Metrology Generates data. A lot of data. But the technology typically hasn’t been supported by sufficient infrastructure to allow real-time access to all the information.

LK Metrology aims to change this with its new Metrology Gate. The flexible monitoring and analysis portal promises to help production and quality departments monitor and control inspection activities around the clock, which the company says will accelerate decision-making and drive efficiency across an organization.

Metrology Gate provides remote access to information on the status and performance of all connected metrology devices, including coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), portable arms, roughness sensors, 3D-laser scanners and manual gauging tools. Running through most default web browsers, the intuitive web application doesn’t require any software installation, according to the supplier.

“Large-scale automated quality control in a factory often involves closed-loop feedback of offsets to production machinery to ensure components are always within tolerance and that process capability is maintained,” explains Eric Hayes, LK’s director of metrology solutions. “A web-based portal is invaluable for management and engineers to monitor such activities.”

With Metrology Gate, Hayes says, users can access measurement results, environment parameters of metrology rooms, a summary of errors, a record of program changes and CMM uptime, and overall equipment effectiveness. Historical logs assist in troubleshooting and warn when routine maintenance is due for inspection machines, as well as for machine tools and other equipment on which the components are made.

Comprehensive daily reports include total output per shift and the number of parts measured, sudden changes in process averages, and comparisons between different machines producing the same components. Statistical process control, including CP-CPK indicators, control charts and environmental parameters, are generated and communicated, alongside charts to aid interpretation and understanding.

In the case of critical dimensional discrepancies or hardware errors, the software immediately shares information by alert notifications. Metrology jobs can be stopped and/or reset if performance is inadequate, maximizing yield and minimizing scrap. Details of the errors can be viewed on a collection of dashboards.

CMM-specific characteristics are recorded and tracked, which Hayes says provides valuable information that was never available before. Now, everything from the number of points taken with a specific touch probe and rotations for a probe head to the distance measured for a scanning probe and illegal touches can be accessed.

Data may be stored on a computer in the CMM room, a server on the company’s network or in the cloud, all of which is instantly accessible over the network or internet in real-time from anywhere in the world. For customers with more than one location, a considerable amount of time and money is saved since it is not necessary to travel between plants to view data, Hayes says. And risk of human error is avoided, including during the preparation of reports, which are produced automatically and can be tailored to customer needs.



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