Portable Shop-Floor CMM

June 1, 2012
Next-generation coordinate measuring machine is self-contained, uses standard outlets
The Brown & Sharpe 4.5.4 SF CMM system’s computer, controller, and interface boxes are integrated into a self-contained unit with locking wheels, for mobility throughout the machine shop.Hexagon Metrology launched the Brown & Sharpe 4.5.4 SF coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), designed to perform reliably in harsh manufacturing environments. The SF series also introduces a variety of advancements based on decades of experience with thousands of prior CMM models. With a focus on portability, the new series has a small footprint — 52.2×32.8×79.5 in. — that fits through a standard door. The system’s computer, controller, and interface boxes are integrated into one self-contained unit with locking wheels, for mobility throughout the manufacturing operation. The 4.5.4 SF also uses standard 110/220-volt outlets with no need for shop air. Currently available in North America, other launches for the product are planned for later in 2012.

The 4.5.4 SF incorporates design improvements for measurement and inspection applications, such as advanced thermal isolation and temperature compensation elements, to ensure accuracy in changing shop floor environments. The CMM’s design and standard elastomeric dampers isolate the measuring platform from most vibrations. Inverted high-resolution Heidenhain scales, covered ways, and internal cable management protect machine components from ambient dust and debris while minimizing friction. Hardened linear drives and recirculating bearings contribute to the CMM’s overall durability. For extreme environments, an optional active vibration dampening system is available.

The SF series is supplied with PC-DMIS metrology software as the standard. PC-DMIS STI+ (single touch interface) is controlled via a touch screen, expediting inspection program selection and launch. The software makes it easy for shop floor personnel to check parts without becoming CMM experts. With a few steps, STI+ graphically guides users through part setup and measurement and then produces concise, meaningful reports for immediate action. STI+ makes the CMM an attractive alternative to functional gauging on the shop floor.

“The 4.5.4 SF is one of the biggest advances in CMMs, continuing the trend of pushing dimensional inspection from the quality lab to the shop floor so inspection becomes simply another operation in the manufacturing process,” according to Eric Bennett, product manager for Hexagon Metrology. “With features and performance required by large manufacturers, the product’s price point makes the technology very accessible to small job shops.”

Hexagon Metrology is part of the Hexagon AB Group and includes several metrology brands, such as Brown & Sharpe, Cognitens, DEA, Leica Geosystems (Metrology Division), Leitz, m&h Inprocess Messtechnik, Optiv, PC-DMIS, QUINDOS, ROMER, Sheffield, and TESA.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)