Understanding Dual Master Air Gage Systems

When it comes to choosing an air gage, you have two main options: single master or dual master. While they each come with their own benefits, there is no one better option and the perfect choice will depend on your needs. In this article, we give you a brief overview of the differences between single and dual master air gage systems as well as a more in-depth look into dual master systems and their benefits.

How Single Master Air Gage Systems Work

Although single master systems tend to be costlier, this is because they have to be manufactured to the highest standards in order to ensure accuracy. As accuracy is built into both the display and air tooling, linearity is known throughout the entire range and they are fixed to work only with tooling that is compatible pneumatically. This enables users to set the air gage to a pneumatic zero for comparative measurements without the need to adjust magnification.

This fixed magnification system means that a specific amplifier is needed for each individual tool, and additional tools are required to verify system calibration. This all adds up to a higher cost. However, the plus is that single master air gage systems provide excellent stability, not being susceptible to small changes in pressure.

Building A Dual Master Air Gage System

An alternative to single master systems is the dual master system. As the name implies, dual master air gaging systems make use of two masters when setting the pneumatic range as opposed to being made to fixed characteristics. The tooling and display systems are set by the user to ensure that the span matches that of the minimum and maximum masters.

When a dual master system is used, the responsivity of all components within the system are set simultaneously, which goes a long way in ensuring that all the different parts work together to display master values accurately. These parts include the air hoses, air flow restrictors, air jet nozzles and more.

The Problem with Manual Knobs on Dual Master Systems

Dual master systems are built around a back pressure system that is adjustable, where a display monitors the change in pressure. This occurs when the air jet nears the surface it is supposed to measure and encounters restriction. This system consists of two user controls – one for zero and one for span – which are responsible for adjusting the span, which will then be displayed on the masters.

The problem with older dual master systems is that these controls have to be adjusted concurrently in order to achieve the required span. As these controls respond to each other instead of working individually, getting the precise span can prove to be a task. While this is not a problem for experienced users, for whom this process has become natural, it can take new users a lot of time and effort to get it just right.

Electronic Dual Master Air Gage Systems

With the introduction of new technology came about electronic dual master air gage systems. While some still make use of the two-control system to achieve the desired span, many newer models have eliminated the use of manual controls. These models make use of the air transducer to determine the range, with the user keying in the minimum and maximum master values on the display.

However, similar to single master systems, dual master systems come with their own benefits and unique applications. The largest selling point is that they can be used with a wider range of air tooling due to the adjustable magnification, although it is possible for linearity to suffer under certain circumstances. In addition, they can be used with extremely small and extremely large jets, which allows for both short range and long range as well as high and low tolerance applications. These systems are also easy to clean and maintain due to the higher air pressure which cleans coolants and oils from the part.

Choosing between a single or dual master air gage system largely depends on the unique needs of your industry. While they both come with their benefits, there is no single best system, only the one that will suit you better.

How To Measure Thousands Of Parts

Have you ever needed to measure thousands of parts, all with different configurations? You may have considered using air gaging thanks to their ability to measure precision tapers quickly and accurately, but this can require many different air tools to suit each component combination. Not only is this troublesome, it can also result in a logistics nightmare.

When a manufacturer of orthopaedic implants met with this problem, Mahr managed to find a solution by designing a master air tool with multiple spacers and numerous jet settings. This meant that the user could use a single tool to measure the various components, regardless of length. This is achieved by measuring each part to choose the most suitable spacer.

In addition, the manufacturer had another request: they wanted to be able to use the gage in different work cells. This would allow them to measure multiple parts from separate machines. To meet this requirement, Mahr came up with a custom touchscreen gaging computer that is capable of the following:

  • Storing all part files, selecting the proper tool based on part number
  • Pulling the appropriate calibration offsets
  • Storing measurements for future documentation
  • Printing customer reports

With this new and innovative measuring system by Mahr, the manufacturer was able to use a single device to measure different manufacturing cells.

What You Need To Know About Digital Height Gages

Digital height gages can almost be likened to giant calipers, thanks to their long range of motion. They also come with the additional benefit of more sophisticated accuracy, equivalent to that of a bench top gaging system. This makes digital height gages versatile instruments capable of producing a range of measurements timely and accurately. On top of that, they are extremely user-friendly, being easy to use and maintain. In this article, we share with you everything you need to know about this incredibly versatile instrument.

Components of Digital Height Gages

Digital height gages consist of several parts:

  • Height measuring station: Used mainly for measuring diameters and distances between two points, the measuring station is designed to produce vertical one-dimensional coordinate measurements. In certain cases, two-dimensional measurements can be possible if the test piece is able to be titled by 90 degrees and the evaluation display is equipped to calculate these coordinates.
  • Base plate: The base plate sits on the bottom of the height measuring station and serves an important function. This base plate is usually a grade 0 or 1 granite base plate mounted on a stand that can withstand vibrations to prevent inaccuracy of results.
  • Evaluation display.

Of course, the accuracy of the results will depend on the quality of your digital height gage as well as whether regular care and maintenance have been carried out.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Digital Height Gage

To prolong the lifespan of your instrument and ensure the most accurate results possible, below are some steps you should make a habit of practicing:

  • Clean the table and surrounding area that your digital height gage is on as well as the contact probe after every use.
  • After turning on, let the gage set its reference location and sit by itself for a minute before re-zeroing it.
  • Manually remaster the probe diameter from time to time.
  • Store the instrument away from direct sunlight, radiators and anywhere that may let in drafts.
  • Keep the base plate clean and free from any dirt or chips.
  • Avoid touching any component of the instrument with your bare hands. The body temperature of humans tends to be above room temperature, and if any heat was to be transported to the instrument, it can cause heat expansion and result in inaccuracy. Always use gloves when handling your height gage.
  • Do not touch the instrument unnecessarily – only touch the components that are meant for this purpose such as the handle and switch.
  • Before measuring a test piece, always make sure that it is at optimal temperature. If a test piece has just been transported from a very hot or cold location, let it cool down or warm up before measuring it.
  • Wait for the test piece to stop moving completely before noting down its measurement. When it is moving, the results can fluctuate. It can be good to adjust the gage setting time accordingly.
  • As a general rule, air bearings should only be used to position the gage before taking a measurement. If for any reason they are required during a measurement, the air bearings should also be switched on when the measurement is being taken.

Although the quality of your digital height gage is important when it comes to accuracy, proper care and maintenance can go a long way in prolonging its lifespan and ensuring that results are not compromised by external variables. A quick routine check after every use can go a long way in giving you peace of mind that your instrument is in the best possible condition to continue serving you for as long as possible.

Digimar® 814 SR – A Scribing and Measuring Height Gage

Digital instruments are fast becoming the preferred way of taking measurements for their fast and accurate reading of results. With the Digimar 814 SR, you can easily measure heights and distances for scribing and making workpieces.

The Digimar 814 SR is available in two sizes: 350mm/14″ and 600mm/24″. They share certain common features, including the below:

  • 12mm, high-contrast LCD display
  • Stable foot that makes grippy easy
  • Hardened and rustproof slider and rail
  • Hardened and lapped standing surface
  • Handwheel for measuring and positioning
  • Locking screw that enables fine tuning
  • Exchangeable measuring and scribing tip
  • USB and wireless
  • Runs on Opto RS-232C

To find out more information on the Digimar 814 SR, please click here.

Optimizing The Use Of Your Portable Surface Roughness Tester

New strides in technology have transformed the surface Roughness tester from a chunky three-piece equipment that had to be pushed around on a cart into a sleek, portable gadget. Today’s surface gauges are much more affordable next to the tens of thousands of dollars pioneering models cost, and they can do it all as well. However, there are some things you can take note of to optimize the use of your portable surface gauge – let us spell them out for you below.

Ensure the roughness gage is Functioning Properly Before Use

You should always check that a roughness gage is functioning properly before use with the help of a separate test patch or test specimen. Some gauges have a built-in test specimen that you can use to check your gauge by moving the probe over to it and making a trace. Alternatively, you can use a test patch; however, these are not easy to obtain as they are kept under lock and key due to the traceability of the specimens.

Check the Settings for the Parameter

Most roughness gages come with a feature allowing you to select the number of cutoffs, length of cutoffs, traverse speed and more. Make sure that these settings correspond with the test conditions required for your inspection process.

Check the Surface Test Environment

The results of surface roughness measurements can be affected by environmental conditions such as the presence of dirt and oil. In order to get the most accurate measurement and protect your gauge, always make sure that the environment is free from oils, dirt and burrs. Next, always make sure that the area is undisturbed from loud sounds and vibrations that can significantly alter measurements. This can come from a passing truck or even a radio that has the volume on too high.

Check that Results Make Sense and Save For Future Review

Always keep a reference patch nearby so that you are able to tell immediately if the measurements are not coming in the right denominations. That’s when you know there is something wrong with the roughness gage or probe that needs to be addressed before proceeding.

After the measuring process is completed, make sure to save your results for easy reference and analysis. Most gauges on the market today come with internal storage, making it incredibly convenient to store data with just one click.

Get the New MarSurf M310 from Willrich Precision!

With a rotatable 4.3” resolution touch screen, the new MarSurf M310 is designed to provide the most precise surface roughness measurements. Successor to the MarSurf M300, the M310 allows for easy transfers of data via cable or Bluetooth, offering in one mobile-sized device what used to be only available in PC-based systems.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our MarSurf M310 and its benefits, do not hesitate to contact us today. Or if you are looking to purchase a new surface gauge, check out the wide range we stock at Willrich Precision Instruments. With over 45 years of experience in metrology, gaging and inspection, we have the solution, whatever it is you are looking for.

Why Do Linear Drives Require Force Measurement?

Force Measurement

Many industrial processes are switching to linear drives as opposed to pneumatic and hydraulic drives. With this change, it is becoming harder and harder to measure pressure. However, there are alternatives that give machine operators hope. Force measurement is now increasingly relying on force transducers and sensors to measure force. This is because it is impossible to use pressure measurements to take force measurements in a pneumatic unit. First, however, let us understand the basics.

What is a Linear Drive?

A linear drive is a system that creates translational movements. In such a system, the machine elements are driven in a straight line. Linear drives are simple as they use modular systems but can be adapted to fit the needs of the client. They also have the additional advantage of being very versatile.

Understanding Force Measurement

Force is any interaction that changes the direction that an object us taking on condition that is process is not opposed. Objects that have mass can have their velocity changed including objects that were at rest. There are two main ways force is applied namely as a push or as a pull force. One feature of force is that it also has a magnitude.  This refers to how much force is applied to the object. It also has a direction and thus a vector unit.

Why Force Measurement?

Having linear drives offers the opportunity to measure forces directly during the process. Whether the transducer is linked to force flow makes no difference. The transducer can be on the actuator, the motor or even at the point where the force is applied. The reliability of the tests will still be highly accurate. Force measurement is critical in all sorts of applications. From machinery that produce our consumer goods to some of the products, we use ourselves. A good example of force measurement in everyday products is when it comes to springs. These are used in a variety of products including ball pens, automobiles and much more. The ability of these products to work well is dependent on how well force is applied by the springs that are in the product. Quality control experts must carefully measure the force that is released by the springs as it determines the functionality of the products.

Real-Life Applications for Linear Drives

Linear drives are found in a variety of applications. These range from material handling, as well as robotics. They are also found in food and beverage industries as well as agricultural machinery. Manufacturing facilities, especially those that utilize heavy-duty ventilation systems use electric linear actuators to open and close the heavy ventilation systems. Solar farms that have hundreds of large solar panels also utilize linear actuators to tilt the panels. This, in turn, allows for the panels to get maximum exposure to the sun. Without the ability to measure how much force these systems are putting out; it would be very hard for their operators to monitor their performance.

For the best in precision instruments, get in touch with Willrich Precision. We have years of experience in delivering great products to customers all over the United States.

Top Tips To Read A Dial Bore Gage

Dial Bore Gage

A dial bore gage is an instrument that measures the inner diameter of small holes. Bore gages are critical when it comes to measuring parts that have small holes in them. Typically, these versatile instruments are used as part of a quality control process to ensure that bore sizes are standardized. The dial bore gage is usually calibrated in 0.001 inches and consists of a shaft with a dial indicator situated at the top. The instrument also has an actuating plunger and the readings that it gives are usually compared to standardized measurements for analysis.

How They Work

Dial bore gages have a contact needle that lies in the head of the dial gage. When the instrument is moved (such as when taking measurements), the needle moves and transfers data to the readout or dial. Dial bore gages also have an interchangeable end that helps to set the nominal size. Dial gage operators have to set the gage to its nominal value before commencing any measurements. Here then are some tips on how to read a dial bore gage when taking measurements of a bore or cylinder.

How to Take Accurate Measurements

When taking measurements, you start by placing the bore gage in the micrometer and rotate the dial till the pointer is aligned to the zero marking on the dial face. One then places the dial gauge in the hole or cylinder being measured. One must take special care to ensure that the anvils on the instruments touch the sides of the hole or cylinder. Once this is done, the instrument operator then rocks the gage back and forth ensuring that the anvils do not lose contact with the walls of the cylinder. When this is done, the pointer will swing counterclockwise or clockwise. After a while, the pointer will start to move in the opposite direction toward zero. The machinist then records the precise measurement when the pointer starts heading towards zero.

Calculating the Measurements

This is done by simply taking the measurement at the point when the needle started to reverse itself and subtracting (or adding) the measurement the instrument is calibrated to. For example, let us assume that the instrument was calibrated to 2 inches and the instrument needle changed direction at 0.007 clockwise. The measurement of the bore in question would thus be 2.007. This is because when the needle moves clockwise, you add the two numbers. Alternatively, if it had moved anti-clockwise, we would have subtracted 0.007 from 2 inches to give us 1.993.

Advantages of Dial Bore Gages

Dial bore gages are popular with quality control operators because they are highly portable and easy to use. They also have very few moving parts and thus far less prone to breaking down than most other precision instruments. Dial bore gages also do not require sophisticated knowledge of instruments and therefore can be handled by line workers on the shop floor without much prior training.

For the best in precision instruments, get in touch with Willrich Precision. We have over 45 years of experience in delivering gaging and metrology type products to customers all over the United States.

Product Spotlight: Starrett MVR Manual Video Measuring Machine

Starrett MVR Manual Video Measuring Machine

Starrett video measuring machines allow for accurate and quick 3D measurements of small parts. These parts are typically inspected during quality control processes in manufacturing plants. In some cases, these types of measurements are taken offline to reduce environmental variables. Today, professionals can find two types of video measurement systems: automatic and manual. It is important to note that video measuring machines do not directly measure the parts but instead measure various images of a part. This machine is designed to develop a precise reproduction of the part via state-of-art optics and lighting systems

When a part is measured by a manual video measuring machine, it is moved on a manually operated workstage. The Z-axis zoom lens, however, can be motorized should the operator find it more convenient to do so. The chosen metrology software then automatically detects the part’s edges and guides the user to move the stage accordingly. No part of the video measuring system should move independently and that’s why a steel or granite base is needed to maintain overall equipment stability.

Willrich Precision is an authorized dealer of Starrett precision measurement instruments. If you are looking to get a Starrett MVR Manual Video Measuring Machine please contact us to arrange as demonstration.

About Starrett

Laroy S. Starrett founded the L.S. Starrett Company. Since their inception in 1880, the company has been manufacturing precision tools, gages, measuring instruments, and saw blades for a wide range of consumer, professional, and industrial markets across the globe. Today, there are over 5,000 different types of products to choose from. Starrett is recognized for their unrivaled standards for fine precision tools for over 130 years. This has allowed the company to be known as the World’s Greatest Toolmakers.

Features of the Starrett MVR Manual Video Measuring Machine

Here’s a quick look at some notable features of StarrettMVR Manual Video Measuring achine:

  • Comes with a granite base
  • Ring light LED surface illumination
  • Collimated LED sub-stage illumination
  • Features a color digital video camera
  • Video edge detection (VED) capabilities
  • Field-of-view (FOV) measurements (can be integrated with stage motion)
  • Compatible with MetLogix M3 metrology software
  • Motorized Z-axis positioning with variable speed controls
  • Manual X-Y positioning via hand heels
  • X and Y accuracy of 3.5µm + 5L/1000
  • Z accuracy of 2.5µm + 5L/1000
  • Requires at least a Windows 7 Professional operating system to enable network connectivity

Get Starrett MVR Manual Video Measuring Machines from Willrich Precision!

Willrich Precision offers Starrett MVR manual video measuring machines at the most competitive rates. Our company has been in business for more than 45 years and provides top-notch products in the gaging, inspection and metrology industries. We are also ISO:9001:2008 Registered and can provide professional calibration and repair services. Enjoy complete peace of mind knowing that our stellar measurement products and gages can cater to the diverse inspection needs of automotive companies, the military, aerospace companies, and much more.

To know more about our Starrett MVR Manual Video Measuring Machines and the benefits that they provide, do not hesitate to contact us today.

Understanding The Practicality Of Hardness Tests In Materials Production Processes

Hardness Tests

You may have heard of hardness tests in quality control processes. Hardness tests can tell quality control officers a lot about a product. It offers insights into the flexibility, strength as well as the durability of a product. Hardness tests are performed on all types of products including raw materials and finished products. Hardness testing is easy to perform and is usually non-destructive. The test does not require major alteration to the product and advancements in technology mean that modern instruments give highly accurate readings.

How Hardness Testing Has Changed

In previous years, scratch tests were conducted to determine the hardness of a part. The testing was based on an object that had increasing hardness from one point to another. Testing was done by having the part being tested scratch various points of the bar. The level at which the part could produce a scratch on the object determined its hardness. As industries progressed, quality control officers began to use diamonds and even steel balls to determine how hard an object was. Regardless of which method, these approaches were slow and were not suited for the high-pressure demands of modern industries. For this reason, more refined instruments were developed to measure the hardness of a product.

Modern Methods of Hardness Testing

There are a variety of hardness testing approaches today. Some of these include the Rockwell Method as well as the Knoop approach. Rockwell works best with metals and alloys and is favored for the quick results that it produces. On the other hand, the Knoop approach works best for thin materials and coatings. Some hardness measuring instruments can give results very quickly and are highly portable. Modern hardness instruments leave an indentation that is so tiny that it is almost unnoticeable or does not affect the functionality of the product. For instruments that leave a much larger indentation, the indentation mark can always be sanded out so that it is not noticeable at all.

How Hardness Tests are Done

Various tests use different approaches to measure hardness. For example, the Rockwell hardness test process relies on making a small indent on the part being measured by applying a relatively small load on the indenter. This helps to establish the zero-datum position. Once this is done, a bigger indentation is made using a larger load. The difference between the first indentation (depth) and the second helps to establish the required reading. Typically, the process makes use of a diamond cone for testing metals and tungsten is used to test softer materials.

Importance of Hardness Testing

Tests done on the hardness of a material helps to determine the structural integrity of a product. This, in turn, helps manufacturers know whether the product will perform as expected in the market. We can thus say that hardness tests help consumers to use products safely and for long by helping eliminate those that are structurally unsound.

