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Maintaining Your CMM Machine

QCI CMM inspection operator using a DEA CMM machines to conduct subcontract inspection on some aerospace components for a customer. The operator is manually adjusting the CMM program to be able to inspect the aerospace parts on the CMM machine. The parts are fixted to the granite surface using a specialist CMM fixture.

In order for your CMM to continuously operate in a safe and accurate way, then then the following maintenance schedule should be followed:


Be sure to turn the main disconnect switch to OFF when making adjustments, removing or replacing covers, guards, components, and when making inspections which require physical contact with the machine. Some inspection and adjustments requires the MAIN DISCONNECT SWITCH to be in the ON position to provide necessary power. In such cases, use extreme caution prevent personal injury. 

subcontract inspection being carried out on aerospace parts. precision subcontract inspection being completed in a temperature controlled inspection environment using a DEA CMM and PCDMIS software.

Daily Maintenance

Visual Inspection:


  • Damaged, broken, or loose probes.
  • Damaged or twisted cables, especially to the jogbox.
  • Loose guards or covers.
  • Note any unusual noises when machine is running.
  • Any burnishing to the bearing ways could be an indication of a major mechanical fault.
  • Wipe both the bearing ways and the granite table with a lint-free cloth and clear solvent.
  • Clean the guideways of all axes using a dry lint-free cloth.
  • Clean the probe module and extension using a dedicated cleaning kit.

Monthly Maintenance

Visual Inspection:


  • Inspect the machine for any loose, worn, or damaged parts.
  • Check that cable insulation is not damaged.
  • Check condition of of pneumatic air filters and drain if necessary.
  • Clean and replace the electrical cabinet filters on the intake and exhaust (if applicable).
  • Clean the machine structure and painted guards with industrial detergents that are soluble in water. Be mindful not to touch guideways, optical scales, belts, or measure head.
  • Clean guideways of the Z axis.
  • Wipe the optical scales.

Quarterly Maintenance

Visual Inspection:

  • Conduct a full visual check of the machine.
  • Check all guards and covers.
  • Visually check all push buttons/switches.
  • Check to ensure that all of the axes are functioning correctly.
  • Check that all air pipes are intact and that noticeable air leaks are present.
  • Visually check all electrical switches and pushbuttons to make certain that they are functioning properly and that there are no broken, cracked, or loose components.

The Calibration Artifact.

CMM calibrating using an artifact

One of the most important parts of your system is the calibration artifact or sphere. Before any operator attempts to calibrate a probe, please ensure that the following instructions have been carried out:

Visual Inspection:


  • Check for damaged, broken, or loose probe head components (tip & module).
  • Check that calibration sphere is fixed tightly to the cmm table.
  • Clean the probe and extension using a dedicated cleaning kit.
  • Clean the tip using IPA alcohol and a dry lint-free cloth.
  • Clean the sphere using IPA alcohol and a dry lint-free cloth.