CMM for the Automotive Industry

Coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are precise measurement devices that use a probe to collect coordinates and calculate dimensions. CMMs usually span three categories: bridge/gantry, cantilever/horizontal, and arm/portable.

CMMs are used in industries like aerospace, medical, and automotive, just to name a few. In this blog, we’ll discuss CMMs for automotive applications and how to choose a cmm and software for various applications.

How CMM Machines are Used in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is ever-evolving and values safety above all. Metrology in the automotive industry manufacturing is vital; inspections and measurements are frequently taken throughout the manufacturing process.

Using a CMM for automotive manufacturing began as a manual device requiring lots of calculations to figure out the measurements, but now they’re highly automated and make a difference in the quality of vehicles. Vehicles are now lasting longer with less issues overall because of better automotive metrology practices.

CMMs help technicians measure beyond the human eye or 2D metrology tools. Technicians adhere to tighter tolerance with CMMs and can evaluate GD&T data too.

Choosing the Right CMM for Automotive Applications

Picking the right CMM depends on the type of parts you have, when in the process you’re measuring, and your tolerances.

Select the Proper Model

To choose a CMM for automotive applications, it’s helpful to know the differences between models and the benefits of each.

Bridge or gantry CMMs are usually attached to the floor or unmovable. They’re for parts usually no larger than 6 feet and highly accurate because of their sturdiness and probe movability. These are used on environmentally controlled floors, so they are good for final inspection.

Horizontal and cantilever CMMs are better for medium to small-sized components. They aren’t as precise as a bridge or gantry coordinate measuring machine, so these may be better for metal slabs or pre-processing. These are also usually stationed in one area.

Arm CMMs have probes similar to a body’s joint. They’re the most flexible and sometimes even portable. Because of the flexibility in measuring and inspecting, arm CMMs are ideal for in-process inspection or large parts that can’t be moved.

Select the Proper Software

After choosing your model, consider software. Depending on when and where you’re inspecting and measuring, environmental control could be a software to invest in. This is software that calculates the measurement depending on the room temperature and then converts it to a standardized temperature. Some also prevent vibration from affecting the inspection.

Another software choice is CAD model comparison. CAD model comparison increases automotive metrology efficiency by having an automatic OK/NG of your component compared to how it's supposed to be. There’s also software for statistical and traceability reports to streamline the administrative processes.

CMMs may also have software that has an intuitive interface for cutting down training. Since the automotive industry is ever-changing and fast-paced, investing in software that makes your process more efficient is recommended.

Integrate the CMM into the Automotive Manufacturing Process

Adding a CMM to your manufacturing practice offers automotive industry solutions. The inclusive CMM measurement structure tackles parts of all shapes and sizes—from car doors to small gears. Precise measurements result in fewer scraps, reduced recalls, and longer-lasting vehicles.

If you want a user-friendly coordinate measuring machine that can be used anywhere, KEYENCE CMMs are for you. We offer two CMMs, the XM and WM, that are handheld, portable, and wireless. The XM and WM measure with the press of a button and present real-time results on the screen. Contact us today for a demo or to discuss any questions you may have.

Related Downloads

XM Series Handheld Probe Coordinate Measuring Machine Catalog

Brochure for the XM-5000 Series Handheld CMM. Portable CMM to easily and accurately measure 3D and GD&T features anywhere including the shop floor and in the machine tool.


WM Series Wide Area CMM Catalog

Brochure for the WM Series Wide-Area CMM. A portable setup with a wireless handheld probe that enables users measure large parts and equipment.