5 Reasons to Upgrade Your CMM with a Retrofit Controller

by Filippo Racciu on September 10, 2018 From Technology, News And Comment

While a robust structure ensures that coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) enjoy a long lifespan, essential component parts like CNC controllers are less able to keep up with rapidly-advancing technology and improvements in machine performance and standards. When a CNC controller is approaching end-of-life, a replacement model can revitalise the machine and optimise operations.

When it comes to a controller retrofit, prevention is better than cure. Not only do you get the full benefits of an upgrade, but prevention strengthens your options, as opposed to forcing your hand and necessitating a quick purchase because your machine is down and costing you money.

So what can you expect to achieve from a CMM controller retrofit? Some of the benefits below should ideally be the bare minimum of any retrofit offering, while some are particular enhancements of our RC Line of retrofit controllers, which are fully compatible with most Hexagon and non-Hexagon bridge, horizontal arm, and gantry CMMs.

1. Avoid costly downtime. Delaying replacement until the controller is obsolete could lead to critical errors. Any unplanned downtime could be prolonged by difficulties in finding replacement parts, as obsolete components replaced by modern technologies may no longer be available on the market. A proactive controller retrofit prevents these costly risks and extends the life of a CMM. The installation of the controller should ideally involve short downtime too; Hexagon’s RC retrofit controllers uses R-TUNE technology to automatically compute any CMM parameters, meaning the machine is only briefly out of action.

2. Optimise CMM performance. A retrofit isn’t just about getting the machine up and running. To maximise ROI, you can upgrade the machine, increasing:

  • Ease-of-use
  • Throughput
  • Measuring capability
  • Data processing capacity
  • Automation
3. Drive future-readiness. By updating the machine with the latest software and sensors, a CNC controller upgrade prepares the CMM for next-generation technologies, meaning the machine can keep pace with advancing industrial developments and performance expectations.

4. Extend application capabilities. Able to support all Hexagon sensors and tool changers, the RC Line of controllers can increase the application and measuring flexibility of the CMM, transforming it into a multisensor machine with touch trigger, tactile scanning, and non-contact measurement capabilities

5. Enhance training at lower cost. By enabling an upgrade to I++ Simulator software – which virtually simulates the entire inspection process – the RC Line allows for more cost-effective on-going training, bolstering users’ skills without using costly machine time.

Looking to enhance your CMM and optimise operations? Then view the complete RC Line or download the product brochure.

Filippo Racciu

Filippo Racciu is responsible for project management and business development activities for the Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence global services and support group. He joined the company in 2012 with 15 years’ experience of international direct sales, marketing and business development in the automation and metrology industries.