Used coordinate measuring machines are a popular solution for many shops that want to improve their quality control processes on a budget. You can find just about any brand and any model of coordinate measuring machine from the last two decades on the market, including mainstream names like Mitutoyo, Sheffield, DEA, Zeiss, ROMER portable arms, and Leica laser trackers. Behind the robust market for used coordinate measuring machines is the fact that the equipment has an incredibly long lifespan – over 30 years of mechanically sound operation with basic maintenance. It’s also a common and easy process to upgrade and retrofit an older machine so that it can keep pace with contemporary tolerancing standards as well as reach higher inspection speeds.
Buying your own quality control equipment for your shop is an effective way to control inspection costs and get measurements done on your own schedule, instead of depending on contract services. When you’re considering the next move to make in your quality control department, the best place to start is by analyzing your current and predicted future inspection requirements. What are the accuracy requirements of your buyer, or those of contracts you want to win in the future? Are you only sampling or do you require 100 percent inspection? What are your goals for improving inspection – minimizing scrap, reducing delays due to errors, correcting errors in production mid-process, or just a more accurate final check?
There are hundreds of used coordinate measuring machines on the market right now from a variety of sources. Go online and you can find a lot of people talking about auctions, where equipment can be had at incredibly low prices. However, buying at auction comes with considerable risks, and it’s not something that you should try unless you know what you’re doing. You can’t tell from looking at a machine whether or not it’s still mechanically sound, you will still have to pay a buyer’s premium, have it transported to your shop, and have it calibrated and certified – and that’s all if it actually works. Auction houses also routinely sell the computer that comes with the machine separately, which could lead to missing data and software.
On the other hand, a used coordinate measuring machine dealer, such as Canadian Measurement Metrology Inc. (or CMM), will cost a little bit more, but offer a guaranteed, no-hassle, no-guesswork machine that still costs anywhere from 50 to 65 percent the price tag of a new version. While it may cost a little more, the dealer inspects the machine, repairs any flaws, guarantees that it will work to specification when it arrives on your floor, and handles transportation. You can also work with dealers like CMM on custom retrofits and upgrades, so that you walk away with the machine you need.
When it comes to quality control, you can’t run any risks. Equipment failure can lead to days of lost productivity and buying a machine at auction that doesn’t work can be a fatal move. Get top-of-the-line, guaranteed used CMM equipment from Canadian Measurement Metrology and start improving your quality control processes. Efficient, smart manufacturing and high-quality, fully tested components are the future of manufacturing. Stay competitive and upgrade the metrology equipment in your business now.