Looking at a Zeiss CMM
This is my first post in this forum so be gentle!
I have a line on a Zeiss MC 850 from around the mid 1980's there is little information on what software and versions it has. The monitors look ancient and the seller is not forthcoming with details. The overall appearance is clean and no glaring oops. The machine is powered up and I will have a chance to look at it in person for a brief period of time, what should I look for and how do I perform these tasks?
My experience with CMM date back 30 plus years to an old Cordax and it is all a brave new world for me with even and older machine as this.
I use an 80's era Leitz PMM that our company bought new. I've been using it since the early 90's so I can maybe give you a few pointers as to what to look at.
I think my first question would be about the electronics. What era electronics does it have? Has it been upgraded at any point in its life? I would then place a call to Zeiss and find out if the parts for the electronics are still available. Our Leitz got to the point that electronic parts were not available anymore and we had to upgrade to the latest electronics ($120,000 +).
Also, what version software does it use? How old is the PC and will the current software will run on a modern era PC in case the current PC dies. I ran into that issue and we had to end up upgrading to the newest version software because we were told the older version software would not run on modern PC's.
Is it a Zeiss with the dedicated probe head or does it use a Renishaw articulating head? If Renishaw, I would find out if the probe head is obsolete so you don't get stuck with having to purchase a $15k + probe head right off the bat if the old one goes out.
I would also ask to see the history of the calibration on it. That should be available. If is not, that would be a red flag for me. We have all the calibration certs for our CMM all the way back to its original installation.
I hope this helps.
Thank you Ken,
The sale went off last Thursday and it sold to somebody for far more than my target price. I did find out that it had older software and was out of calibration one cycle due to the pending sale. It was a very nice machine but, at this point it would have been more eye candy than practical. That greatly affected the price I was willing to pay. The machine was in very nice condition overall and with the large work envelope it was and is a good size machine.
This was my first serious look at a CMM for our shop and I see there is much to learn about the hardware and software available. I have a number of things to complete before we search in earnest for a CMM.