Coordinate measuring machines are essential measuring instruments for industry, but when you invest in one for your shop’s quality assurance department, it’s important to take into account who is going to operate and program it. A certified metrologists may not be in your budget, and in order to even begin the certification process, they need at least 2 years of experience already. Most metrologists wind up in their profession due to shifting requirements of their job, but that doesn’t mean that you can spare the mistakes and lost time that often go hand-in-hand with the “self-taught”approach. Industrial metrology is about accurate and dependable results, which means your QA needs to know how to program, calibrate, and operate whatever types of instruments you use in-house.
There are several routes to training your personnel in the operation of a new coordinate measuring machine, and one of the easiest ways is to work with a metrology dealer who can offer extensive training courses. From set up and handling to using CAD and offline programming, you should work with a vendor who can get your team up to speed and self-sufficient in all of your essential inspection tasks in a matter of days.
#1 Metrology Courses
The fastest way to bring your operators up to speed on your new machine is to send them to an intensive course to learn how to operate, calibrate, and program it. PC-DMIS, one of the most common software programs used for coordinate measuring machines, is also a popular subject of training courses offered by vendors. A level 1 PC-DMIS training course takes 5 days, so prepare to have your operator out of the shop for a work week. If you can, try training more than one personnel member so that you have a back up when you send your main operator out for further training or in case they fall ill.
A series of E-learning courses designed by vendor Canadian Measurement Metrology (CMM) make it possible to train operators in using PC-DMIS without ever having to leave the shop, meaning you can schedule training sessions according to the demands of your production line. Whether you need to schedule on/off training days or half-day learning, e-learning is the most flexible training option available.
#3 Ongoing Training
There is always more to learn, whether it’s by attending conferences on new developments in inspection technology or simply by learning new skills online. One great resource for picking up new skills like star probe calibration is www.cmmxyz.com which frequently posts free instructional videos that will teach personnel to perform more advanced programming and calibration tasks. Attending conferences is also a great way to learn about new measuring instruments and advancing software capabilities for metrologists who are always on the lookout for new ways to more efficiently and reliably provide measurements. Knowledgeable CMM operators reduce mistakes on the production line, identify machine tool errors faster, and earn the confidence of your customers. Make sure they have the tools and the training they need to keep your shop running effectively.