For the best in precision instruments, get in touch with Willrich Precision. We have over 45 years of experience in delivering hardness testers to customers all over the United States.

In The Limelight: Ra Measurements

Ra measurements

Ra is a unit of measurement that is used to express the average roughness of a surface finish. Ra measurement is especially useful because it shows the average deviation that a surface has in comparison to a mean line. However, Ra works great for general applications but faces some limitations when it comes to very specific measurements.

It also might be inadequate for machinists and quality control experts who deal with sensitive equipment. This is because any slight deviation on the surface finish can affect the performance of a part in a significant way.

Understanding How Ra Measurement Works

One of the things a machinist must understand is the relationship between the average roughness and the surface finish in general. Surfaces with varying profiles can still have a similar Ra value but the different profiles mean that these parts work differently.

For example, if a part has scratches on its surface, there is a risk that is might fracture prematurely. This calls upon machinist to ensure that they consider the surface features relative to the functionality of the part.

A More Efficient Approach to Ra Measurement

Sometimes, machinists and quality control officers recommend very tight Ra parameters in order to try and guard against scratches and peaks. This leads to a lot of wastage and is not a very efficient way of dealing with such issues.

Engineers who understand the relationship between Ra values and the surface finishes know that it is easier to clear off the peaks rather than try to use high-tolerance Ra specifications. This approach allows them to achieve the same results but in a far more economical and competitive way.

While this may sound abstract, the ability to do this makes all the difference when it comes to competitive bidding. This is because the former is able to present more competitive bids while achieving the same exact quality specifications.

Getting the Right Average Roughness

When you are machining a part, it is critical to remember that different machining processes produce different kinds of tool patterns. A good example is the roughness that comes from grinding. This is generally of a shorter wavelength as compared to turning. When a part surface undergoes milling, there are even longer wavelength patterns. Sing point boring generally produces the longest wavelength patterns.

Keep in mind that the wavelength we are talking about is the spacing between individual toolmarks and not how wavy the surface of the part is. When taking the Ra measurement values of a surface, care must be taken to ensure that the measurement is not affected by the waviness. This is done by making sure that the cut off length is short enough. At the same time, it must not be too short otherwise only a part of the tool mark is measured. Ideally, use a cutoff length that can include five complete sets of toolmarks.

Need An Excellent Mobile Roughness Tester? Try MarSurf PS 10!

With many manufacturing processes, there is always an emphasis on the quality of a product or part surface. For some products or parts, the surface finish determines how well the part functions. For example, too much roughness on a surface might weaken a part by making it more likely to crack and fail. This is especially true for parts that are subject to contact and thus friction.

Measuring Surface Roughness

The need for accurate measurements when it comes to surface roughness means that that quality control must have the right tools for the job. Not only must these products be very accurate but they must also be able to give quick results. This is because in a production setting, delays in the production line can mean loss of revenue for the organization. Sometimes the parts being measures are too heavy so they can’t be moved to the quality control room. In such cases, it becomes critical to be able to have the measurement instrument on the production floor. This reduces the time spent checking parts and thus saves the business money.

Introducing the MarSurf PS 10

The MarSurf PS 10 mobile roughness tester is one of the best in this category. The MarSurf PS 10 features state-of-the-art features such as a smartphone display that allows for easy use. The roughness tester also has internal memory for data storage but also the capacity to connect to a computer for the transfer of data. Its rechargeable data source allows for around 500 measurements and which increases its mobility. Its small size makes it very portable and very handy in a factory environment.

Other Features of the MarSurf PS 10

            •           Features a clear and adjustable display

            •           Data can be stored as TXT, CSV, X3P or PDF

            •           PDF documents can be created in the instrument

            •           Can undertake 1200 and above measurements between recharge

            •           Features a detachable drive unite

            •           Features the same number of functionalities as laboratory equipment.

            •           Has a favorites function that allows you quick access to commonly used functions

            •           Easy to use thanks to the automatic cutoff selection feature