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The world's first carbon fibre CMM superstructure

International Metrology Systems

Passion for Perfection


In 1992 The International Metrology (IMS) Group acquired Ferranti Metrology who were the inventors of CMM technology in 1959. We are justifiably proud of this heritage and, driven by our Passion for Perfection, continue to build on this distinguished reputation through the development of leading edge technologies.

Since 1959 over six thousand Ferranti and IMS CMM's have been delivered to customers throughout the world. Installations range from small bridge based CMM's to large gantry style systems and include not only our class leading products but also ultra high precision bespoke systems and non-contact optical metrology. Driven by our Passion for Perfection, IMS' mission is to design, manufacture and supply innovative and superior quality metrology systems and software. Our commitment to superior technology is only matched by our determination for total customer delight. The PREMIER is the latest revolutionary system developed at the IMS facility near Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. It integrates lightweight carbon fibre technology with nearly half a century of engineering knowledge and experience to provide a class leading, highly stable measuring system with enhanced operational performance. IMS' award winning Virtual DMIS software is the result of continuous improvement and innovation in the development of measurement software. Virtual DMIS is proven to be the leading DMIS based solution for metrology software and offers a simple interactive screen providing easy and flexible programming for all measurement tasks. When you select a CMM, retrofit or software product from IMS, you select the most advanced product available anywhere in the world, manufactured by a company that specialises in co-ordinate measurement technology and the promise of the most comprehensive after sales service available.

Driven by our Passion for Perfection, our commitment to superior technology is only matched by our determination for total customer delight

Passion for perfection



A Carbon Fibre Structure

From Formula 1 race cars to Americas Cup yachts, to high-performance aircraft, when speed and strength are the goal, Carbon Fibre is the material of choice.

Carbon fibre is now being recognised as the preferred material in the metrology world since IMS created the PREMIER, a range of the most technologically advanced CMM's ever, utilising Carbon Fibre for the entire superstructure of the machine. The PREMIER is the first CMM in the industry to boast an all Carbon Fibre superstructure; the entire moving structure components (Bridge Beam, Y Main Carriage, Y Support Leg and Z Column) are made from Carbon Fibre.

Carbon Fibre is an ideal material for use in the metrology world

In comparison with aluminium (a traditional material for making CMM's), Carbon Fibre composites easily outperform. · · · · · 14 times more tensile strength 19 times lower thermal expansion 5 times greater stiffness 1 /2 the weight 10 times greater stiffness to weight ratio.

All Carbon Fibre elements make up the superstructure of the PREMIER

Carbon Fibre simply outperforms other materials used in the CMM industry ­ as can be seen by the table below Carbon Fibre* Aluminium Alloy* Tensile Strength

MN/m^2 ( Mpa )

Mild Steel 460 11.7 210 7.75 27

Ceramic* Granite 320 4.3 240 3.4 71 7-10 5.5-7.5 60-100 2.70-2.90 24

4300 1.2 380 1.55 245

300 23 70 2.77 25

Thermal Expansion



GN/m^2 ( Gpa )


1000 Kg / m^3

Stiffness/Wt Ratio

GPa /1000Kg / m^3

*Material Used for comparison Carbon Fibre - M40SC, Aluminium - 6082TF and Ceramic - AC270

Tensile Strength

5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0

Thermal Expansion

25 20 15 10 5 0

Stiffness/Weight Ratio

250 200 150 100 50 0


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Minimise the effects of

Near Zero Rate of Thermal Expansion

A major factor affecting the accuracy and repeatability of any CMM is the manner in which the overall structure reacts to temperature changes. Generally large errors are introduced due to CMM manufacturers using materials with a high rate of thermal expansion (e.g. Aluminium at 23 µ/m/ºC). The PREMIER uses Carbon Fibre which has a near zero rate of thermal expansion (1.2 µ/m/ºC) which minimises these inaccuracies. The example below shows the effects of a 5ºC temperature change on materials commonly used in the manufacture of CMM's. Carbon Fibre reacts extremely well to a 5ºC temperature swing resulting in only 6 microns error, whereas Aluminium at 115 microns and Steel at 58.5 microns are some of the worst performers.

