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Calipers are used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object in a variety of ways. These great devices come in a range of types, with three very common versions—Vernier caliper, digital caliper, and dial caliper. A Vernier caliper is the most common of all, and the most precise. A Vernier caliper includes a built in Vernier scale, which is a visual aid that indicates specific gradations between measurement marks. Utilizing a Vernier scale for measurement allows for an incredible degree of accuracy. A digital caliper is distinguished by the digital readout screen that displays the final measurement after the caliper has been adjusted appropriately.

Finally, a dial caliper is built with a small dial in place of the Vernier scale. The dial is rotated when taking a measurement and the final number will be in millimeters or inches, as read along the manual scale provided.

There are many methods that can be used to put graduation marks on an instrument. These include: scribing, painting, printing, engraving, and etching. The methods of scribing, engraving, and etching are typically preferable because they are a more permanent form. Printed or painted graduation marks run a higher risk of wearing off and risking the accuracy of the measurement. Often, to increase the durability of an instrument’s graduation marks they will be done in ink of some sort over an engraved or etched mark. This helps them to last longer while also making them more visible to the user. On some tools that are higher quality, a double layer of plastic or glass will be used to protect the graduation marks. Because they are so important for accuracy, graduation marks must be put on an instrument very carefully and precisely.
There are two main references to set when using a height gage: the internal zero and the ball diameter. A couple of key checks to run initially when setting these references are very important. First make sure that the surface plate used to set the internal zero is completely clean of any debris or dust; same goes for the ball. Second, make sure that both the surface plate and the ball are securely attached to the height gage and not at all loose. Both of these could interfere with the precision of your measurements. In order to set the internal zero of the surface plate, lower the sensing head and touch it to the plate. This will then be your baseline zero for any further measurements. Setting the reference of the diameter of the ball is equally important. The standardized text fixture and routine that accompanies your height gage should be utilized to set this reference point. As an extra precaution, the process of setting each of these reference points could be repeated a few times to ensure precision.
V-blocks are called v-blocks because their v-shaped design is central to how they function. A v-block is built with a v-shaped groove in the center of the tool where you place the cylindrical part with which you are working. This channel, or groove, is designed to be a 90-degree space located at a 45-degree rotation from both sides of the block. Positioned at evenly-spaced distances from each side as well as the base of the v-block, the groove is built to completely center and balance the cylindrical part you are drilling, milling, cutting, or inspecting. Cylindrical workpieces are difficult to work with in precision measurement tasks because of their shape. The precise design of the v-block is intended to solve this issue by making cylindrical parts stable during work.
The variation in the coarseness and fineness of the thread of a screw impact the threads per inch. These differences also change the weaknesses and strengths of the screw, making it more or less ideal for a particular use. A greater number of threads can fit into an inch of length when the screw is made up of finer threads, meaning it has a higher TPI. A fewer number of threads can fit into an inch of length when the screw is made up of courser threads, meaning it has a lower TPI. Some of the strengths of a screw with finer threads, or a higher TPI, include being stronger in higher tension due to larger stress areas, as well as higher shear strengths and the ability for very close adjustments. Some of the strengths of a screw with courser threads, or a lower TPI, include a lesser likelihood of cross threading, a greater amount of resistance to fatigue, and allowance of thicker coatings and platings.
The fundamental component of every Mitutoyo laser micrometer is the laser beam itself. The beam is directed toward a polygonal mirror that rotates within the device at a high speed while synchronizing with regular and stale pulses from a system clock. Once the beam is reflected, it rotates clockwise while sweeping across the input surface on a lens. The beam always changes direction in order to be horizontal following the lens exit surface. The horizontal laser beam enters the open workspace where a part may be placed. Should there be no interfering part being measured, the beam reaches a receiver through a condensing lens, thereby producing an output signal. The time during a sweep when the laser beam is interrupted by a part is indicated by the pulsing clock where the receiver signal is absent. This time is proportional to the part dimension in the downward direction. The edge is defined as each of the transitions between the receiver detecting the beam and then not detecting the beam. The edge marks the start or end of the measuring sections, allowing the differences in position of each edge to define the length of each section. These edges and sections are numbered sequentially and result in the eventual dimensional data output.
A telescopic bore gage measures the size of a bore through indirect methods. Essentially, the telescopic bore gage is used to take the size of a bore, and then an external tool, such as a caliper or a micrometer, is used to measure the output of the gage. The head of the bore gage is extended at an angle within the bore and locked into place. The extended head is the part that is measured to get the final output. Very similar to inside calipers, which can also be used to measure bore diameter, telescopic bore gages have the added advantage of being able to be locked in place during the measurement process, thus ensuring higher accuracy. Telescopic bore gages are used by mechanics and anyone in metrology that needs to find the interior diameter, radius, or circumferences of a pipe or a hole.
