Metrology is a growing industry as market penetration of big-ticket equipment like coordinate measuring machines and articulating arms increases, driven by increased global auto production as well as greater adoption in the production of medical devices. Automotive and aerospace industries have traditionally led the adoption of better metrology equipment by shops worldwide, but they’re no longer the only industries that have started to demand higher accuracy from parts suppliers. Suppliers from around the world should be paying attention to changes in the metrology market to make sure that they don’t get left behind by the competitors.

What big changes lie ahead in the metrology market, what kinds of equipment are shops buying, and which parts of the world are catching up or speeding ahead?

Asia-Pacific Set for Highest CAGR

The Asia-Pacific region is set to see its CAGR in metrology exceed 7.2% through to 2020, meaning North American shops will see stiffer competition in automotive and other industries. Introducing automated inspection equipment allows shops to deliver higher quality components with more demanding measurements on time and with more reliability. In order to attract new orders from more demanding clients, your shop will have to keep up with new metrology equipment.

Portable Arms, Bridge, and Gantry-Type Coordinate Measuring Machines

The three most popular types of coordinate measuring machines set to continue to grow are:

Portable arms — Portable arms are one of the most affordable options and a great way to introduce metrology to a shop, as you can put them on the shop floor and measure components where they are, without spending time to load and unload them. You can also find out about how to maintain portable arms or improve their performance with laser scanners by visiting Cmmxyz.com/portable-cmm.

Bridge-type machines — The standard coordinate measuring machine, this stationary equipment offers great repeatability and precision at an affordable price.

Gantry-type machines — The gantry is designed for large and heavy parts that wouldn’t fit on a bridge-type machine, while offering much higher precision than a portable arm. It also offers open access to the measuring volume, so that components can be loaded by lift truck.

Quality Control Continues to Dominate Priorities

Faster and more accurate quality control remains the driving force behind the growth of metrology, and Global Industry Analysts Inc. predicts that coordinate measuring machines will keep expanding beyond the automotive sector, especially into medical devices.

If you’re worried that your shop is falling behind the global standard for quality control, talk to a metrology dealer about your options. Metrology firms like Canadian Measurement Metrology (CMM) offer a number of solutions; while the answer for your company may be investing in new portable arms or a gantry-style coordinate measuring machine, you may be able to improve accuracy and efficiency simply by upgrading your current software or adding equipment like a laser scanner. You can also see significant savings by buying a used coordinate measuring machine and upgrading the software. These are also available from independent dealers like CMM, which provide more reliable used equipment than auctions. A metrology dealer will thoroughly inspect any used machine that they buy and guarantee that it will operate to specs when it arrives on your shop floor. You can rely on the advice and assistance of an independent metrology dealer to stay ahead of the curve and improve your quality control systems. As manufacturing grows more competitive and metrology sees greater penetration in the Asia-Pacific region, it’s time to upgrade your inspection process.