Getting a quality control (QC), measurement and inspection company involved when you have QC bottlenecks or problems with your CMM machines is a smart move. But not all QC subcontractors will be able to offer you the same level of service, nor will they be UKAS certified. When you outsource your CMM inspection process or need the assistance of a specialist QC company, we have some handy questions that will help you evaluate whether or not your potential contractor is right for you.
At Status Metrology we have decades of experience when it comes to CMM processes and equipment, and maintain both ISO and UKAS certifications. This lets us offer a level of service that few metrology providers can claim, and gives us the ability to help you get the most from your budget.
Question 1: Availability of Service?
The first thing you need to know is how fast the subcontractor you choose will be able to deliver the service you need. It is a good idea to ask for references and make sure that the company is honest about their claims. At Status Metrology we have only missed one FIRST PROMISED DATE in the last 12 months, and we don't think that tolerating late work is acceptable. Make sure that your subcontractor adheres to their FIRST PROMISED DATE, and that their clients get the service they promised.
Question 2: Level of Experience?
You want to make sure that the subcontractor you choose is experienced with CMM machines, and knows how to work them efficiently. Many CMM machine suppliers will offer inspection services, but it is important to know that they are going to hit the ground running. We have dealt with many different kinds of inspections, and worked with clients to alleviate expensive bottlenecks. Knowing how to use a CMM machine isn't the same thing as having a decade of experience with a wide variety of QC inspections. Make sure that your subcontractor has a depth of experience, with both CMM technology and inspections.
Question 3: Kind of Equipment?
One of the most important things to consider is the number of CMM machines that your subcontractor has, and whether or not they are fit for your purpose. At Status Metrology we are one of only 9 UKAS certified laboratories in the UK, with 4 approved CMM machines. We can measure objects that are up to 1.2M wide by 2.2M long and 1M high, within tolerances of ± 5-10 microns if need be. We have undertaken work of 3M in length using a clever technique called “equate alignment.” Make sure that any subcontractor that you consider will be able to offer you similar capabilities.
Question 4: The Test Environment?
The environment that your measurements are made in will make a big difference to the accuracy of the data produced. At Status Metrology we operate a clean room environment and utilise a 5S system.
The Lab is dry and temperature controlled to 20° (± 2°). We do our best to create optimum conditions for inspection. We have the use of a manually operated forklift and the necessary lifting equipment to provide a safe transition through the work place, so that objects can be measured safely and accurately. When you subcontract your CMM measurements, make sure you outsource the work to a laboratory that can ensure the best conditions possible.
Question 5: Kinds of Inspection & Media?
When you establish a relationship with a CMM measurement specialist, you will need to make sure they are skilled in a wide variety of inspections. At Status Metrology we offer Fairs, Lairs, ISIR and PPAP support, and capability studies. We can also support Gauge R+R, batch sampling, random sampling, and design and development. It is also possible for us to reverse engineer a part that has no CAD model or drawing, if needed.
No matter what kind of media you need us to work with, we probably have experience with it. We prefer to use Iges or Step CAD format if available, but drawings as hard copies or PDF's are possible for us to use as well. Components can also be used if available, and it is possible for us to work offline without the need of a physical part.
Don't settle for a subcontractor that has to make compromises in inspection quality, no matter how cheap they are. Talk to us about your CMM needs, and let us show you how much value quality a CMM inspection can add to your business. You can find free advice about how contract measurement can boost productivity in our free e-book: How to Avoid Inspection Bottlenecks.
Give us a call on 0115 939 2228, or contact us online with any questions. Using skilled professionals to get your CMM based measurements will make your life a lot easier, and you can be confident in the data that you are buying.