Integrated Quality Inspection and Reporting System for CNC Machining

The old adage is “measure twice; cut once”.  It’s as true today as it ever was, only in the world of quality CNC inspection, we measure a lot more than twice.  The complex shapes, delicate features, and tight tolerances of precision CNC machined parts demand higher accuracy than ever before.  It’s those once-impossible designs that are at the heart of once-impossible machines.

Pressures to minimize devices and maximize performance means squeezing more into less.  Less material is more highly engineered, leaving very little on a given part that isn’t critical.  Instead of having a simple, flat back plate, the back of a part is likely to be the front of another part with its own features.  That means accounting for more surface finishes, more details, and more dimensions.

Innovation Leads to Complexity

When the engineers design these parts, they have to make sure every part fits and everything works together.  When Macfab’s engineers get involved, they must respect all those requirements while laying out how to hold the parts in the CNC machines so they can be shaped with the fewest moves.  They also have to consider the material being milled and the limitations of the very precise (but rather bulky) machines.

Operators will take multiple measurements of parts during the milling process.  The CNC mill can swap out a bit for an inspection probe and check the dimensions.  The first parts of a production run when the CNC programming is being fine-tuned get special attention.  These in-process measurements won’t cover every aspect of the part, but the most critical points are checked during shaping.

CNC Inspection Machines and Extreme Reporting

Metrology is where we really get down to measurements.  Vision systems with their video cameras and computers can scan newly machined parts, checking for any defects or missed tolerances.  Touchless laser micrometers can at the extreme check dimensions down to 0.00001mm, or a hundredth of a micron -that’s smaller than a light wave.  Coordinate Measurement Machines are the workhorses, checking all dimensions and features on a three-dimensional part.  All of these and more go into our quality control and the reporting we deliver to customers.

With our metrology instruments fully integrated with our new reporting software, First Article Inspection Reports are more detailed and easier to read than ever before.  Balloon diagrams showing every feature on every part are generated automatically.  They’re easy to read and provide engineers with measurements and dimensions at every important point.  Network connectivity eliminates inspectors having to transcribe readings and the possibility of mistyped numbers.  Our customers receive more accurate data on their products, both in precision and in reliability.  Our new reports ensure that we provide our customers with exactly what they need, so their parts will perform precisely as they’re supposed to.

As they continue to improve our ability to manufacture to finer and finer standards, they’ll also keep producing systems to measure those standards.  Macfab will be right there with them, staying on top of the state of the art.  When you have parts that are critically important, bring your designs to Macfab, and let us show you what quality CNC inspection looks like.


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