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Successful application of ThermoFit Pro with GM GM reduces inspection probe tooling design and manufacturing time by 40 percent. GM Casting Engine and Transmission Center, located in Pontiac, Michigan, had been successfully inspecting parts with ZEISS CMMs (coordinate measuring machines) for several years and was now looking to accelerate and globalize the design and manufacture of the custom probe tooling to be used on the CMMs for a new project spanning across their facilities in North America. Using the Stylus System Creator and the new ThermoFit Pro components from ZEISS, GM entered into the era of advanced probe too- ling using flexible stylus systems and stylus simulations. For years, offline quality inspection programming has been a well-known method of developing the launch of production processes. It frees up the CMM for existing measurements and speeds up the programming process on a dedicated offline station. But, the design and manufacturing of custom probe tooling for CMM operation was still time consuming. It required CAD modeling of many new components. These custom probe tools required a CAD engineer and a significant amount of time for any last minute changes. They were also difficult to document and often came with long delivery terms. The CMM and gage engineering group of the GM Casting Engine and Transmission Center is a centralized team of about 10 CMM programmers and engineers responsible for supporting all of the North American quality inspection labs for their next generation of 4 cylinder V8 engines. There are nearly 150 ZEISS CMMs dedicated to this project, mostly ACCURAs and PRISMOs, at various production facilities in the US, Mexico and Canada. This team designs CMM probe tooling and writes inspection programs for this new project and wanted more control over the reproducibility of components at all locations, reduced design and manufacturing time for tooling, and simple and quick tooling modifications for product changes. Carl Zeiss 3D Automation GmbH, part of the metrology division of Carl Zeiss, first visited the GM Casting Engine and Transmission Center in 2009 and introduced new probe extensions with rotary joint systems. GM liked the thermal stability and carbon tube design, but was looking for fixed machined extensions for more control at their remote inspection labs. They also wanted some interchangeability if a probe configuration change was needed. For this next generation project, the CMMs they purchased were specific to the lifecycle of a particular component. Since the lifecycle could be 5, 10 or more years depending on the product line, they also wanted durable probe systems that would last and that could potentially be reused at the end of the project. After collaborating and testing probe tooling samples with GM, ZEISS 3D Automation completed development of and launched their next generation probe tooling, called ThermoFit Pro, in 2011. With the SSC, the design of stylus systems is as easy as playing with building blocks. Angle pieces from ZEISS have part numbers and are marked with their characteristics for simple documentation. Item © Carl Zeiss 3D Automation GmbH34