CMM Auto Upload and Multi-Parameter Monitoring
Challenges with Managing Millions of CMM Measurements
Measuring parts on coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), vision systems (VCMMs), and other automated inspection equipment can greatly improve both the efficiency and the accuracy of your first article, in-process, and final inspections.
Unfortunately, major bottlenecks can occur when it is time to get these measurements from the CMM output files into reports that you can send to your customers, or into analytics that you can use internally to monitor the health and stability of manufacturing processes.
This problem is especially acute for manufacturers of complex products (over 100 parameters per product) that operate in a high-mix or a high-volume environment with multiple CMMs.
It would be nice if one could simply copy the CMM results into your inspection sheets, but every CMM outputs files in different file-types (txt, csv, xls etc.) and data layouts (we've even seen ones with column headers below the first row of results!). This level of complexity and variation makes it impossible to easily copy and paste the measurement data into your inspection sheets, or even write macros to automate this process. Add in the complexity of GD&T results with or without bonus and multi-place dimensions, and the only option becomes typing in inspection results one-by-one to the reports. While typing-in the data may work for customer report creation, it is likely too late in the process for feedback to the manufacturing floor.
The 1factory Auto-Upload Solution
1factory eliminates these challenges with real-time data upload from CMMs. With 1factory's CMM auto-upload capability, your inspectors, operators, and managers can visualize CMM inspection results in real-time, and can output customer reports with a single click. This frees-up valuable quality control resources so they focus on measurement and process improvement.
Manufacturers use 1factory to quickly balloon drawings and create quality control plans (templates for how a certain part number is to be inspected). Each time there is a new lot or batch of these parts to be made, a new FAI or inspection sheet can be created based on the plan for that part.
Machine operators and QC inspectors then fill out these inspection sheets with data they collect during manual inspection (visual checks, micrometers, pin-gages etc.). And 1factory auto-uploads data for the remaining parameters from CMM files.
The setup is very simple. Each CMM is configured in 1factory, and a folder-in and folder-out is established. 1factory generates a script that, when downloaded into your CMM output folder, will constantly browse the "in" folder and upload CMM files into 1factory as soon as they are written from the CMM into the "in" folder. Once uploaded, the file will be matched up with the appropriate inspection sheet in 1factory based on its part number, lot ID, serial number, etc. as marked in either the file name or the file header. The individual results are parsed into the appropriate cells based on the feature name and balloon number, and the processed file is output back into the "out" folder on the local drive.
The transfer of data from the CMM file to 1factory takes a fraction of a second, and a log is maintained to track what has happened to each file. The result is:
- Inspection sheets that are now populated with all CMM and inspector-gathered data
- Run charts that are populated with live inspection data
- Cpk/PPK calculations, SPC analysis, and other dashboards and charts available to the entire company in real time.
No more manually transcribing measurements from CMM files to inspection sheets. No more searching through endless CMM files to verify a certain part. No need to touch the CMM files ever again.
Supported CMM Formats
1factory currently supports all major CMM software, including Zeiss Calypso, Mitutoyo, CMM Manager, PC DMIS, Keyence, MicroVu, Oasis, Starrett, Open DMIS, Rational DMIS, Aberlink, Verisurf, and many others.
Case Study 1: Rival A/S, a precision parts manufacturer in Denmark, was deployed CMM Auto-Upload entirely by themselves, and now operates 24 x 7 x 365. Read about their experience at their blog.
Case Study 2: Ultra Machining Company (UMC), a precision aerospace and medical parts manufacturer in Minneaplois, uses 1factory to automatically process over 1 million data points per month from 20 CMMs and 8 vision systems. Watch a 4-minute video.
Reach out today to experience how auto CMM file upload with 1factory (1) eliminates data entry errors, (2) minimizes risk of incomplete inspection sheets, (3) frees up a significant amount of time for your QC team, (4) enables real-time visibility into manufacturing process performance, and (5) makes quality a competitive advantage.