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FEATURE INSPECTION & MEASUREMENT A NEW ERA FOR METROLOG SOFTWARE


software is reduced significantly to reflect the limitation imposed.


NEW PRICING PHILOSOPHY MEANS LOWER PRICES For many, Metrolog X4 is perceived to be expensive, but that has all changed. For example, it is now possible to have the software installed on a CNC CMM, with all the advanced functionalities mentioned previously, from as little as £12,000 including 12 months software maintenance and product support. So, bearing in mind that Metrolog X4 can interface directly to just about any make or model of CMM CNC controller without any need for a hardware exchange or upgrade (e.g. to an I++ controller), any CMM of any age can be brought back up to date with the latest software, GD&T and CAD capabilities for a fraction of the cost of a new machine. In this modern age of computer and


In recent years, there has been a market perception that Metrolog X4 software is expensive to buy and maintain, and in some respects this is true as several cheaper software solutions exist


T


his is particularly the case for those offered directly by the measuring


device manufacturers, even though they do not offer the vast array of functionalities and flexibility of Metrolog X4. For example, no other software can interface directly to CNC CMM’s (even those deemed obsolete by the OEM), portable measuring devices, laser trackers, scanning systems and industrial robot cells like Metrolog X4 – all other software solutions either demand specific interface requirements, specific hardware configurations or upgrades, or in most cases the software simply can’t do it. Nevertheless, for smaller organisations with limited measuring capability, such flexibility isn’t necessarily required, and ‘make do’ software has become the norm. Following the recent acquisition by


Sandvik, Metrologic Group aim to dispel this perception with the introduction of completely new licensing models. In its simplest form, there are now only two versions of Metrolog X4 software available – Essential and Expert. The only difference between the two versions is that with X4 Expert the user can deal with highly complex measurement requirements by the availability of advanced programming commands such as using variables, high level language, conditional statements, etc. in essence, those functions only required on the most


28 JUNE 2019 | FACTORY EQUIPMENT


extreme of CMM programming needs. For most cases, X4 Essential will cover all bases as it includes a complete GD&T engine with advanced multi-feature and composite tolerances, Metrologic’s renowned reporting and report editing module, multiple data import and export formats, all types of alignment from basic 3-2-1 to the most advanced best fit analysis, and STEP and IGES CAD import.


SOFTWARE FOR PORTABLE DEVICES HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER When it comes to device interfaces, the philosophy has completely changed. Organisations are now investing in and upgrading to the latest portable metrology on a regular basis. So, when a customer decides to acquire Metrolog X4 for use with a portable device, every portable device interface is supplied as standard. If the device is exchanged or upgraded, the software can continue to operate with the new device at no additional cost. In addition, all functionalities commonly associated with such devices are included, such as bundle adjustments, build/inspect, leapfrog, etc. This is fine if the user intends to use the software with multiple devices, but Metrologic have also considered those who may only want the software for one device. In this case, the user may select a single device e.g. a Creaform HandySCAN, and the price of the


Metrolog X4 can upgrade the measuring capability of all types of portable measuring devices


operating system upgrades, plus the need to keep up to date with advances in CAD, it is vital that your measuring software is also kept up to date to maintain compatibility and operational performance. In the past, the only solution was to pay an expensive annual maintenance fee that was based on the price paid for the software, so Metrologic Group has an answer for that as well. With the new strategy, the first year of


support and updates is included effectively free of charge, and the user now has several options when it comes to maintenance and support after the first year. The first is obvious – the user can decide not to pay any further maintenance fee, in which case the software can continue to be used at the current revision, and no further support or updates is provided. Alternatively, they can decide to take the traditional method of an annual maintenance contract that is paid in advance to provide a further 12 months of software updates and product support. This can be cancelled at any time, after which the software can still be used at the version last available while the contract was in place. Like the initial licence cost, maintenance costs are significantly lower than previously. However, Metrologic Group also


Measurement Solutions www.measuremen t-solutions.co.uk


recognise that smaller organisations have limited budgets. In this case, the user can opt for a Yearly Usage Right, which is effectively a reduced annual maintenance fee with a twist. In this case, the annual maintenance is mandatory, so if the user decides to no longer continue with maintenance the software will stop working at the end of the maintenance period.


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