The best analogy to think about when describing how an optical comparator works, is that of the classic classroom projector that your teacher likely used to go over homework or explain concepts to you when you were in middle school. Similar to this projector, the optic comparator works on the basic principle of projecting a magnified image of the part you are measuring against a screen. The optical comparator is built with a series of very accurate lenses that magnify and transpose the part image. Additionally, optical comparators are built to be stable devices that are placed at fixed distances from the screen being used, in order to ensure a highly precise image and therefore measurement. The whole process through which an optical comparator works uses optics, or the physical principles of light, in order to make measurement easier and more flexible.
Bluetooth technology is a method of communication among a grouping of two or more electronic devices. Bluetooth technology is both automatic and wireless, and works to streamline how devices communicate with each other. All communication through Bluetooth technology happens over low-power radio waves, travelling at a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz. In order to prevent interference with other devices in the area, such as a garage-door opener or a radio, Bluetooth maintains this low-power status. Bluetooth devices need to be within about 10 meters of each other to communicate successfully due to this low-power. While this level of proximity must be maintained, this form of communication does not require a direct line of sight between connected devices. Bluetooth technology uses spread-spectrum frequency hopping to connect to up to eight different devices, all within the same area. A personal-area network (PAN), also known as a piconet, forms when two devices begin communication via Bluetooth. Devices sharing a PAN hop frequencies in unison and therefore continue to operate together. Then, all information can be easily and instantaneously transmitted between the included devices.
Hardness, strength, and toughness are very similar concepts, but come with important distinctions. Hardness is simply the degree of resistance to deformation. Alternatively, strength refers to the amount of elasticity and plasticity of a material. In other words, how much can a material temporarily change shape (elasticity) and how much can a material permanently change shape without any damage (plasticity). These qualities in combination make strength. Toughness, then, is the greatest amount of energy that a material is able to absorb before breaking. This is distinct from hardness because hardness references the amount of force that can be applied before a change in structure. Toughness has to do with how much energy can be taken in by the material before a fracture occurs, and is sort of the opposing feature to hardness.
The regularity for recalibrating a set of gage blocks is not standardized. However, overseeing entities, such as American National Standards in Dimensional Metrology (ASME) and Federal standards do suggest a particular period of time after which you ought to recalibrate your gage blocks. The higher the grade of your gage blocks, the more infrequently you can recalibrate them. Gage blocks with a grade of 0.5 or 1 will usually be recalibrated once a year or annually. Gage blocks with a grade of 2 or 3 are typically recalibrated semi-annually or as often as monthly. Once you reach the level of master blocks, since they are not used as commonly as other grades of gage blocks, the typical length of time between calibrations is about 2 years. As a general rule, the regulatory power for matters such as recalibration rests on the shoulders of agency inspectors, rather than the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
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.
As with any precision measurement tool, checking your v-block regularly is a vital part of maintenance and will help to ensure that you are able to continue to take precise measurement and make accurate adjustments to parts. Before using your v-block for the first time, you should always check that the vee channel is properly parallel. Any issues that occurred during design or production that result in the groove not being parallel could impact the accuracy of your work process. The parallel structure of the v-block should also continue to be checked after usage. You will want to check the v-block regularly for any dents, nicks, scratches, or burrs that could impact your use of the tool. Any tiny amount of warping or wearing will have a lasting impact on how precise your measurements and adjustments are when using the v-block. Also keep in mind that following a lot of use, the cylindrical workpieces that come into contact with the v-block could cause convex wearing on the sides of the tool. You may have to get your v-block repaired or replaced when this happens.
Just like any precision measurement tool, you will want to make sure you take good care of your dial test indicator to ensure that it lasts as long as possible and is in good condition. Likely, when you purchased your dial test indicator it came with some sort of case. If it did not, you should get a case in which to keep it when not in use. Additionally, when not in use, you will want to store your dial test indicator in a location that does not get too hot or too cold. When using your indicator, do not use any lubrication on the spindle, as this may result in the accumulation of dust and other particles that will make it not work properly and make measurement errors. Dial test indicators are designed such that lubrication is not necessary. However, if you are experiencing trouble with the movement of the spindle on your dial test indicator, you can clean the surface with a dry or alcohol-soaked cloth.
The MF-U series of Mitutoyo measuring microscope stands out from the other designs with its clear observation image and its incredible detection of microscopic flaws and asperities. Top-notch color quality, ultra-long working distance, and an apochromatic design that eliminates any chromatic aberration makes the MF-U an excellent choice. Additionally, these microscopes go above and beyond the standard availability of bright-field observation to also include the options of differential interference observation, simple polarized observation, and dark-field observation. The available polarization unit that comes with the MF-U series Mitutoyo measuring microscope increases image contrast when using a low-magnification lens.

No. Accuracy is different from resolution and in precision measurement it is important to know what they both are. The resolution of a gage is the degree to which the output of measurement can be broken down, whether in decimal places, parts, divisions, or counts. The smaller degree to which a gage is capable of making a measurement, the higher its resolution. Alternatively, accuracy is how close the output of a measurement is to the actual true value of the measurement. In other words, the less error there is in a particular measurement, the higher the accuracy of that measurement. A high functioning gage requires both resolution and accuracy—you need one to have the other.

No. Precision is different from resolution, just as accuracy is. The resolution of a gage is the degree to which the output of measurement can be broken down, whether in decimal places, parts, divisions, or counts. Precision relates to the resolution, but takes it a step further. The precision of a gage is the smallest (resolution), true (accuracy) measurement that can be taken repeatedly and reliably. The more precise a gage is, the greater its ability to take finely-tuned and accurate measurements again and again. While a gage might take the perfect measurement once, what you really want is to be confident that the gage will take as close to the perfect measurement as possible, every time—this is precision.
There are a number of different types of micrometers that you can buy to increase the versatility of your measurement workshop. While the more basic types of micrometer (inside, outside, and depth) will cover a number of measurements that you might be making, having a wider range of micrometers available will increase your measurement accuracy. Different micrometer types are built to specifically measure particular areas of a part, such as a screw thread, the dimensions of a groove, the various depths of holes, circles, tolerance limits, tubes and pipes, and much more. In measurement, precision and accuracy are key. The more specialized set micrometers you have, the higher levels of precision and accuracy you will achieve with your measurements.
The resolution of your gage is pivotal to respectable measurement. In today’s world, technology is advancing at lightning speed. While there are bigger, more obvious ways in which this impacts the field of measurement, it also has a great impact on the smaller things too. The modern gage can be built to have an incredible degree of resolution. While a gage is used to conduct precision measurement on both small- and large-scale projects, this high resolution should never be sacrificed. The resolution of your gage is important in every practical setting because it directly impacts the accuracy of your measurement. Every project and measurement you take part in ought to value accuracy, and having high resolution is how this is done. No matter how basic the application, the technological advances that allow for incredibly precise measurement capabilities ought to be taken advantage of by all.
A go ring gage is made with the high limit of the part tolerance as well as a unilateral minus tolerance. Used in direct gaging, a go ring gage tests whether a part is oversized and therefore will not go through the ring. A no-go ring gage is built with the low limit of the part tolerance as well as a unilateral plus tolerance. The no-go gage tests whether a part is undersized by seeing if it passes through the ring and is also used in direct methods of gaging. A setting ring gage, or a master ring, is made to be used in methods of indirect gaging and serves as a comparator for other instruments which will then be used to test parts.
Micrometer heads are precision measurement tools that are designed as mounts onto other measurement instruments or precision fixtures. Used for measurement, positioning, and adjustment, micrometer heads are typically found on measurement jigs. More recently, these handy little devices have been found in use on precise feeding devices and cross-travel states on both manipulators and laser instruments. Given the growing range of applications for micrometer heads, the design options for these tools are also expanding. Micrometer heads can be customized based on their range of measurement, their type of stem, and their body size. Each part of a micrometer head can be specialized for the intended purpose with different spindle tips and leadscrews that are available.
Looking at whether a thread is male or female as well as tapered or parallel is important, but these are not the only ways to distinguish between thread types. Pitch size and diameter are also important factors to consider when purchasing or using a threaded part. The pitch size of a thread can either be the number of threads per inch or the distance between each specific thread, depending on whether you are using the imperial or metric measurement system, respectively. The pitch size of a thread is usually measured using a pitch gage. The diameter of a thread is simply the internal (when female) or external (when male) diameter across the edges of the thread. Thread diameter is important when determining whether the thread is tapered or parallel.
Vernier calipers have been a staple in metrology tool sets for decades. These traditional tools provide extreme precision and accuracy in the measurements they take. Very adaptable, Vernier calipers can be used to measure inside and outside dimensions of a part as well as depth dimensions. Vernier calipers come with twin scales such that a main scale can be used with the secondary scale when measuring, thus eliminating the need for any external device like a ruler. Built using stainless steel, these tools are incredibly durable and made to last a lifetime by being resistant to damage and corrosion. Finally, since Vernier calipers are commonly used, they are also commonly made, which makes pricing competitive and low.
The Mitutoyo laser micrometers are incredibly versatile devices with numerous applications. Some of the potential measurement applications of these micrometers include in-line glass fiber or fine wire diameter, X- and Y-axis electric cables and fibers, film sheet thickness, disk head movement, thickness of film and sheet, outer diameter of opaque or transparent cylinders, outer diameter and roundness of cylinder, spacing of IC chip leads, gap between rollers, tape width, outer diameter of optical connector and ferrule, dual system for measuring a large outside diameter, as well as taper and form. The Mitutoyo laser micrometers come in a number of different models, each with varying measurement ranges, allowing for specification depending on your measurement needs.
Each of the series of Mitutoyo microscopes come with a range of optional accessories. The standard vision unit works to reduce the variation while improving efficiency in each measurement, and simplifies reporting and data storage. The vision unit dedicated software (QSPAK) allows for both simple and universal mode switching, editing of the measurement program, edge detection functions, simplified multi-point measurement, graphics, and quick navigation. Other adaptable software packages are also available. A few of the other available accessories for the Mitutoyo measuring microscopes include: calibration chart, C-mount adaptor, 0.5x TV adaptor, 2-dimensional data processing unit, foot switch, eyepieces, optical tubes, reticles, rotary table, stage adaptor, holder with clamp, v-block with clamp, swivel center support, vibration damping stand, mounting stand, illumination filter, ring light, dual swan-neck light pipe, and more.

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.

Hardness can be measured in a number of ways, and often you will want to choose a particular measurement tool or scale based on the type of hardness you need to assess. We will review a few of the more commonly used tests. The Brinell Hardness Test applies a hard metal ball to the material being tested from a vertical angle, using a known amount of force, for a specified amount of time. The degree of hardness is determined from the pressure diameter and the force applied. The Vickers Hardness Test uses a pyramid-shaped diamond indenter to make an indentation on the test material. Hardness is then measured using the diagonals of the resulting indentation. The Rockwell Hardness Test uses a diamond cone or steel ball to make an indentation on the material being tested. A number is then calculated using the resulting depth.
Beyond the basic inside, outside, and depth micrometers, there are a number of specialized micrometers built for different jobs. Tube micrometers are utilized to measure the thickness of a pipe or tube, v-anvil micrometers can make evenly-spaced measurements around a circle, and universal micrometers are made to have interchangeable anvils in order to complete a wide range of potential measurements. Groove micrometers are put to use when you need to measure either the external or internal dimension of a groove, pitch-diameter micrometers are used to measure the height of the thread on a screw, and limit micrometers can ensure that a part is within the bounds of a particular tolerance. Finally, laser micrometers provide incredibly quick and precise measurements.
If you are using an electronic height gage, it will be capable of transmitting measurement information to a computer. However, some height gages go beyond this maneuver and are hooked up to the computer through a wireless connection. For a successful wireless set up with your height gage, you need a transmitter and a receiver, just like you do for wireless internet. The major advantage of wireless communication with height gages is that it eliminates the nuisance of having a wire connecting the tool to the computer and getting in the way of the operator. One potential risk of working with a wireless height gage is that there may be signal interference, or a problem with the transmission of the measurement information. However, the modern wireless height gage is advanced to handle this risk and is well-equipped to protect against any interference. Additionally, wireless transmission eliminates possible transcription errors, keyboard mistakes, missing data, and any number of other manual issues with data coding.
As long as you are using rules to measure everyday objects that are on of an appropriate size, you will be able to get a reliable and accurate measurement. The major advantages of rules are that they are pretty cheap in cost and very easy to find. They also come in almost infinite sizes, are made of different materials, and come with different measuring units that can all be specified to the measurement you are taking. A well-made rule can also double as a straight edge for determining flaws or errors in other parts or tools. A major disadvantage of a rule is that it is not a good tool for measuring larger objects or distances that are greater than about a yard or meter. As measurement length becomes greater, the reliability decreases. Similarly, rules can only get down to a gradation of about 1.5mm or 1/16th of an inch. This limits the degree of precision you can accomplish on a smaller scale. Finally, a major consideration when conducting a measurement using a rule is to consider the impact of the observer. Most rules are read by the user and therefore very susceptible to reading error or sight misjudgment. For lower impact, day-to-day jobs, rules are an incredibly handy tool to have around. For higher-impact, very precise measurements you may want to consider using a more intricate measurement device.
Just the versatile measuring capabilities of the optical comparator are a huge advantage of this precision measurement device. Additionally, optical comparators offer more than just dimensions by providing length and width measurements as well as revealing possible imperfections along the surface of a part. Optical comparators can measure within a two-dimensional space, as opposed to other tools, like micrometers, that measure only one dimension at a time. More generally, optical comparators are very easy to use even by novice metrologists and can provide a great deal of information in a relatively short amount of time. Another great advantage of optical comparators is that only light comes into contact with the part you are measuring during the measurement process, decreasing the risk of damage when measuring more delicate parts. Finally, optical comparators come with major cost savings, ergonomic designs, reduced inspection time, and reduced costs of training.
The newer ultralight calipers are superior to traditional Vernier calipers in a number of ways. Built using hollow aluminum with steel reinforcement, these tools are extremely lightweight, making them simpler to use and easier to transport. The model makes sure that the tools can be well-guided in measurement and ensures protection from shock. Additionally, the ultralight caliper has consistent pressure control during measurement, which makes the force involved both stable and parallel across both jaws of the tool. This feature is very advantageous because it improves repeatability when measuring larger diameters. The ultralight calipers are made with a titanium coating on surfaces exposed to other parts, helping protect from corrosion and scratching. These tools also come with a digital measurement readout. In general, ultralight calipers allow for the same or greater levels of precision and accuracy as Vernier calipers, with the added advantages of being simpler to use and having much more reliability.
