’s time to invest in better metrology equipment.