Important Features when Purchasing Production Measurement Technology

Modern measuring instruments guarantee reduced setup times, quality, and improve process reliability.

The main purpose of production measurement technology is to make sure that both component and process are of high quality. The measuring instruments used for this purpose should meet a variety of requirements to allow for efficient production without rejects. If modern production facilities wish to achieve integrated production strategies according to Industry 4.0, they already place the foundation for self-controlling production by the measuring equipment they choose.

Depending on where it is used and what technologies are involved, production measurement technology can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Normally, optical and/or tactile measuring systems are utilized in the line of production, set up in the connected measuring room, or outsourced to an outside measurement service provider.

No matter what the particular setup of production measurement technology, its task is always alike. Namely, to confirm the dimensional accuracy of components and make sure that they meet necessary quality standards. Additionally, production measurement technology regularly decreases setup times for personnel, simultaneously increasing the reliability of the process.

The following is a list of requirements that should be considered when deciding on what measuring instrument to use.

Measuring Instrument Capability

The measuring instrument must be able to complete the measurement task sufficiently. To ensure this, it is essential to confirm the instrument’s measuring capability and accuracy. This is usually verified based on predefined Cg and Cgk values. Other significant factors in the evaluation of the measurement quality include high repeatability of measurement results, traceability to national and international calibration standards, observance of the global ISO standards, and minimal measurement uncertainties.

Long-Term Stability

The long-term stability of a measuring instrument is very important in guaranteeing high process reliability at all times. Results must be constant when a component is measured at different points in time over a longer period,even when there are variations in the environmental conditions such as temperature, illumination, or vibrations.

Usability

Since there are a variety of machines used in a production, the operator and/or measuring technician regularly has to operate a number of different machines. As a result, the easy, intuitive usability of the measuring system is essential for ongoing operation. Single-button solutions and automated measuring processes guarantee constant measurements without the influence of the user.

Cost Efficiency

An investment made in a measuring instrument must prove its worth.  Immediate return of investments, low costs of maintenance and consumables-free operation make a measuring system cost-effective. The equipment must also get regular software updates and come with other services to make sure that there is flexibility and speedy adaptation to new or adjusted production needs.

Speed

There is a direct link between measurement and setup times. Short setup times require high measurement speeds and repeatable, traceable measurement results. The faster a measurement result is accessible, the quicker personnel can respond and reconfigure machines. For that reason, measurement speed is a crucial factor in lessening downtime and in ensuring quick response and process adjustment times. These all contribute to cost-effective and efficient production without rejects.

Flexibility

Flexible measuring instruments are required for flexible production. It is increasingly becoming common to generate small lots of different components, resulting in a complicated task for production measurement technology.  Different component shapes, types and sizes, frequently consisting of different materials and composites, must be measured quickly and dependably.

Measurement technology should be able to adjust to production and the changing components, geometries, and materials. Preferably, a measuring instrument should cover all measuring tasks, irrespective of component size and surface conditions. One significant prerequisite for this is simple and speedy access to the component details that are to be measured.

Future-Proof Technology

Modern production strategies are more and more being based on integrated production concepts. In Industry 4.0, machine, device measurement and production systems join and communicate with each other to facilitate adaptive production planning and self-controlling production. In this production concept, also referred to as SmartManufacturing, measuring instruments are directly incorporated into production and are able to intervene in it.

Measuring sensors helps distinguish faulty components and automatically supply this information to the production loop. After that, production automatically adapts to the new information and corrects the error.

To guarantee long-term execution of self-controlling production, the measuring devices used must fulfill a variety of requirements. Among these are high-precision sensors suitable for production environments, completely automatic measurements and interfaces for trouble-free connection and integration into existing production systems.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Alicona Imaging GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Alicona Imaging GmbH.

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