Material type Carbon Fibre Aluminium Mild Steel Ceramic Granite

Thermal expansion of material 1.2 µ/m/ºC 23 µ/m/ºC 11.7 µ/m/ºC 4.3 µ/m/ºC 6.5 µ/m/ºC

5ºC temperature change 6 microns error 115 microns error 58.5 microns error 21.5 microns error 32.5 microns error

Image indicates the introduced error in microns over a 5ºC temperature change

120 100 80 60 40 20 0


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ambient temperatures

Drive motors

Having deigned a class leading structure the IMS development team extended the concept of a thermally efficient machine by minimising the effect of heat radiating from the motors. On every CMM built the drive motors create heat that radiates through the structure. This causes localised expansion and distortion resulting in systematic errors. As can be seen in the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model opposite the red areas show the detrimental effect of a local heat source such as a drive motor.

Traditional CMM's suffer from localised heating due to temperature from drive motors. These effects have been minimised on the PREMIER machine

The PREMIER's drive system has the following advantages over its competitors: Lightweight structure Since Carbon Fibre is extremely light, the PREMIER requires smaller drive motors that generate, and therefore transfer, less heat to the structure. Thermally isolated drive motors By remotely mounting the drive motors, IMS has minimised thermal conduction to the structure. Low thermal expansion of the structure. The use of Carbon Fibre ensures that any heat that does reach the structure has the minimum effect on accuracy.

Small motors which are remotely mounted aim to avoid thermal transfer problems

Why compensate for your CMM's shortcomings?

Most manufacturers (including IMS) can offer full temperature compensation on their CMMs in an attempt to minimise the effect on the systematic errors. Carbon Fibre offers such a low thermal expansion that the PREMIER requires less software correction to bring it to the required specification. IMS believe it is is better to use a material requiring less software correction rather than having to compensate for large errors difficult to compensate for and introduces inaccuracies in the CMM. The PREMIER's superstructure is made from one type of material which cuts down on different rates of thermal expansions and allows it to expand and contract in a uniform manner. As a consequence the mathematical error compensation package used on most CMM's is greatly simplified on the Premier range.

Confident shop floor use

The PREMIER may not only be used in a quality room environment but also due to the near zero rate of thermal expansion it can be used confidently on the shop floor right next to the manufacturing process. This increases the speed of feedback to the machine tools so improving productivity, lowering scraps rates and in turn increasing profits.

Single material for structure

Similarly, some competitors CMM structures are manufactured from different materials (e.g steel for the two support legs and ceramic for the bridge and Z column). When heat is applied to the structure this causes the machine to twist and bend due to the different rates of expansion of each of the materials. This is


The fastest bridge

The PREMIER offers unrivalled velocities up to 1039 mm/sec with accelerations up to 2598 mm/sec2 and measuring speeds up to 20 mm/sec. Decreasing cycle times is a common theme across the whole manufacturing process with the shortest time to market being critical. All machine tools have to offer a fast floor to floor time with the CMM subjected to the same pressures. The increased speed of the PREMIER gives superb advantages over competitors machines: · Ability to measure the maximum number of parts in the shortest time · Expensive machine tools are more efficient and not sat idle for long periods of time waiting for inspection results · Money saved by measuring more parts per hour · Less number of CMM's required to support the whole manufacturing process.

Velocities up to 1039 mm/sec Accelerations up to 2598 mm/sec2 Measuring speeds up to 20 mm/sec

Due to the light and stiff structure, the inertia generated is extremely small when accelerating and decelerating. This means that higher speeds can be given with less stress on the structure. Combining these extremely fast speeds with Continuous Motion Control, which automatically smoothes the probe path during movement, results in up to 30% reduction in cycle times and less stress overall on the machine.

