Relocation device on cmm's?
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  1. #1
    SND is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Default Relocation device on cmm's?

    Just got curious, since a few cnc manufacturers are putting relocation devices that lock your machine if its moved, batteries go dead, etc. Which apparently all started with Mit's CMM ordeal. Does any cmm builder actually put such a device on a CMM that would lock it up if its moved or batteries go dead? I haven't heard of it... seems kinda ironic if nobody does.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    I think you're looking at two unrelated issues here.

    Dead batteries are a safety issue, as they can cause loss of positional information for moving parts of the machine.

    Machine movement is more of a licensing issue, since it could indicate sale of the machine and consequent re-licensing requirement of the software. It might also require recalibration if ownership has not changed. It all depends on the s/w license.

    Just speculation here.

    - Leigh

  3. #3
    machtool is online now Titanium
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Melbourne Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by The real Leigh View Post
    I think you're looking at two unrelated issues here.

    They are starting to get related, several of the Japanese companies are linking the relocation devise to the dead battery alarm. Otherwise you can electrically disconnect the machine, pull the batteries so it is brain dead, and cant monitor anything.

    Pick up and move the machine, then just re-load the system parameters. And you would be good to go again, so they tie that relocation alarm to it. That requires a code from head office.

    I was talking to a friend that works for Mori DMG here. They had lots of problems with those earth quakes in Christchurch New Zealand some months ago. That was enough to trigger the relocation alarms, on lots of machines.

    He was telling me, that it was going to be like a 7 – 10 day procedure to get that code. There’s supposed to be a site visit to prove the machine is still where you say it is, and they have to gather 6 signatures as it goes up the chain of command to head office, before they release that code.

    They had to kick a few heads to get that done in a timely manner.

    I’m not sure what they do with CMM’s, I don’t know many people on that side of the industry. I’d imagine they must be the same since Mitutoyo, got that ball rolling.

    Regards Phil.

  4. #4
    hotbluechips is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    winchester virginia


    We just purchased a mit cmm 1X1X3 meter.
    The installer told me that it had such a device and that the tremmors we had in virginia awhile back set some off at other plants.
    Ours weighs in at 12 tons so we will not be moving it.

  5. #5
    tmt is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    I have heard talk about some CNC tool mfg's putting such devices on their newer models, again with rumors it started with mits. There was some talk hear about Haas having the ability to decommission it's machines if payments weren't up to date (damn I wish I could do that to some of my customers ) and the mori thing about moving theirs.

    I have an older mit's CMM that I know doesn't have any such tracking device. but mit does try to keep track of it. Every so often (the last time was a few months ago) mit sends me a letter asking if the CMM is still located at the same location as previously reported. I have had their service department ask me the location of the machine before proceeding with the conversation. I wonder about these newer shop floor machines that are intended to be moved from one location in a plant to the other. How are they tracking them and what criteria are they using? Heck I get more attention for whatever department is in charge of that than I get from their sales people.

    Here is another question. If you move your machine and it alarms the mfg of it, who pays to have someone come out and verify it's new location? I am adding on to one of my buildings and some machines will be moved. If they do or were to have such devices, I am damn sure not going to pay for some company man to come out and verify it's location. They are bought, paid for and are now my property, not anyone else's. I don't give a shit about software licenses, if it comes with software which it won't function without or renders it useless, I believe I am within my rights to seek restitution from any mfg that devalues it, after all these arent $500 computers used by hackers.

    This is a good subject and would welcome any mfg that employs these techniques so we can get past the rumors or guessing game. What get's my goat is when during the normal coarse of doing business an event occurs that shuts down your machine and the length of time it takes to get it going again. Is this aimed at the small guys? I would think a large company and their legal departments wouldn't put up with loss of income due to such practices. Oh and don't use the "It's because of National Sercurity" excuse as a blanket BS answer!

  6. #6
    Hollistergc is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Cincinnati, Ohio


    It all stems from late 1980's sanctions on equipment and technology to prevent Iran from advancing development of WMD's and such.
    After the Bans were enacted, Mitz equipment magically showed up in Iran even though it was originally sold to another country. Mitz spent a lot of time in litigation on this issue, I don't remember what the end result was.

    However, the thought is/was that the "move" sensors would stop machines from being installed in one "allowed" country and then subsequently showing up in Iran.
    It has nothing to do with software licensing per sey, just ensuring that the physical location is still somewhere that the technology is allowed.
    Usually all that is required is a quick phone call to the manufacturer to get the code...
    I have never had a problem getting the code from the manufacturer.

    I hope this additional information is helpful.

    Greg Hollister
    Hollister Machine Tool Services

  7. #7
    RC99's Avatar
    RC99 is online now Diamond
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    near Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by Hollistergc View Post
    Usually all that is required is a quick phone call to the manufacturer to get the code...
    I was reading in another thread that I think it was Mazak require an onsite inspection to give the code out to make sure the machine is where it is supposed to be..... Which I assume the agent charges for...

    Be OK if the agent is just down the road.... What if he is 5000km away?

    I think it is pretty absurd the idea of being unable to move the machine...


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