Advantages of CMM-Manager software vs traditional digital readout
Many inspection facilities have spent years collecting the variety of microscopy equipment and vision systems that are used on a daily basis. Often, that means a number of machines function with different levels of technology, and with different capabilities. One way to increase efficiency for facilities like these is to unify all equipment with one user-friendly inspection software, like Nikon Metrology's CMM-Manager.
This article reviews the advantages of the CMM-Manager for manual microscopes, as well as the benefits of using CMM-Manager over traditional digital readout (D.R.O.). But first, a bit of background on CMM-Manager software itself:
What is CMM-Manager?
Nikon Metrology's CMM-Manager is a multi-sensor inspection software that runs on nearly all manual, CNC and portable CMMs. Recently, CMM-Manager has also been equipped to support Nikon Metrology's motorized vision systems like the VMA and VMRZ. Unlike digital readout technology, Nikon Metrology's CMM-Manager features a visual user interface that makes the software more user-friendly. Because the software supports a variety of CMMs, including both manual microscopes and motorized vision systems, it is also helpful for facilities working to unify several systems to the same software, streamlining operations for greater efficiency.
Advantages of pairing CMM-Manager with manual microscopes
CMM-Manager provides its users with the opportunity to upgrade the functionality of manual microscopes, without having to phase in new, expensive equipment. When applied to manual microscopes, CMM-Manager simplifies a users' job by eliminating the need for careful, meticulous work-piece placement, and by guiding the operator visually through the measurement process. Here are just a few of the advantages of pairing CMM-Manager with manual microscopes.
Nikon Metrology’s CMM-Manager enables edge detection for manual microscopes. Instead of looking through an eyepiece and attempting to manually line work piece edges up with cross-hairs, which is both subjective and time-consuming, CMM-Manager software uses contrast-based edge detection to accurately identify work-piece edges. The system's edge detection is repeatable even through lighting changes and improves the accuracy and reliability of measurements. It also makes the measurement process more efficient, as microscopists don't have to waste time meticulously lining up edges.
Another benefit of CMM-Manager for manual microscopes is the system's pattern recognition. The software can immediately recognize patterns regardless of the work-piece's position on the stage. This function is especially useful for applications where work-pieces are very small and difficult to maneuver. With CMM-Manager, the microscopist no longer needs to move the work-piece into a perfect position. They need only set the piece flat on the stage, and start measuring.
Finally, CMM-Manager offers exceptional visualization where a manual microscope simply does not. With CMM-Manager, microscopists are able to see their work-piece displayed on a monitor in 3D representation. CMM-Manager provides the visual context that microscopists need to swiftly measure their work-pieces. They are able to visualize each feature in the context of the entire work-piece, boosting the efficiency of their process, and improving the accuracy and repeatability of measurements as well.
Advantages of CMM-Manager over traditional digital readout
In addition to improving the functionality of manual microscopes, CMM-Manager provides distinct advantages over traditional D.R.O. that again work to maximize an operator's time and minimize room for human error. Advantages of CMM-Manager over traditional manual boxes or camera-based software include:
One key benefit of the CMM Manager over traditional methods like manual boxes or camera-based software is the ability to import data. Whether importing CAD data or measuring against a master model, CMM-Manager offers the opportunity to bring that data in. After it's imported, that data also becomes visual, making it easy to see how a work-piece under inspection measures up to the model.
Traditional measurement methods haven't made measurement reporting easy. Manual boxes will display measurement data but offer no way to efficiently report that data. Operators must manually transcribe measurements, which often leads to reporting errors. With CMM-Manager, data is automatically stored and can be exported into a reporting sheet or PDF that's transferable and downloadable. Again, this is a feature that saves time, but importantly, also reduces the opportunity for human error. Since CMM-Manager can also export data into customized reporting sheets, it removes an additional step of the measurement process, increasing efficiency.
In traditional manual boxes or camera-based software, it's the operator's responsibility to remember every step of the measurement procedure. CMM-Manager, however, remembers each step of the measurement process and works to guide operators through each step visually. This helps keep the operator on track, ensuring consistent repeatability and minimizing any wasted time that comes with repeating steps or retesting after a step has been missed.