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FAQs

Yes. In fact, there are two main circumstances in precision measurement when you should not use a ball probe tip made of ruby. The first involves adhesive wear. Adhesive wear occurs when a ruby ball probe is used to scan aluminum and is caused by two materials having a chemical attraction. In order to avoid this, when scanning aluminum you should use a ball probe made of silicon nitride. The second circumstance in which to avoid ruby is when abrasive wear is a risk. Abrasive wear occurs when scanning cast iron and is due to the small particles that cause scratches on the ball probe tip. Zirconia should be used instead of ruby to avoid abrasive wear when scanning cast iron.

Technically, no, they are not mandatory for making a measurement, and depending on your level of skill and need, you might only be aiming for accuracy and knowing that the measurement you have is close to the true value of what you are measuring. However, in order to have the best quality measurement, you do need both accuracy and precision. Just knowing the value you found is close to the true value is not enough when you require higher levels of measurement skill. You will also want a measurement system that is able to repeat those accurate measurements again and again, thus creating precision. No matter how simple or complex your measurement system may be, striving for both accuracy and precision ensures that you have the best measurements possible.

Yes, we have knowledgeable employees that are able to assist you with selecting the appropriate measurement tool for your application. Go to our Ask the Expert page in our Learning Center to e-mail us, or call 617-420-2517 and let us know a little more about your specific application. If it is easier to send a part drawing, feel free to e-mail it to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Vyndicator Wireless Test Indicator consists of a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter uses an attached stylus to send signals back to the receiver through a microprocessor connected to a sensor. Another microprocessor is located in the receiver, which decodes the signals sent from the transmitter. All of these relayed messages contain information regarding any movement of the stylus. The receiver then displays decoded information on its OLED display in regard to these movements, allowing the operator to complete necessary adjustments. A horizontal bar across the bottom of the receiver display represents the amount of distance the stylus moves, supplementing the numerical information provided.

There are no set of rules or regulations that exist defining how often a gage needs to be calibrated. Ultimately, the frequency of gage calibration is up to the company or facility owner or manager. While some believe that annual calibration is a good rule to live by, there are resources at stake that must be considered. Calibrating one gage or multiple gages too often will waste a large amount of time and money. However, on the other hand, not calibrating a gage that needs it will result in poor accuracy. Calibration should definitely be done in regular intervals, but the definition of regular will vary based on the drift and use of a particular machine. Using historical trend analysis can help determine what gages require more frequent calibration and when to expect that they will need to be calibrated.

How often a gage is calibrated is completely up to the end user or their company. Most companies have to follow a specific calibration cycle set in place by their company or their customers. Higherprecision.com recommends having a gage calibrated at least once a year depending on how often the gage is used and how careful the operators are with the tools.

Sure thing! Distinguishing between accuracy and precision can be tricky, and it can help a lot of people to put these words into a real world context. Let’s use golf as our example. Now, if a golfer hits a ball and gets a whole in one, that shot was accurate. If he hits a ball and it lands a mile from the hole, then his shot was inaccurate. This is because accuracy means being close to the true value, or in our example close to the pocket. Now, if that same golfer hits ten balls and they all land in the same sand pit, then his shots are precise. However, these shots are not accurate, since they are not near the hole. If the same golfer hits ten balls and they land all over the golf course, then his shots are not precise. In order to be precise, the golfer must hit all of the balls into the same area, whether that area is around the hole or not. Finally, if our golfer hits ten balls and they all land in the hole or right around it, then he has shown himself to be both accurate and precise.

Yes, there are many kinds of micrometers out there. Some are basic micrometers, while others are specialized micrometers for particular jobs or measurements. What makes each micrometer unique is the kind of measurement purpose it serves. Universal micrometers are built with parts that can be swapped out depending on the job at hand. Blade micrometers, pitch-diameter micrometers, bore micrometers, tube micrometers, and bail micrometers are just few examples of micrometers with specialized parts that identify them for particular measurement goals. Digit micrometers use mechanical digit markers that roll and tell the measurement, whereas digital micrometers have an internal encoder that reports the measurement on a readable screen.

It is completely normal for a micrometer to become un-calibrated. This is easily fixed by just recalibrating it. Often, you will be able to zero a micrometer by using a small pin spanner that adjusts the sleeve in order to realign its zero line with the zero line on the thimble. Once this adjustment has been made, you can double-check the accuracy of your micrometer by adjusting it such that the anvil and the spindle faces are touching, and seeing that the micrometer reads zero. Another way in which to test the accuracy of your micrometer is to measure a standardized item, like a gauge block or rod, for which you already know the exact measurement.