Continuous Motion Control smoothes the probe path during CNC measurement and decreases cycle times by up to 30%

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) ­ Modern techniques for a modern machine

FEA has been rigorously employed to achieve a structure which boasts high dimensional stability and guarantees exceptional performance under loading such as extremely high move speeds. The examples below show the deflection of two different PREMIER beam bridge beams during high speed movement. Near zero errors are shown on the PREMIER's beam whereas extremely large errors are introduced on the competitors beam.

Competitors beam

Small deflection of a Carbon Fibre bridge structure when under load. The stiffness to weight ratio is extremely high.

Large deflection of a competitors bridge structure when under load. The stiffness to weight ratio is extremely low.


CMM in the world

Although the PREMIER is fast in acceleration, velocity and measurement speed, there is minimum loss in accuracy and repeatability when traveling at peak speeds. The structure is designed to withstand the increased speeds and to maintain the stated accuracy. Previously there has always been a compromise of higher speed equals less accuracy, the PREMIER minimises this imbalance. The chart shows a repeatability test over a 24 hour period with the machine running at maximum acceleration, velocity and measurement speed. The chart shows a small deviation in the repeatability over the given time period which is well within the machines stated accuracy. 20.001









Time (hours)

The PREMIER has been designed to run faster, harder and for longer periods without any loss of accuracy or performance. Quality professionals can now have the confidence to run their CMM at optimum speed without any deterioration in performance, thus saving time and money and maximising the return on their investment.

Rapid ScanTM 8 fold increase in data collection

Number of points taken

Point collection using traditional touch trigger probes such as TP20 or TP200 has never been quicker. Using the Rapid Scan function allows up to 8 points per second to be collected. This extremely fast


point collection method can be used for many measurements where large amounts of data are required, such as form measurement (Flatness, Roundness etc.) and surface scanning. Rapid ScanTM encourages the collection of more information, and when combined with the Feature Graphical Processor, this results in the quick and easy analysis of any features form and size.

Time IMS Rapid Scan Conventional

Feature Graphical Processor


Lower your cost of ownership

In today's manufacturing environment cost of ownership is extremely important. The PREMIER has been designed with this in mind and can boast many design features which enable the machine to give a low cost of ownership. errors on the machine remotely and in most cases eliminate it right away. If this is not possible a service engineer will be dispatched with the required spare part. Helpful tools for the service engineer such as quick release quarter turn fasteners for the rapid and safe removal of covers and easy removable caged bearings also help to minimise the downtime.

Designed for reliability and safety

IMS' many years of design experience allows us to focus on the details to ensure that your system will operate at optimum performance without constant attention. For example: · Pre-loaded air bearings are resilient to fluctuations in pneumatic supply · X-axis drive belt is constantly monitored and automatically adjusted to avoid any drive problems · Z-axis pneumatic counterbalance enables low friction and constant force; it also has a built in safety solenoid valve and cable failure switch to stop movement and potential injury in the event of failure.

Fewer parts

With approximately 35% fewer parts than its predecessor this gives the PREMIER a decrease in the number of potential parts to be serviced. Time to diagnose and correct faults is therefore reduced which equates to a decrease in the cost of ownership.

Downtime costs money

Remote dialup connection to your CMM allows fault correction, autotuning and diagnostic investigation and can be accessed remotely by IMS qualified staff. Our Product Support Department are ready and waiting to pinpoint any

Auto-tuning and remote dialup controller routines for fast and efficient problem solving.

Carbon Fibre ­ piece of mind even in the event of an accident

Accidents happen, in the event of an accident a CMM user needs to have confidence that his machine can withstand the toughest of impacts. Due to the PREMIER's high tensile strength and other safety features the structure will withstand most accidental impacts. Obviously avoiding these kind of accidents is preferred, but the operator can have the confidence that an accident should not have time consuming and expensive consequences.



PREMIER Sensor Solutions

Modern measurement requires a range of possible probing requirements, the PREMIER offers different types of sensor configuration depending on the part to be measured.

