Upgrading an old CMM with new hardware and software has become very popular in recent years, as it restores back to full performance a measuring tool which, by its very nature, does not "wear out". Only the electronics and software capabilities that the CMM was originally supplied with no longer reach the level required in today's competitive market.

Benefits of a CMM Retrofit

An upgrade to your existing CMM is an efficient alternative to the purchase of a new coordinate measuring machine, and the smart way to improve your existing measurement capabilities.

Our high-performance Metrolog X4 CMM software and the universal Metrologic CNC controllers allow you to fully optimise the measuring speed and performance of your CMM. Our solutions provide you with a uniform CMM software and CMM hardware technology platform for all of your machines, irrespective of make or type; we can retrofit any CMM type, including traditional bridge, gantry, horizontal arm and multi-arm machines. In addition, our retrofit solutions can also easily manage accessories such as tool changers, scanning probes, laser scanners, rotary tables, and even integration with external shopfloor PLC's.

An upgrade extends the life of your Coordinate Measuring Machine and makes it easier to service, as the items prone to failure and obsolescence (i.e.e the software and CNC controller) can be easily replaced with the latest technology. You can also take advantage of our CMM software maintenance agreements and support team, providing regular updates to your technology such that you are never caught out by operating system or PC hardware updates.

Another important, but less obvious benefit, is that it isn't always practical to replace an old CMM, as removing from your premises and disposing of an old CMM can be quite a difficult exercise.

Why change the complete CMM, when it's only the software and controller that need replacing ?

How We Upgrade a CMM

Our CMM upgrade and 3D measuring software update solutions give a second life to your coordinate measuring machines. The process involved is well-proven, as we have upgraded thousands of CMM's all around the World.

Prior to any retrofit, our experienced technical team will assess your existing CMM, by performing various tests to determine the characteristics and performance of the machine. At that time, we will also discuss with the users their objectives for mhaving a retrofit - increased accuracy, speed, software capability, probing technology, ease of use, reliability, etc. They will be able to determine the benefits of replacing controller hardware, retaining the existing controller, and any other repairs or upgrades that may be required to achieve your objectives.

Following installation of the ideal retrofit solution, our engineers will perform a complete tuning of the machine to ensure optimised movement and performance, followed by accuracy checking and CMM calibration. The CMM can be adjusted mechanically and also by advanced 23-parameter geometrical error compensation using laser interferometers.

CNC Controller

We will fully assess your existing CNC controller to consider the viability of retaining it in the future. In many cases, especially with newer CMM's, the existing controller is still serviceable (either by us directly or via the OEM), and therefore this can result in significant cost savings. With Metrolog X4 software, we have direct interfaces to over 50 different CMM controllers from around 15 CMM manufacturers. Of course, in such cases, the peformance of the CMM may be limited by the capability of the controller.

In cases where a controller replacement is deemed preferable, the Metrologic ME5009 is one of the most advanced digital CNC controllers available today. The system includes a standard 3-axis scale interface, motorised probe head controller (suitable for PH9 and older PH10 probe heads), power supply and servo amplifiers as standard. However, the ME5009 can also be upgraded to include ;

- a 4th axis scale and servo (e.g. rotary table, twin-drive gantry CMM, etc.)

- integration of SP25, SP600 and SP800 scanning probes

- integration of laser scanning probes such as the Kreon Zephyr

- high power servo option for very large machines

- fully automated probe and stylus changing systems

The ME5009 can be installed on any make or model of CMM, anmd is supplied with a choice of ergonomic hand controllers, all including joystick control of the machine, motorised probe head control, LCD display and programmable function keys. In some cases, wireless hand controllers are also available to give users complete fredom of movement around the part and machine.

All controllers are professionally installed by our own Metrologic trained technicians, who have experience of retrofitting numerous makes of CMM.

Motors & Drive Systems

The performance of a CMM is defined by the mechanical state of the motors and drive systems in the CMM. Over time, these can be affected by mechanical wear, and therefore the performance of some older machines can suffer from time-to-time.

By performing various tests, our engineers can define the characteristics of your CMM to see if they could be improved by replacing or overhauling the drive system on your CMM.

Measurement Scales and Reader Heads

Many older machines use quite an old technology of scale system that involves light passing through or reflecting off a glass scale. Compared to modern day scale systems, the old glass systems don't provide the same level of accuracy, and can often limit the speed of the CMM. Modern digital scales are relatively easy to fit to any CMM, and can extend the life and serviceability of a machine for many years.

Air Bearings and Air Lines

Most CMM systems operate through the use of compressed air bearings. It is essential that these are maintained in a clean and dry condition. The pipework that transmits the air to the bearings can also deteriorate over time, especially if the air is not clean and dry. In some cases, it is recommended to replace some or all of the hydraulic systems to ensure optimum performance. Air bearings would only be replaced if they have been damaged or have received excessive wear.

Probe Systems

Most CMM's use a basic touch trigger probe system, such as those manufactured by Renishaw. One reason for retrofitting a CMM is to provide the possibility to utilise more advanced probing solutions, such as scanning probes and 3D laser scanners.

In most cases, the existing OEM controller is not able to support such probing solutions, and therefore a controller retrofit is essential. The Metrologic ME5009 controller is able to provide a solution in every case, giving your CMM a complete new lease of life and the ability to fully embrace the latest measurement technologies.

Measurement Solutions are an authorised partner for the Renishaw Changers Promotion, whereby anybody purchasing a PH10 PLUS motorised probe head will be entitled to a free changer rack and probe modules (conditions apply). For further details click on the Renishaw logo. 

Metrolog X4 3D Inspection Software for CMM's

Of course, no CMM retrofit is complete without upgraded software. Metrolog X4 is the World's leading independent CMM retrofit software, suitable for use on ANY make or model of CMM. Metrolog X4 can deal with all measuring applications - the modular system enables you to select the right level of functionality to suit your exact needs, measurement requirements and budget.

23-Parameter Error Mapping

Most modern CMM's require additional error-mapping to compensate for built-in manufacturing errors. In some cases, even older CMM's that were not originally error-mapped can benefit enormously from advanced software compensation to eliminate localised errors. Metrologic's highly advanced error-mapping software enables any machine to be software compensated for any combination of up to 23 error parameters, such as pitch, roll, yaw, linearity, straightness, etc.

Error-mapping can even be applied to machines that appear to offer good measuring accuracy, with the benefit that the resulting machine is almost certainly guaranteed to be more accurate than it was before our engineers performed a full error-map. Following completion of every error map, our service team are able to provide a UKAS accredited certification of your CMM to ISO10360 requirements.

Any Make, Any Model, Any Type - We Have A Solution !

It doesn't matter what make or model of measuring system you have - with Metrologic Group software, we have a solution.

Our commitment - guaranteed improvements in accuracy,

performance and ease of use of your CMM !

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