Groups Propose Standard-Inspection Probes

Faster and more flexible inspection processes are the goal of an ongoing standardization effort sponsored by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS).

"Our goal is to provide sufficient technical guidance so that independently developed probe and controller products will be compatible right out of the package," explains William Rippey, electrical engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, Md. NIST and nine other organizations are participating in the Next Generation Inspection System project -- now in its second phase -- organized by the NCMS.

With a proposed Sensor Interface Module (SIM), users of coordinate measuring machines and machine tools could integrate new inspection probes without customized engineering efforts. The implications: better inspection capabilities and reduced costs. Probe vendors could see their latest technology in use on shop floors in less time, Rippey adds.

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