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Options for/possibility of in-house CMM calibration

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
For many years and several companies, I have internally calibrated all measuring equipment using externally calibrated standards/hard gauges, and that is all good.

On the other hand, I have always had an external company come in to do CMM calibration.

My current location practically excludes having a third party come in to do the CMM as the travel distance makes the cost prohibitive.

What options do I have for doing it internally?

Does anyone here internally calibrate their CMM, in line with their quality system, all in a fashion that satisfies their clients and auditors?
 
Have you asked Kolb & Baumann? They make artifacts for CMM calibration. Maybe they'll help you solve the paperwork side if it will make them a sale.
 
In my experience (limited though it is, Zeiss Eclipse mid-90's to about 2005, sporadic use, bought very occasional calibration), the CMM calibration process IS expensive, or is perceived to be. The thought of having to pay hourly rate (90/hr back then) for airplane travel time seems ridiculous, and it really should be a one-fee standardized rate for every similar machine, IMO.

Perhaps this is gratuitous, but -- to do a creditable calibration, you need to have accurate length standards of sufficient length to check the volumetric accuracy over the 3D travel range. These can be a bit pricey, for say a 20" ceramic gage block with certification. Or 2 or 3 of them, to speed up the cal process. A ceramic square (again, certified) would also be needed, of nice size to get a good representation of orthogonality of axes.

Perhaps you can offer to set up a satellite LK field office around your facility, and get the rate down if they spend more time in your end of the country.;-)

I would not hesitate to do my own cal if I had the tools, and knew the manufacturer's process reasonably well, but there is a fair amount of up-front work and $$$$ involved.
 
In my experience (limited though it is, Zeiss Eclipse mid-90's to about 2005, sporadic use, bought very occasional calibration), the CMM calibration process IS expensive, or is perceived to be. The thought of having to pay hourly rate (90/hr back then) for airplane travel time seems ridiculous, and it really should be a one-fee standardized rate for every similar machine, IMO.

Perhaps this is gratuitous, but -- to do a creditable calibration, you need to have accurate length standards of sufficient length to check the volumetric accuracy over the 3D travel range. These can be a bit pricey, for say a 20" ceramic gage block with certification. Or 2 or 3 of them, to speed up the cal process. A ceramic square (again, certified) would also be needed, of nice size to get a good representation of orthogonality of axes.

Perhaps you can offer to set up a satellite LK field office around your facility, and get the rate down if they spend more time in your end of the country.;-)

I would not hesitate to do my own cal if I had the tools, and knew the manufacturer's process reasonably well, but there is a fair amount of up-front work and $$$$ involved.
So, when I was a bit closer to civilisation, an annual calibration cost between £1k and £3k depending on the type of calibration (£1k for a basic CMMA calibration with length bars, £3k for full laser). CMMA was most of a day, laser was a day and a morning.

The CMMA outfit was more local and the cal. guy would leave home at around 7am and get home about 6pm. The laser cal, the guy had to travel a bit farther and included an overnight in a hotel.

Here, if it takes a full day, I can effectively add somewhere between 6-12 hours of travel time, plane or ferry tickets both ways, and at least one night in a hotel.

I wouldn't get many of those before I had broken even on a set of length bars for example...

I already have a granite square although I could do with a bigger one, and individual gauge blocks up to 400mm. Shipping small items like those out for third party cal. once a year is no issue.

Use renishaw ML10 sets appear on ebay occasionally for around £10k. I don't know what it would cost to keep one of those in calibration?

Renishaw MCG sets are quite inexpensive in the scale of what we're discussing too, @£1900 for a set that covers up to 1m³...
 
Use renishaw ML10 sets appear on ebay occasionally for around £10k. I don't know what it would cost to keep one of those in calibration?

I've got a Keysight 5519A laser with USB controller, software, material temp sensor, air sensor, 10774A straightness optics, 10772A turning mirror for flatness measurement, 10770A angular optics, and 10785A Height Adjuster/Post with 10784A Base. I might also have an optical square. This setup would measure flatness of your granite and probably straightness of axes. You need to buy a couple more optics for length measurements and probably a tripod.

