Smith's Machine uses Calypso CAD-based software from Zeiss

Why Smiths Machine Chose Zeiss Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM)

Keith Schaffert, Group Leader for Smiths Machine, has worked with a lot of CMM equipment during his career, and found most of them to be “pretty good.”

But when it came time recently to add a fourth CMM to Smiths in-house stable, there was no question in Schaffert’s mind which one it should be.

“When we saw we needed a new one, we knew it had to be Zeiss,” Schaffert said.

“Of course, Zeiss has a long-standing reputation for quality and consistency. They’ve built quite a reputation. I’d worked with other hardware and software, but when I started with Zeiss and their Calpyso software, I was immediately blown away with the quality. Once I had acclimated myself to it, I realized it surpasses everything else out there,” Schaffert said.

As a state-of-the-art machine shop and manufacturing facility with defense industry contracts, Smiths has a pressing need for equipment that can measure the kind of close tolerances it works within on a daily basis. Working with aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, bronze and cast iron on a daily or weekly basis, Smiths and Schaffert needed a versatile and highly accurate CMM to get the job done, with tolerances that range all the way down to 9 microns. For those of us who don’t work in the micrometer realm, that’s roughly 1/10th the diameter of the average human hair.

“With the kind of work we do, I am quite satisfied with Zeiss and feel there is no need to further explore other options,” Schaffert said.

Another key factor in the selection of Zeiss for the fourth CMM at Smiths: technical support.

“I really have to tout their tech support team. They are top-notch. I’ve called them several times for things that are off the beaten path, to the point I know them on a first-name basis. They are always very gracious. It makes learning the obscure corners of the software a pleasure,” Schaffert said.

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