Inspec Insights

Pre-owned CMMs: Why They’re A Good Idea and What to Consider When Purchasing.

There are many reasons to purchase a pre-owned CMM, but saving money and time are the main two.  The cost of most used machines is half, or less, of a new one.  They are also usually available for delivery right away rather than waiting eight weeks, or more if it is coming from overseas, for a new one.

Physically coordinate measuring machines haven’t changes much in the last quarter century or more, and if they have been maintained properly will provide many, many years of trouble-free service.  However, there are lots of things to consider when looking at a pre-owed CMM including: the size of machine you need, the probe system, scales and air lines, the computer and software, delivery, set up and training.

What size machine you need depends on the parts you’re going to be inspecting however, it’s usually a good idea to add eight to ten inches per side to give yourself a little breathing room.  No one ever regretted purchasing a bigger machine, that is, as long as you have the floor space.

When it comes to the probing system there are fixed, manual, indexable and five-axis.  There are pros and cons to each, Inspec can help you determine which is best for your application.  Spare parts such as motors, scales, encoders and air bearings are easy to source.  On the other hand, controllers, and jog boxes are usually obsolete after 5 to 10 years but they can usually be sourced from aftermarket suppliers. 

The computer and software currently on the machine should be very carefully researched.  These components have the shortest lifespan due to the ever-updating versions of windows which can cause compatibility issues.  Add to that new CMM software releases aren’t usually well matched with older hardware and it can be very expensive to fall behind on updating these.  Now is the time to invest in the computer and software, by updating these it allows the buyer ownership of state-of-the-art metrology equipment, again at significantly less than new.

The machine should be professionally prepared for moving using the proper braces, padding and crating.  It should be shipped single, closed carrier in a truck big enough to hold the entire crate.  Installation, set up and calibration can be completed by the same company which packed the CMM.  Calibration is a must for the machine to start off measuring properly.

Inspec can help set up software training with the manufacturer, it can be at your facility or theirs.  Either way you can get the knowledge you need to get the most out of your new machine.

We hope these tips will help you make the best possible choice when it comes to adding a pre-owed CMM to your metrology tool chest.  Inspec has several pre-owed CMMs ready for delivery, which can be viewed here (insert link to website) or we can help you find one that meets your needs.  Call your sales rep today to discuss your CMM needs.

Leave a comment