Company News

On-Machine Measurement – Is It Worth It?

on machine measurement

On-Machine Measurement (OMM) refers to measurement and inspection that takes place directly on a machine tool after the machine has finished its task. It uses an automatic tool changer to remove the machining tool from the spindle, replacing it with a measurement probe. OMM has been shown to reduce machining time, reduce waste and also reduce costs in some cases.

With many manufacturers now not ruling out On-Machine Measurement as a viable option for quality operations, there are still many that are sceptical. In this article, we take a closer look at On-Machine Measurement to help you decide whether or not you think it’s worth it…

Making the Case for On-Machine Measurement

While it’s true that On-Machine Measurement is more error-prone than measurements on a stand-alone CMM, due to environmental factors, measuring with the same tool and more, it still offers tangible benefits.

The biggest technological advancement that has made on-machine measurement a bigger consideration today is rapid machine-tool verification. This can be performed automatically in just a few minutes. Rapid machine-tool verification can be carried out with low-cost artefacts to verify that the CNC machine being used for production and measuring is operating within tolerance.

One of the main cases for OMM is that it can prevent the CMM from becoming an inspection bottleneck and drastically reduce the time required to measure and inspect parts.

Secondly, it saves time by removing the need to remove and refixture parts before they can be measured.

Thirdly, OMM enables better quality improvement as any issues with parts can be detected closer to the point of failure rather than in a separate environment.

Why a Separate CMM for Measurement is a Better Solution

There is no one-size-fits-all measurement solution for every manufacturing business and industry out there and where OMM might be more beneficial to one business, it could do far more harm than good to another. Particularly in industries where quality is critical (such as the Aerospace and Automotive industries) and the tightest of tolerances must be met, there simply is no better measurement solution than a Coordinate Measuring Machine.

With a CMM, parts will need to be taken away from the shop floor and into an environmentally controlled environment which greatly reduces measurement uncertainty. This is a huge advantage over OMM where the machining environment suffers from widely varying and uncertain temperature, humidity, and particulate matter conditions, all of which challenge accuracy. Accurate CMMs also provide documented evidence for the compliance of the manufactured product to accepted standards.

OMM generally enables reduced rework, concessions, and scrap, which improves conformance and consistency, lowers unit costs and shortens lead times. However, just one slightly off measurement could jeopardise your entire production process and lead to orders being rejected, disappointed customers and loss of revenue. In our opinion, the measurement accuracy and consistency achieved by a CMM far outweighs the benefits of On-Machine Measurement.

A Closer Look at The Status Range of CMM Machines

There are several types of CMM available and choosing the right CMM machine can make a dramatic difference to your productivity. The Status range of refurbished/retrofitted CMM machines perform AND look as good as new. In some cases, our machines exceed the performance of the latest showroom models which is thanks to the latest Hexagon Controllers, market-leading PC-DMIS software and the Status retrofit process.

When buying a machine through Status, we have a philosophy and that is to provide a complete business solution, rather than just a CMM machine. We can act as your full-service metrology partner and help you save money, boost profits and grow your business through more productive measurement.

If you’re looking for a metrology partner who will deliver a complete business solution, rather than just a new CMM machine, then it’s time you took a closer look at Status.

Get in touch with us today on 0115 939 2228, email or view our current CMM stock: