Small CMM Fixture Company Secures Purchase Orders at Boeing and GE in the Same Week; Closes Order from Lockheed Martin Two Weeks Later

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FixLogix LLC acquired three new customers over a three week period. Not unusual except that they were Boeing, GE, and Lockheed Martin. FixLogix is a small business located in Michigan, producing low cost modular fixture systems for CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines) and other dimensional measuring devices.

CMM Fixtures

casting form fixtures on CMM

"FixLogix simplifies part setups and enhances the quality of the data we provide to our customers". Srdjan Urosev, Owner/President, eQuality Tech, a provider of sales and services for inspection, reverse engineering and rapid prototyping..

FixLogix LLC acquired three new customers over a three week period. Not unusual except that they were Boeing, GE, and Lockheed Martin. FixLogix is a small business located in Michigan, producing low cost modular fixture systems for CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines) and other dimensional measuring devices. The FixLogix fixture system was introduced in December 2007, since then the company has experienced rapid growth. This can be attributed to new t-slot technology FixLogix brings to the modular CMM fixture niche. The company’s different approach achieved cost savings both in design and manufacturing, while lean business practices further enhanced their advantage. The end result is a product that is highly functional at less than ½ the price of competitive systems. This level of competitive advantage does not go un-noticed in the market-place, especially by companies aggressively seeking to achieve cost savings. Early adopters were small companies looking to save money, but now their customers include dozens of Fortune 500 companies, various universities, and even the US Army.

CMMs (coordinate measuring machines) are high accuracy programmable robotic devices designed to verify that parts made in production are in compliance with the dimensions specified for the part design. Part holding fixtures allow the part to be presented to the measuring machine repeatably in the same position. This allows the measuring machine to more easily find the part and execute the automated inspection routine. It is estimated that for 80%+ of the CMMs used in the field, use of modular fixture systems would enhance the productivity of the machines, and achieve cost savings. Yet market research showed that slightly less than 20% of the CMMs in the field employed these modular fixture systems. This disparity suggested that there was a big potential market for a company that could introduce a product that would be attractive to the 60%+ machines in the field that were devoid of this useful tooling.

Modular fixture systems for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) were introduced back in the late 1980’s. Since then there have been dramatic enhancements in the price/performance of CMMs. Meanwhile there were no similar advances in modular fixture designs, in a niche dominated by much smaller companies basically offering “copy cat” systems clustered around older designs, and similar price points. The problem was that the original design was expensive to manufacture, and was never re-engineered to take advantage of the new capabilities achieved with new CMM technology. Further as the cost of CMMs came down, the price of modular fixtures represented an ever-increasing percentage of the complete solution.

The FixLogix chose to utilize modern extruded T-slot technology to produce a line of fabricated fixture plates and component kits for modular part holding fixture applications. This new approach is a paradigm shift, and represents disruptive technology in a previously stagnant industry. With this new approach, FixLogix is able to produce a modular fixture system that costs less than ½ that of legacy systems, and easily meets the requirements for many part holding applications on modern CMMs. The infinite adjustability of the t-slot system simplifies the task of building suitable fixtures. The plates and components are modeled in 3D CAD, allowing more sophisticated CMM programmers to develop automated inspection programs offline via graphical user interfaces available for modern CMMs.

FixLogix LLC was formed in 2007 to produce and sell modular fixture systems for metrology, and other light duty part-holding applications. These fixtures are used for CMMs, vision systems, optical comparators, laser scanners, and laser engraving systems. The company maintains an E-commerce website, and takes most major credit cards.

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Dan Smith
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