The grade of a gage block is a specific rating given to the gage block that represents the degree of tolerance it has. Gage blocks used to come in grades depicted by letters – A, AA, AAA, B. Now the standard labeling is in the form of numbers ranging from 0.5 to 3. Each grade has a different purpose, but generally, the higher the grade, the tighter the tolerance. Tighter tolerances, and therefore higher grades, will result in a greater amount of accuracy and precision in your measurement. Depending on the country and the company you are working with there will be different ways to label grades. Higher grades, representing smaller degrees of tolerance (or higher degrees of tolerance tightness; ±0.05 μm) are often used to establish standards and calibrate, while higher grades, representing slightly larger degrees of tolerance (or lower degrees of tolerance tightness; 0.25 μm to − 0.15 μm) are used as shop standards for precision measurement purposes.
Graduations styles come in three main categories for micrometer heads. These styles include normal graduation, reverse graduation, and bidirectional graduation. Because of this, make sure that you are aware of what type of graduation style is present on a micrometer head in order to take an accurate reading. Normal graduation style is just like the graduations seen on a standard outside micrometer where the reading will increase when the spindle is retracted into the body. Reverse graduation style is when the reading on the spindle increases as it advances outside of the body of the micrometer head. Finally, bidirectional graduation style can be used and read in either the normal or reverse style, such that it is used to make measurements in both directions feasible. On bidirectional style micrometer head graduations, the numerals for normal readings are typically in black, while the numerals for reverse readings are typically in red. Digital displays can be useful on micrometer heads no matter what type of graduations are used to improve readout precision.
The specific markings on the measurement tool itself that evenly divide up the space of the scale are called graduations. These markings are typically straight when found on a rule, but may also be curved, like in the case of a protractor. When using a rule, you will want first to make sure that the graduations are appropriate for the type of measurement are you doing. You will need a rule with different gradations when your measurement requires more finite increments than when you are getting a rough estimate of a length. The common naming system for graduations uses different numbers and letters to distinguish the measurement capabilities such as 3R, 4R, 9R, and others. The different names signify the length of the measurement increments that can be found on that particular rule. For example, a 3R rule measures in 10ths and 50ths on the front and 64ths and 32nds on the back, a 4R rule measures in 8ths and 16ths on the front and 64ths and 32nds on the back, and a 9R rule measures in 16ths and 32nds on the front and 64ths on the back.
The available models of the Mitutoyo laser micrometers and their corresponding measurement ranges are: LSM-500S (0.0002” - 0.08”), LSM-501S (0.002” - 0.4”), LSM-503S (0.012” – 1.18”), LSM-506S (0.04” – 2.36”), LSM-512S (0.04” – 4.72”), LSM-516S (0.04” – 6.30”). There is also a factory-set package for a complete measuring unit, the LSM-902/6900 which comes with a measurement range of 0.004” – 1.0”. The measuring unit with integrated display, or the LSM-9506 model has a measurement range of 0.02” – 2.36”. Finally, the display units themselves, in isolation, come in two different models. These include the LSM-6200 which is a multi-function version with a power supply of 100V – 240V AC and the LSM-5200 with is a compact version with a power supply of +24V DC.
There are nine main parts that make up a dial test indicator. First there is of course the dial face itself. Located at the very top of a dial test indicator is the cap. Around the entire dial face is the bezel. The bezel is what is rotated in order to calibrate and reset the dial test indicator. Along the bezel are two limit markers that can be moved around depending on their use. Just to the right toward the top of the dial face is the bezel clamp, which helps to lock the bezel in place. On the dial face there is a hand, sometimes called a pointer, and may be a smaller turn counter. The stem extends from the bottom of the dial test indicator. At the very end of the stem is the contact point that is used to make contact with the part being measured. Just above this, about halfway down the stem is the spindle, which is the part of the tool that moves in order to detect any imperfections.
There are four main different faces that you may see on dial test indicators. Each one has a particular type of reading that it is ideal for. The continuous dial test indicator is the most standard type you might picture. On a continuous dial face the numbers go around the face and increase clockwise. These are used for direct reading. A balanced dial face for multiple revolutions has numbers increasing from the zero point in both directions and meeting in the middle at 50. These dial test indicators are used for reading the difference between a specific reference surface and your part. Continuous dial faces can also have a reverse reading where the numbers increase counter-clockwise along the dial. These are typically used for depth or bore gauge measurements. Finally, a dial test indicator could have a balanced dial face built for only one revolution. These are great for very precise readings of small differences.