The PREMIER Maxxum

The PREMIER Maxxum can gather large amounts of data very rapidly using continuous contact scanning for component measurement or reverse engineering purposes. The Maxxum is built around the Renishaw SP25, SP80 and SP600 scanning probes. The PREMIER Maxxum can also be used for traditional touch trigger point-to-point measurement, providing the ultimate all round flexible measurement machine. The PREMIER Maxxum produces class-leading performance at a realistic price.

The PREMIER Matrix

The PREMIER Matrix for Touch Trigger measurement (TP20, TP200) for most metrology applications. The PREMIER Matrix is the benchmark for CMM touch probing and when used with IMS' Rapid ScanTM technology produces up to 8 points per second offering the most cost effective touch scanning solution.

VIP Multi-sensor Probe

Breaking the demarcation between contact and non-contact measurement, the IMS built VIP Probe (Video Inspection Probe) incorporates its own video camera, programmable light source and tactile probe (TP20). The VIP is fully programmable for use in automatic mode along with semi-automatic and manual sequences. No need for another metrology software for IMS' own Virtual DMIS software will allow easy switching between contact and non-contact modes even within the same part program.


Virtual DMIS software

Virtual DMIS gives a fully integrated software solution with its "one software" approach. Virtual DMIS award winning software is the same package whether it is being used: · On-Line or Off-Line · With or Without CAD · Contact or Non Contact · Manual or CNC machine operation The software is thoughtfully and easily laid out, with no function more than 3 clicks away, leading to an easy and fast measurement process. Virtual DMIS maintains its single software concept, any extra functionality required such as CAD, VIP, Gears, SPC or Excel Output are fully integrated into the standard software. This removes the complexity often experienced when interfacing to third party "bolt on" modules. Other options such as Active Matrix which allows direct importation of CAD data from major CAD systems such as Catia, Unigraphics, Pro Engineer, SDRC and ACIS are easily integrated into Virtual DMIS. Smart Measure algorithms enable the CMM to intuitively determine the feature being measured without operator input. The user simply touches the part with the probe and Virtual DMIS does the rest. Programming directly from the CAD model is easy; clicking on the required feature drives the CMM to automatically measure that feature with the correct number of hits ­ simply click and measure!

Output of Results

Virtual DMIS has multiple options for the exporting of measured data: · Text outputs and graphical reporting are standard · Automatic direct output to an Excel spreadsheet enables the operator to create a myriad of inspection reports · Virtual SPC created by IMS, allows collection of SPC data from within the Virtual DMIS package i.e. no complicated external packages are required.

Latest Multimedia Help

Virtual DMIS offers full multimedia help facilities from simple text through to full video and voice help. The range of video help extends from videos on the functionality of individual icons through to tutorials of complete procedures. Virtual Help is a comprehensive tool for all levels of operator; it is clearly set out, easy to use and an invaluable asset for CMM programming.



Machine PREMIER 1000 X axis 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1250 1250 1250 1250 1250 1250 1250 1250 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500 Y axis 1000 1250 1500 1000 1250 1500 2000 3000 1250 1500 2000 3000 1250 1500 2000 3000 1500 2000 3000 1500 2000 3000 1500 2000 3000 Z axis 800 800 800 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 800 800 800 800 1000 1000 1000 1000 800 800 800 1000 1000 1000 1200 1200 1200 Resolution Work Surface Max. 3D move velocity Max. touch velocity Max. 3D acceleration Power Supply Electrical consumption Air consumption Tolerable environment Humidity 0.0001 mm (0.000004") Granite with M6 inserts 1039 mm/sec 20 mm/sec per axis 2598 mm/sec2 110 or 240v, 50/60 Hz 750 watts 12 litres/minute at 5.5 bar 10°C to 40 °C 40% ­ 80% non condensing PREMIER 1250

Specifications may change without prior notice ­see separate technical documentation for more details


Larger or special sizes available on request.

IMS' World

CMM Mexico Tel: (81) 8676 3896 Fax: (81) 8676 3893

International Metrology Systems

Passion for Perfection



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