The TESA height gages by Brown & Sharpe are compatible with a number of different accessories. From panels and printers to probe holders, they come with it al. No matter the job you need to get done and the individualization your height gage requires, the Brown & Sharpe height gage can be built or adjusted to match. We have a number of probes with all sorts of fixations, shapes, and sizes. There are ball, disc, cone, shaft, cylindrical, and barrel probes. A special feature of the Brown & Sharpe height gage is its ability to measure both straightness and perpendicularity. You can easily attain these squareness measurements by utilizing the available accessories. Finally, the accessories come in different sets in order to maximize the efficiency of your purchase. The accessories that are compatible with Brown & Sharpe height gages reach far and wide. Call us at higher precision today to learn more about each of our height gage accessories.

The main advantages of the Fowler QuadraTest Electronic Test Indicator over older dial style indicators relate to the way in which the measurement data is recorded, stored, and transmitted. From the initial step of taking the measurement, the electronic indicator will give a precise measurement without risk of a human misreading the dial. That data point can then be transmitted electronically, further removing any possible error made by a person reading the number and transcribing it incorrectly. All of the data points measured by the electronic indicator are easily sent and stored on a computer, formatted for any analysis that will occur. All of this results in much faster measurements, guaranteed to be more exact. Finally, the Fowler QuadraTest Electronic Test Indicator has the capability to switch back and forth between metric and inch units. This prevents error and enormously speeds of the process of changing or updating the data. Overall, the digital test indicators exhibit an increased amount of control over the measurement process.

The micrometer is generally an excellent precision measurement tool. As with most things, the micrometer comes with some advantages as well as some disadvantages. Micrometers are one of the most accurate measurement tools available, measuring as far as the 100 thousandths decimal place on more advanced, digital models. The ratchet creates a uniform amount of pressure resulting in measurements that are both reliable and repeatable. The scales located on the sleeve and thimble of a micrometer function together, ruling out the need for external measurement tools. Also, micrometers exist in highly specialized designs allowing for even more applicability and precision. Finally, micrometers are built to be very durable. You will not break or wear these tools out quickly. As for the disadvantages, micrometers do have a naturally limited range. Bigger objects might require multiple micrometers or larger micrometers, which can get very expensive. Additionally, while the specialization of micrometers is also an advantage, needing a certain type of micrometer for different jobs makes them slightly less efficient. Overall however, micrometers are a requirement for any industrialist and are unmatched in precision.

Before the invention of the Vyndicator Wireless Test Indicator there were a number of cumbersome and dangerous jobs that can now be accomplished by this amazing measurement tool. These indicators can be used for standard quality control functions, to make sure that machines are well aligned. Beam deflections and shaft alignment can also be tackled by the Vyndicator Wireless Test Indicator. Machine debugging and repeatability, milling machine centering operations, and deep hole boring operations each come much easier with this useful tool available. Finally, the Vyndicator Wireless Test Indicator can even serve the purpose of replacing coaxial indicators.

Indicators are used in a number of different industries including machining, manufacturing, fabricating, and science. A Fowler QuadraTest Electronic Test Indicator might be used to assess run-out of an automotive disc brake, when working to fit a new disc. These indicators can be used to run quality checks regarding consistency and accuracy in manufacturing projects. Another application is initial or re-calibration of a machine before use in a production line, or testing accuracy of a tool in a tool production company. Also, many physics experiments and projects require the precise measurements offered by electronic test indicators.

The most important features of a ruby that make it the top-choice material for ball probes are 1) its resistance to abrasion and 2) its resistance to compression. A naturally hard substance, ruby is particularly tough when it comes to use in precision measurement. Knowing that your ball probe will not be damaged while conducting measurements is extremely important. The level of sphericity of the ball on a ball probe is crucial to the accuracy of the measurement. Any damage or warping that occurs will result in an unreliable readout. Ruby ball probe tips have incredible smoothness and are able to combat the damages that may occur with other materials.

The probes available as accessories to the TESA height gage by Brown & Sharpe include ball probes, disc probes, cone probes, shaft probes, cylindrical probes, and barrel probes. The most common type of probe used with height gages is the ball probe. These come prepackaged with each height gage. Typically used in order to complete bore measurements or to probe centering shoulders and grooves, disc probes are excellent to have around. Cone probes are made to position nicely at the center of a bore and can be used to find their location. Measuring grooves, blind bores, and centering shoulders can best be accomplished by shaft probes. Finally, probes that are cylindrical or barrel in shape are ideal when measuring elements that are more difficult to tackle using a standard ball-shaped probe.

