ROMER Arm reduces production bottleneck

On-machine inspection reduces production time

Leitz PMMC MTU Aero Engines
The aerospace subsidiary of a multinational manufacturing group needed a solution to alleviate bottlenecks in its production department. The company manufactures towering airframe components which make up the superstructure of commercial aircraft. The company already owns a large bridge CMM of adequate size to measure the parts. However, due to the size and difficulty to move the parts, the company was searching for a portable measurement solution. The objective was two-fold. The first was to relieve some of the bridge CMM’s workload and the second was to be able to measure directly on the machining center setup without removing the fixtured parts.

The solution was the ROMER Absolute Arm 7525 with PC-DMIS Portable. This combination allows the operator to measure larger parts directly on the machine tool instead of taking them to the CMM. The ROMER arm’s magnetic base allows it to be secured directly to the machine tool during an inpection operation, and then removed for subsequent operations. The lightweight portability (less than 20 pounds) of the arm allows them to decrease tear downs of critical setups on the part, thereby improving operational efficiencies. The addition of the ROMER arm has allowed the company to completely eliminate the use of the bridge CMM for certain parts, freeing up the bridge machine for other work.

The PC-DMIS Portable software used with the portable arm has allowed the company to increase its programming output as well. PC-DMIS Portable, which includes operator customizations for portable devices, runs off the same core program structure as the PC-DMIS software used to operate a bridge CMM, so users of PC-DMIS will find PC-DMIS Portable’s user conventions to be familiar and intuitive. PC-DMIS Portable offers the choice of “free measure” capability—measuring without a pre-developed program, or programming a guided routine that instructs the portable CMM operator through a series of steps to inspect all the desired features. Since the customer had repetitive parts to measure, the programming of guided routines made sense. Using the Xactmeasure GD&T capability and direct CAD importation of part models, the customer was able to increase the speed in which new PC-DMIS programs are created for the ROMER arm.

The resulting improvement in production capacity had convinced the company to invest in additional arms to use on other machining centers in the facility.