Anyway, I don't use it anymore so, if you're interested let me know.
 
I've got a Keysight 5519A laser with USB controller, software, material temp sensor, air sensor, 10774A straightness optics, 10772A turning mirror for flatness measurement, 10770A angular optics, and 10785A Height Adjuster/Post with 10784A Base. I might also have an optical square. This setup would measure flatness of your granite and probably straightness of axes. You need to buy a couple more optics for length measurements and probably a tripod.

Anyway, I don't use it anymore so, if you're interested let me know.
Really nice stuff. I knew about their laser interferometry gear, didn't realize they had such a complete suite of machine measurement gear.
 
I've got a Keysight 5519A laser with USB controller, software, material temp sensor, air sensor, 10774A straightness optics, 10772A turning mirror for flatness measurement, 10770A angular optics, and 10785A Height Adjuster/Post with 10784A Base. I might also have an optical square. This setup would measure flatness of your granite and probably straightness of axes. You need to buy a couple more optics for length measurements and probably a tripod.

Anyway, I don't use it anymore so, if you're interested let me know.

Thanks for the offer, I will sit on it for now though.

Not ruling it out, but if I go down that route I would be more comfortable with Renishaw, being in the UK they are much more of a known quantity (to me) for spares, support, calibration...

Also, I'm not sure that the interferometer route is necessary or if I'm just being tempted by a shiny toy :D
When I first installed this machine at my old place we played it safe by having it lasered annually, and it was on the advice of the laser guy himself that we stopped doing that, after doing it for four consecutive years he said that it was unnecessary overkill due to the construction of the machine and recommended we continue with the simpler length bar cal. instead.

A more rational approach might be to eat the cost of having someone come and do an initial laser (if I can even convince them to travel this far), and maybe at x years intervals thereafter, with me doing my own thing in between...
 
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A ball bar calibration might do it for you (in combination with gauge blocks). If the calibration mimics and checks the cmm in the same way that you actually use it, auditors should not have issues. I have a cmm that is only used to measure x and y and use a calibrated linear scale ,in several positions (to look for curved guideways) and measure exactly the same points on a scale, one with it at near 45 degree and once at near -45 degrees (looking at the difference ) to check squareness. This satisfies auditors for our 17025 Calibration Lab audit.
 
Thanks for the offer, I will sit on it for now though.

Not ruling it out, but if I go down that route I would be more comfortable with Renishaw, being in the UK they are much more of a known quantity (to me) for spares, support, calibration...

Also, I'm not sure that the interferometer route is necessary or if I'm just being tempted by a shiny toy :D
When I first installed this machine at my old place we played it safe by having it lasered annually, and it was on the advice of the laser guy himself that we stopped doing that, after doing it for four consecutive years he said that it was unnecessary overkill due to the construction of the machine and recommended we continue with the simpler length bar cal. instead.

A more rational approach might be to eat the cost of having someone come and do an initial laser (if I can even convince them to travel this far), and maybe at x years intervals thereafter, with me doing my own thing in between...
I am going to presume, with you based in Aberdeen - that you have already spoken with Apex Metrology?

We work with most 3rd parties in the UK (most of our work is industry to industry supporting their customers when machines break). But we do offer calibration too and I suspect reasonably priced compared to what have found so far.

We can also completely relaser machines - XL80 with full optics setup.
 
I am going to presume, with you based in Aberdeen - that you have already spoken with Apex Metrology?

We work with most 3rd parties in the UK (most of our work is industry to industry supporting their customers when machines break). But we do offer calibration too and I suspect reasonably priced compared to what have found so far.

We can also completely relaser machines - XL80 with full optics setup.

Hi Adam, my location is out of date. I am based in Orkney now, hence the problem!

Apex used to calibrate this machine for me when I was in Aberdeenshire, and prior to them I used QCT.
 
yeah, thats not easy to get to! :LOL:

If you can direct message me the quotes you have had (basically pricing and whats being offered) - I can certainly see whats doable. I can also give you a call if you send me your number, happy to give you some impartial advice regarding calibration frequency, what you could do yourself etc.

Have good working relationship with LK and DEVA, so the actual support of the machine shouldn't be an issue.
 








 
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