Indicator contact points can vary by numerous different shapes, and each one has a specific use for which it is best suited. The ball point shape is the most common and can be used for workpieces with deep indentations. The shell type point is best used with flat surfaces due to its large radius. Also having a large radius, the spherical point is suitable for when workpieces need to be mobile and move from side to side. A conical point may be used for positioning the measurement point, but be careful because this type of point should not be used on soft materials. An indicator contact point with a flat point is usually best for convex surfaces, while a knife edge point is usually best for getting a measurement of the diameter in a narrow groove. A needle point shape best suits the measurement of the bottom of a hole or groove. The blade point shape is best for convex surfaces with shallow grooves. Last but not least, a roller point contact point may be used when the workpiece needs to be moved for the measurement to take place.
Calipers are wonderfully simple tools used to measure the distance between two points on a part or object. Depending on the work piece, you might need to measure an interior distance, an exterior distance, a depth distance, or the distance from the side of the object to a particular point. All of these types of measurements can be accomplished using calipers. Overall, there are eight different caliper types today. The available varieties of caliper are the Vernier caliper, the dial caliper, the digital caliper, the inside caliper, the outside caliper, the divider caliper, the oddleg caliper, and the micrometer caliper. In fact, the micrometer caliper is the same tool as a micrometer, but using the full name.
Above and beyond the basic design formats of balanced and continuous readout, there are a number of different types of dial indicators that users can choose from. Test dial indicators are built with a needle to one side. These dial indicators are adjustable and may be calibrated to complete a measurement of a number of different machines and parts making them very versatile. Plunger dial indicators look very similar, but come instead with a plunger on one side, attached to a hinge point. These indicators can be either mechanical or electrical in design and are commonly used to measure injection molding machines. Lever dial indicators are identified mainly by their lever and scroll, which work together as the mechanism that moves the stylus to take the final measurement. Dial indicators can also be distinguished by their connection method. The connection method determines how the indicator connects to what it is measuring, and may involve a c-clamp or a swivel clamp.
Micrometer heads will vary slightly depending on the supply company which is supplying them. However, the typical selection of micrometer heads available includes digimatic heads, standard heads, high function heads, and specially designed heads. Some of the subtypes include non-rotating spindles, quick-operating, fine-adjustment, and locking-screw designs. In terms of other design features, micrometer heads will vary depending on the measurement range, the stem type, and the body size. Overall, the factors on a micrometer head will vary by range, graduation, stem, spindle face, resolution, and thimble diameter. Some of these design features are widely applicable and may be ideal for more general use of a micrometer head. However, for specialized jobs, you may need to use features that are intended for those certain precision measurement needs, but not others.
There are there main types of optical systems used in optical comparators: simple optics, corrected optics, and fully corrected optics. The simple optics system uses only a source of light, a lens for magnification, a mirror for reflection, and a projection screen. Simple optics will display an image that is reversed and upside-down. The corrected optics system adds to the simple optics system another internal mirror such that the image it produces is actually right-side-up and reversed. Finally, a fully corrected optical system creates a final projected image of the part that is both right-side-up and unreversed. Any of these systems can be sufficient to complete a measurement on an optical comparator, but the more advanced a system you use the less work there will be when converting the taken measurement back to the corresponding measurement of the part.
The dial reading on some indicators will come with a more limited range, which may be the ability to make only a single revolution around the face of the dial. These types of readout are called one-rev indicators. This range is very useful when it comes to measuring deviations that require a high degree of magnification and level of detail since they help to eliminate any chance of miscounting the number of revolutions. Higher range indicators vary in the number of revolutions they are able to make around the dial, with some reaching up to ten revolutions. Higher range dial indicators are better for measurements that do not require much magnification. These final measurements are calculated through a summing process. Often, in order to allow the user to keep up with the number of revolutions and complete accurate measurements, a continuous dial reading is preferred.
The stem on a micrometer head is the main mounting feature and thus very important to the overall functioning of the device. Stems on micrometer heads can be plain type or clamp nut type and are typically made with an h6 tolerance for either a metric or imperial size. The plain stem is the most basic design and can be utilized in a wider range of applications than the clamp nut stem and is better for very slight positional adjustments in the axial direction on installation. The clamp nut stem is best for clamping micrometer heads in a fast and secure manner. One benefit of the clamp nut stem over the plain stem is that it does not require a split-fixture arrangement or adhesive for fixture. Depending on the particular measurement job you are completing you will want to make sure you have the proper stem type on your micrometer head.
The most important factor that impacts the accuracy of the measurement taken by a caliper is the skill of the operator. This is why it is important to choose the type of caliper that makes the most sense for the job at hand. If you choose a caliper that has more capabilities to complete an outside measurement, like a Vernier caliper, but do not know how to use it properly, you may negatively impact your accuracy. It is better to choose a caliper you know how to use in order to get a more precise and accurate measurement. Another factor to keep in mind is calibration. You want to make sure that if possible, your caliper is regularly calibrated. If you are working with an uncalibrated caliper (such as a one-purpose caliper like the inside caliper), then you will want to make sure that the measurement reference you are comparing it to is calibrated. Finally, to ensure accuracy of your caliper, you want to make sure that it always has a proper zero point. Mishandling of certain calipers can mess up the zero point as well as the eventual measurements.