The Vyndicator Wireless Test Indicator comes with a wide breadth of features. To start, the wireless remote reading of this tool makes it stand out from its competitors. The first of its kind, this indicator seamlessly transmits measurements to the receiver wirelessly, making reading the movement of the stylus easy. The receiver provides read-out in most English and Metric modes, using a bright OLED display that is easy to read. The mounting VEES is the standard in precision measurement industry, and this indicator operates on batteries. The measure modes include Standard, TIR, Low and High, and this handy little tool is capable of using multiple units in the same area. There is a moving bar on the receiver that shows any stylus movement, and the stylus itself is reversible and comes in 4 different lengths.

The TESA Micro-Hite height gage by Brown & Sharpe is used in all kinds of metrology and a number of different industries. Mainly, these include automobile, moulds and tooling, medical, or plasturgy industries. In the automobile industry, height gages might be used to measure injection systems, brake systems, or engine components to ensure quality and precise design. The complexity and exactitude involved in moulds and tooling requires an excellent machine such as the Brown & Sharpe height gage. These height gages are vital to measuring various molds and tools that are then used to create millions of copies of different foods, aeronautics, cosmetics, etc. The standards set within the medical field are very high, and the controlled nature of medical devices and tools is very strict, since their eventual use involves high risks and high rewards. Brown & Sharpe height gages are built for excellence, and come equipped with the high-level analytic capabilities, regulatory compliance, and measurement precision that are imperative to the medical industry. The variability of plastic development and the regularity of product within the plasturgy industry is the perfect place to see the Brown & Sharpe height gage shine. This tool has the validity and stability that is essential to all processes in working with plastics.

While different experts in the field of metrology have differing opinions on how often gages need to be calibrated, one thing is agreed upon—there must be some sort of calibration schedule. One potential solution to regular gage calibration is to create a gage control program. Very simply, a gage control program is a systematized way to determine how often a gage requires recalibration. The central goal of a gage control program is to create a document that names each gage, records the intervals of calibration, and classifies the gage within a bigger system of groups defining when calibration will occur. This document then allows you to see when a particular gage was last calibrated, how often it has been calibrated over time, how frequently it is utilized, and who is charge of maintaining its use.

The repeatability measured by a gage R & R study refers to the variability in measurement which results when one individual measures one part using one gage. In other words, when one operator measures one part using one gage again and again, the resulting changes in measurement are due to an error that is occurring within the equipment. While infinitesimal repeatability issues are going to be expected, a gage R & R study can root out more serious inconsistencies. Testing repeatability is an important part of gage R & R studies, and it is what tells you that your gage is imprecise and requires attention.

The reproducibility measured by a gage R & R study refers to the variability in measurement which results from the irregularities of the operator. Reproducibility is tested by having multiple individuals measure the same part using the same gage. In this way, a gage R & R study can adequately determine if there is variability due to the individuals measuring the product, rather than the measurement process or equipment itself. The reproducibility is necessary to know how much variation results when different operators use the same equipment. Just as it is important to know that your equipment is functioning well, it is necessary to know how individuals are impacting the measurement process of a larger manufacturing system.

The Coefficient of Thermal Expansion, also known as CTE, is the degree to which a given material expands when it is heated. Depending on what material you are working with, that material will have a specific CTE that differs from other materials. When heat is applied to a substance, the distance between the individual atoms that make up that substance increases. This leads to an overall expansion of the material dependent upon the number of atoms involved, and therefore its size. Knowing the standardized CTE of a material allows you to account for any expected expansion when conducting measurements or using the material to build parts.

The total indicator reading (TIR), sometimes called total indicator run-out (TIR) mentioned for the Fowler QuadraTest Electronic Test Indicator refers to the difference between minimum and maximum measurement. In other words, the TIR measures the amount of deviation from whatever the targeted structure is (flatness, concentricity, cylindricity, roundness). The TIR is the value measured about a particular reference axis. TIR is highly important in preventing excessing stress, premature wear, and a failing system. This is because TIR assesses whether the central axis that is being measured is unequal in direction and/or angle.

A ball-tipped probe is most often used to assess the flatness of a surface, also known as scanning. By using a ruby ball probe, you are harnessing each of the advantages of ruby as a material—sphericity, hardness, smoothness, and resistance. Scanning is used in order to identify any flaws that a material might have. A ruby ball probe is used to measure the individual imperfections that are found during the scanning process. By running the probe across the surface of interest, you can find and measure the size of any flaws that exist. Ensuring smoothness and perfect sphericity of the ball on your probe is pivotal to successful scanning. Ruby is the best choice for this purpose since it is reliably spherical and smooth, as well as difficult to damage.

