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Standards Organization Finds CMMs Underutilized

Coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are state-of-the-art inspection tools for measuring the threedimensional geometries of manufactured parts and assemblies of parts. A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) survey of how CMMs are used in U.S. Navy manufacturing facilities identifies 11 high-priority issues that are key to improving CMM applications and quality assurance practices in the production of high-precision parts for weapons systems.

The review — of 22 Navy in-house and contractor-run production facilities found a significant portion of CMMs to be underutilized or used improperly, similar to problems reported in studies of other industries.

A review by NIST researchers was commissioned by the Navy's Manufacturing Technology Program. Single copies of U.S. Navy Coordinate Measuring Machines: A Study of Needs (NISTIR 5379), are available from David Stieren, B113 Meteorology Bldg., NIST, Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-0001; tel: (301) 975-3197; fax: (301) 869-0822; or e-mail: (via Internet).

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