Calipers are capable of measuring in four ways: 1) outside diameter, 2) inside diameter, 3) depth distance, and 4) step distance. Whether you have a Vernier, a digital, or a dial caliper, you will be able to complete all four of these potential measurements. Outside diameter measurement assesses the distance from one edge of an object to another using the outside dimensions. Inside diameter measurement looks at the distance between two inside points of a space or hole. Depth distance measurement provides the distance to the bottom of a space or hole. Finally, step distance measures the distance between an upper and lower step of an object. Calipers are incredibly useful because they can accomplish each of these different measurements. These highly adaptable tools are a great asset to any precision measurement workshop.
The MIN and MAX readouts from your indicator are telling you the lowest and the highest point on the surface of your part, respectively. These measurements are determined by running the indicator across the surface of your part while rotating it along a centralized axis. The indicator will pick up on the points that are lowest and highest, allowing you to have a quantitative measurement of any discrepancies along the surface. These measurements are important for determining the flatness, roundness, concentricity, or any other intended shape. Once a part is made, testing the MIN and MAX of the surface is crucial to understanding if the part is shaped precisely the way it is supposed to be.
There are three most basic categorizations of micrometers. Those types are inside, outside, and depth micrometers. The reason that these are known as the most basic types is that the majority of the measurements you may need to complete can be accomplished with these tools. An inside micrometer is used to measure the internal dimensions of an object, an outside micrometer is used to measure the external dimension of an object, and a depth micrometer is used to measure the depth of a hole. In fact, the outside micrometer is one of the most widely used precision measurement tools overall. These versatile micrometers are excellent devices to have on hand no matter what specific type of metrology you do.
Ceramic gage blocks are a newer, but very popular option when compared to steel gage blocks. A few of the main advantages of ceramic gage blocks include the zero thermal expansion coefficient that ceramic has, the zero phase shift, and the resistance to corrosion. Due to these qualities, ceramic easily adapts to new temperatures, is not as impacted by risk of phase shift, and will last a very long time without damage from grit or humidity. In general, ceramic gage blocks are advantageous over steel gage blocks because they last a very long time without corrosion or damage. The main disadvantage of ceramic is that it is more fragile than steel. If being utilized in a context where there is risk of breakage, ceramic may not hold up quite as well. Ceramic gage blocks are an excellent choice, depending of course on your precision measurement needs.
Steel is the classic choice when it comes to deciding on a base material for your gage blocks. Steel has a distinctly hard surface and is therefore resistant to chipping or cracking. Additionally, this hard material will be protected during lapping and ideal for wringing. Another major advantage of steel gage blocks is that most industrial parts that will need to be gaged will also be made of steel. Therefore, steel gage blocks will very easily match the thermal expansion coefficient of the material being measured. The greatest disadvantage of steel as a gage block material is that it is not stable over time. While advances have been made, steel will expand over time due to the crystal makeup as well as the hardening process. Furthermore, steel is subject to corrosion caused by scratching or humidity and will likely rust over time. Steel gage blocks can be the ideal choice in a shop environment and are built strong depending on what you need for precision measurement.
Indicator contact points come in a variety of types and vary based on three main factors. Those factors include shape, material, and extension. The shape of the contact point on an indicator refers to the actual shape of the part that makes contact with the object you are measuring. Depending on the surface structure of the object, such as whether it is concave or complex, grooved, or contains bores or holes, you can vary the shape of the contact point. Another way in which indicator contact points vary by type is by the material they are made of. The most commonly used materials for contact points include carbide, ruby, plastic, and steel. You will want to know the kinds of materials you are measuring to determine the best contact point material. Finally, the type of contact point you have for an indictor can vary by whether or not you have an extension. Depending on the parts you are measuring, having an extension can prove very valuable for improving accuracy.
The first level of electronic height gage functions very similarly to a mechanical height gage. They will have a comparable level of accuracy to a mechanical height gage. Additionally, these will include both a floating and an absolute zero, data output, and data unit conversion. The second level of electronic height gage builds upon the first group. This level will have an increased degree of accuracy, and might possibly come with more advanced features. Some of these features could include a tolerance setting, a maximum and minimum setting, TIR compensation, ID/OD measurement, or a probe compensation. Finally, the third level of electronic height gage contains all of the features of the first and second level, with higher accuracy and more features. The additional features you will likely see in this group are a motorized touch probe, a computer interface, air bearings, and the ability to store part programs.
