In manufacturing businesses of all sizes, coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are a key tool for providing accurate, high-level data on produced parts, and for this reason are a vital component in most modern quality control systems.

A new CMM from a dealership that specializes in metrology solutions is a powerful tool. Not only will it be able to provide quick, detailed data scans of recently produced parts, it can also help create CAD blueprints from existing parts, thus playing an essential role in reverse engineering and prototype design.

None of this comes for free, of course, and cutting-edge CMMs can be expensive pieces of technology. For this reason, many manufacturers still prefer to use dated, manual measuring approaches that are prone to human and mechanical error rather than invest in a CMM that offers better measurement but which costs more to install.

While it’s easy to ‘go with what works’ the missed opportunities of cost savings and improved products should get any business owner excited about the possibilities. Sometimes the expression ‘it takes money to make money’ is very applicable for a manufacturing company. The point here is, the cost savings can greatly outweigh the initial investment.

The good news is that buying a new CMM isn’t the only way to go: there is also a booming market in used CMMs that deliver competitive performance at a significant discount. This is because most of the recent innovations in the measuring metrology world are about software, rather than hardware: a used CMM running new software can perform most of the same functions a brand-new model can.

Interest in used CMMs is growing, and for many firms they represent an opportunity to update the production line’s quality control without making a major up-front investment. But it is important to make sure when shopping for used CMMs that you are getting a piece of machinery that will actually work. Here are three things to keep in mind if you are in the market for a used CMM:

1.Buy From A Recognized Dealership

While it is possible to find a used CMM through an online marketplace or industry classifieds, these machines are often not in the best condition. Many licensed CMM experts like Canadian Measurement Metrology also sell used equipment, as well as probes and new software, which makes it easy to get a fully-functional CMM for less.

2.Test Any CMM Before Purchasing

As with any new or used machine, don’t make your purchase unless you’ve seen it in action. Most dealers will expect this, but it is important to make sure that when you test it, you test it on the kinds of parts you will actually need it to measure on your shop floor.

Working with a reputable CMM service provider means there is also a good chance the piece of equipment was tested before it crossed your path. While seeing it work before your eyes is certainly a good idea, don’t think it’s the only option.

3.Consider Replacing Probing System

When it comes to guaranteeing accurate readings, the most important part of a CMM is probably the probe system. The probe system contains several vital components, without which your CMM would be worthless, and due to their sensitive nature, they are often the first part of a CMM to wear out.

Before you purchase a CMM, ask about the probing system, and if it shows signs of age or isn’t configured to meet your needs, consider having it replaced.

Increasingly, CMMs are essential equipment for manufacturing companies of all sizes, and purchasing a used CMM is the best way to get a powerful, capable machine without needing to make a huge investment in capital. If you want to improve your production line’s accuracy and bring your business into the 21st century, find out if there is a measurement metrology specialist who deals in used CMMs in your region today.