We’re nearing the completion of our tour through the Digital Machine Shop. My name is John Zhang, and I am a Dimensional Management Consultant at Siemens Digital Industries Software. This post looks at the inspection process, and I will discuss how the same digital thread we’ve followed through the design and manufacturing of the quadcopter mold continues seamlessly into another critical operation – part inspection on a coordinate measuring machine (CMM).
Specifically, I’ll show how the Siemens solution, NX CMM Inspection Programming, was used in this project to program a Renishaw Equator machine to verify the dimensions of the mold core. As with the previous blog posts in this Digital Machine Shop series, you’ll see the advantages of the Digital Twin approach, in this case for accelerating and optimizing CMM inspection programming. These include:
- Automating CMM programming by using the PMI data attached to 3D digital models
- Validating machine moves using a digital twin of the CMM machine
- Analyzing and visualizing CMM data on the 3D model to close the loop between design and production
These benefits are the result of connecting the inspection department with the digital thread that unifies the end-to-end production process. This connectivity allows the quality inspection engineers to reuse 3D model data, similar to the way CAM programmers use CAD data to accelerate toolpath creation. Traditionally, inspection is not integrated in this way. Often, CMM programmers work from 2D drawings and use stand alone applications, requiring a programmer to manually augment the information on drawings with dimensional, shape and position tolerances. It also requires a physical part and consumes a lot of valuable CMM time.
Associativity between the CAD, CAM and CMM applications in NX not only eliminates these obstacles. It gives you the ability to digitally transfer design intent all the way to production, and to quickly adapt inspection programs in case of design changes.