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International Metrology System's Umpire CMM


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New CMM Enables Reverse Engineering and Accurate Die Tooling
International Metrology System's Umpire CMM

Progressive Stamping Inc. is a supplier of stampings and stamping assemblies to the automotive, truck and bus, and other demanding high-volume, high-tech industries. As part of its continuous improvement program to provide extensive inspection, tool qualification and reverse engineering capabilities, Progressive Stamping recently purchased an International Metrology Systems Umpire coordinate measuring machine.

 The Umpire CMM has become an integral part of Progressive's manufacturing process because it permits the generation of inspection programs before manufacturing is performed. When linked to real-time SPC, it provides the data essential to control the production process.

 "The reverse engineering capabilities of the CMM's software have been a real bonus for us," says Jim Carroll, Progressive Stamping's quality control manager. "Our initial justification for purchasing the CMM was to improve our ability to accurately check our tooling and inspect our customers' parts, many of which are critical parts with close tolerances. However, today, as automotive companies are shifting around their supplier base, we're being asked to quote or produce stampings that we don't have tools or prints for. Having the ability to reverse engineer from an existing part allows us to produce new tooling and inspection layouts quickly and accurately. This is something we were never able to do before.

 "The user-friendly design of the IMS Virtual DMIS software has been an unexpected plus for our quality technicians. We haven't had the sophistication of a CMM before, so the thought of having to learn how to use sophisticated software was a bit scary for our people. However, as it turns out, with only basic training from IMS and the use of the Virtual DMIS teaching software and the library of video clips, our inspection staff has been able to pick it up and run with it."

 With the new Windows-based software developments of Virtual DMIS, IMS has been able to provide sophisticated, easy-to-understand, easy-to-navigate solutions. Progressive Stamping is pleased with its progress so far and is continuing to develop and apply more and more of the product's capabilities to the needs of its particular stamping operation.

 The Umpire has been designed and built to rugged, exacting machine-tool standards and utilizes technology similar to that found at the heart of CNC machining centers and lathes. With fewer than 60 individual components, design simplicity provides the needed reliability and stability. Shop-floor contamination is prevented by a stylized single-piece enclosure, so there are no exposed moving parts or problematic bellows.

 The series includes the Umpire with an XYZ measuring envelope of 14 x 14 x 12 in. The machine currently in use at Progressive Stamping, the Umpire II, has a measuring envelope of 20 x 20 x 16 in. A third model, the Umpire III, has a measuring envelope of 30 x 20 x 16 in.

 Virtual DMIS CMM software enables seamless collection, analysis, visualization and communication of quality data throughout the manufacturing enterprise. It provides graphical programming, intelligent measuring, surfacing, pictorial output and SPC, fully linking 3-D CAD data with the CMM inspection process.

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