Our machine shop manager dragged his feet on investing into the Keyence vision inspection system, but Mike is a true believer now! For a full list of our likes and dislikes about the Keyence, watch our review now!
“I’m gonna get this gauge checked out.”
“Why is it, why is it going up?”
“You got to go-”
“Why is it going up? Where’s it going? Andy, this is broken. This is broken. I can’t see that clearly, Andy.”
“You need new glasses.”
“What are you doing?”
“You gotta flip your hands!”
“I got my hands around, man.”
“Now you gotta go up!”
“It”s not going up! Why? Why do we use this thing?”
“This is not-” *gives up*
All right, guys. We had a little fun at the comparator earlier, but those issues are one of the reasons we invested in the Keyence IM Measuring System. Stick around, I’m going to give you my review here in a second.
If you’ve seen some of my other reviews, you know I am not an operator. I’m the owner and decision maker when it comes to purchasing new equipment. If you haven’t seen some of my other reviews, you should check them out because my wife thinks they’re great.
This is one of those pieces of equipment that the team took a while to convince me to purchase. Quite frankly when I looked at it, I kind of thought it was a toy. Sales guys bring it into your office, they put a pre-made part on it, they hit go, it flashes, it makes a bunch of lights, plays beautiful music, and you get a readout. I didn’t really think it was gonna work like they said it would, so I really dragged my feet. Quite frankly, I was totally wrong about this. I don’t know why I thought some old hand cranks and a light bulb was a better system than the Keyence.
Some of the things we really like about it is: it doesn’t require any special expertise to program. Even I can come over here and write a program for it. It’s quick, it’s accurate, and it’s reliable for the right type of parts.
What we found is for our swiss turning centers, it’s much more efficient to come to the Keyence system to check all those fine details right here quickly with the push of a button, rather than trying to do it all in a comparator or with hand tools. We really enjoy the flexibility and speed of this system.
There are a few things to consider before you purchase this system because the Keyence does have some limitations. First off, you notice it doesn’t have a huge viewing window so you’re limited to a certain size part. For us and our swiss turning centers that run small parts, it’s been a great fit. You’ll have to talk with Keyence for your particular application to make sure it fits into the viewing window.
The other things to keep an eye out for are the color of the part. It doesn’t really like the black color parts, or black oxide or black anodized parts. You have trouble seeing the contrast to pick up the different features in order to measure it. Make sure you know what the color of the parts, and if you have enough contrast before you inspect something on the Keyence system.
The third thing that we kind of keep an eye out for, it is an expensive system especially when you compare it to a to an old-school comparator or even a small CMM. Make sure you do your homework, that you have the right parts to fit this application.
The only consumable we have with this has been these glass screens. They get scratched up, and then it gets hard for the lenses to see through them. But other than that, it’s pretty much maintenance-free system. You can calibrate it yourself. You can replace the glass yourself. It’s been running for us for a few years with absolutely no issues.
Based on the ease of use, how easy it is to program, and the parts we have that can fit on it, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. The only downside is: I wish we could fit more on it.”