Micrometers are certainly built to last, but that does not mean that you should skip these quick and simple steps to make them last even longer. First and foremost, take care to not drop your micrometer, or slam it down on any surface. This could impact its measurement accuracy. If you do accidentally drop it, make sure to recheck the calibration before using it for measurements. Another important habit to develop is to wipe down your micrometer on a regular basis. Particularly, you want to wipe the measurement faces in order to ensure that no dirt or build up impacts your measurement. Use a dry, lint-free cloth to do this. Also using a lint-free cloth, wipe your micrometer with a very small amount of oil after long periods of non-use or storage. This will help to avoid the build up of rust or other corrosive mater. When storing your micrometer, keep it in a place that is as close to room temperature as possible, with as low humidity as possible. This will help prevent warping of any sort. Finally, when your micrometer is not in use leave a gap between the anvil face and the spindle face. Prolonged contact between the two faces could lead to a less accurate measurement.

Finding reference tables containing the specific Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) for various materials is not difficult. However, there are two important features to remember about the principles of the effects of temperature on materials when utilizing these resources. First, there is no way to account for a guaranteed amount of uncertainty that is built into these tables. The original measurements used likely had a certain degree of human and machine error, and there is a natural discrepancy of CTE even between different pieces of the same material (even from the same manufacturer!). Second, the reference tables for CTE that you will find more often than not report a range of temperatures for which a specific CTE applies. This is somewhat unreliable should you be taking a measurement at a very precise temperature. While the CTE reference tables are a great resource, it is important to keep these warnings in mind when using the values for precision measurement.

A man named William Gascoigne invented the very first micrometer in the 1600s. This micrometer was used to measure the distance between stars through a telescope, and to estimate the size of various celestial objects. Later, in the 1800s, Henry Maudslay upgraded the micrometer to a version built for mechanical use. This tool was made to be durable as well as accurate. Then, later in the 19th century, Jean Palmer created a handheld version of the micrometer, making it much more accessible and popular in industrial fields. The micrometer at the time represented an excellent pairing of technology and science. Today, the micrometer remains one of the most important tools in the industrial world, having many applications and reporting consistent and trusted measurements.

Both accuracy and precision are equally important in order to have the highest quality measurement attainable. For a set of measurements to be precise, there is no requirement that they are accurate at all. This happens because as long as a series of measurements are grouped together in value, then they are precise. However, there is no rule that the value they are grouped around needs to be close to the true value of the item being measured. Because of this, sometimes accuracy is valued over precision, simply because it can be more useful in determining the needed value. However, when maintaining a measurement system, the system must be checked regularly for both accuracy and precision, since they are both equally important for measurement success.

Gage calibration can be done by the owner or facility manager him or herself, it can be outsourced to a commercial calibration service, or it can be done by the original manufacturer who built the gage. There are pros and cons to each. Doing the calibration in-house can be a huge investment to set up the facilities, but can also save time and money. Outsourcing can guarantee that specialists complete the calibration, but can lead to long turnaround time. Going back to the manufacturer ensures that the gage is in the same setting it was originally built and tested in, but can also add to the time or cost of moving the machine. Usually, gage owners will use a mix of these three options dependent upon the work that needs to be done and the speed with which it needs to be done.

Gage R & R studies are vital to determining the amount of variability within a measurement system. Knowing the magnitude of the variability within a production line allows you to ensure that your measurement system is running smoothly and producing accurate results. In the world of precision measurement, exactness is everything. Should you find after completing a gage R & R study that the variability is too large, you would know for sure that you could not use your system as it is, and that you need to adjust it in some way. Knowing that there is an issue is the first step to fixing it, and making you a better manufacturer. Constant vigilance with the accuracy of your measurements can be accomplished using regular gage R & R studies.

Temperature is extremely important in the field of metrology. From minor measurements to determine the length of a car part, to major measurement projects like building a piece of an aircraft, the effects of temperature on material must absolutely be understood and accounted for in every measurement. Depending on whether a measured material will be exposed to an increase or decrease in temperature, the material will experience some degree of expansion or shrinkage, respectively. When you are measuring the material you will use to build a part, or measuring a final product, you must account for variances in temperature that naturally occur between the lab, the workshop, and the real world. In a field such as metrology, exact precision is everything. If you are going to get precise measurements, you must fully understand the role of temperature.
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