One of the incredible capabilities of an optical comparator is that it can complete measurements in numerous ways, depending on what you are measuring and the size of your part. One measurement technique used with optical comparators is to directly compare the projected image created to measurement units such as a ruler or protractor. These image measurements are easily converted back to the corresponding measurement of the part because the level of magnification and exact location of the part are known. A second way to measure with an optical comparator is to use screen rotation. Screen rotation utilizes a marked zero point on the image in order to measure various angles on the image, which are then converted back to corresponding angles on the part. A third common measurement method involves using measurement by motion. Ideal for larger parts that cannot be completely projected at once, measurement by motion requires the operator to move the worktable or use a sliding fixture built right into the machine. Optical comparators are great tools that can do a range of measurements for a range of parts.
Hardness in general is the amount of resistance a material has to any kind of deformation from an outside source. The three main types of hardness include: indentation hardness, scratch hardness, and rebound hardness. Indentation hardness is the resistance a material has to deformation from a consistently applied force. The higher the indentation hardness, the greater ability to not have any resulting deformation from applied compression. Scratch hardness is the degree of resistance one material has when it is subjected to friction caused by another material. Materials that are less impacted by this scratching will have higher scratch hardness. Finally, rebound hardness is the amount of bounce that occurs when an outside object is dropped on the material in question. Often tested with a diamond-tipped hammer, a material with higher rebound hardness will lead to a higher bounce when the hammer is dropped.
The two main types of measurement conducted by the Mitutoyo laser micrometer are diameter measurement and interval measurement. In diameter measurement, the object or part which you need to measure is placed centrally into the laser beam of the micrometer. Then on the central display device, the measurement of the diameter of the part can be read. Alternatively, with interval measurement, two parts or objects can be placed within the laser beam of the micrometer. The readout then provides the distance between the two parts. Furthermore, when using interval measurement, the furthest distance between the two parts can also be measured.
The two main design formats for dial indicator readout are balanced and continuous. When a dial readout is balanced it means that the numerical measurements run in the two opposing directions away from the middle zero point. These types of readout are ideal for tolerances that are bilateral in nature, for example ±0.006 inch. The dial of the indicator is balanced in either direction and so can be positive or negative. When a dial readout is continuous it means that the numerical readout goes only in one direction, starting at the zero point and continuing all the way around in one full rotation. Continuous readouts are typically seen when the tolerance is unilateral, for example –0.000 to +0.003 inch. Both balanced and continuous dial reading designs on a dial indicator have reverse versions. On a balanced dial reading this is seen in the positive numbers being to the left of the zero point and negative numbers being to the right, while on a continuous dial reading this is seen as the whole revolution scale reversed. Reversed continuous readouts are sometimes called counter-clockwise dial indicators.
The two general categories of graduation are linear graduation and curved graduation. Linear graduation is used on instruments that are straight in shape. A common example is a ruler that includes spaced out inches or millimeters, which measure linear distances. Measurements can also be non-linear, such as when they are using logarithmic scales or transcendental scales. Finally, volumetric graduations fall under this broad category and are utilized to measure liquids. Curved graduations typically are found on the limb of an instrument which can be a circular arc or offshoot. This type of graduation divides a certain space into smaller angular measurements. A common example is a clock, which divides down into equally spaced minutes or seconds.
The overarching name given to the wide ranging software packages available through Wyler is wylerSOFT. Built within this greater program are a series of important subsets that can be combined or not to create an incredible suite of precision measurement software. WylerSPEC is a tool used for measurement tasks concerning the geometry of objects and machines, calculating measurements of flatness, parallelism, and squareness. WylerDYNAM samples and analyzes data in order to measure and display inclinations, profiles, and more for both stationary and moving objects. WylerCHART is based on wylerDYNAM but is preconfigured to launch standard applications right away, making it very simple to use. LabEXCEL CLINO displays the measurement values determined by the Clinotronic inclination measurement instruments. WylerINSERT reads values taken by the Wyler BlueSystem devices and inserts them into any other program that you are using. Finally, Wyler sells a software development kit that customers can use in order to develop their own software for analyzing data from Wyler instruments in order to better customize the tools to their needs.
In build and capability, a Vernier caliper, a dial caliper, and a digital caliper are all very similar. However, they also have important distinguishing features. All three of these caliper types are built with multiple functional measurement techniques. With inside jaws, outside jaws, and a depth probe, these calipers can complete almost all of the same measurements as the one-purpose calipers. One disadvantage of being multi-faceted is that these calipers may not be quite as flexible in range of distances as the one-purpose calipers, like an outside caliper. The central distinguishing feature of these calipers is the way in which the measurement readout functions. On a Vernier caliper, there is a Vernier scale with gradation marks that minimize operator error and improve interpolation. On a dial caliper, the readout is a simple dial face. These are good for completing differential measurements. Finally, on a digital caliper, the readout is a digital face. These allow for very precise measurements and may even be easily connected to a computer for data recording and collection.
The standard IP rating consists of two numbers. Each of these numbers represents a specific level of protection. The first number in an IP rating represents the level of protection against solid ingress, while the second number represents the level of protection against liquid ingress. As a general rule, as each of these individual numbers increases, the amount of protection goes up. The IP rating for solids increases on a scale from 0 = No protection to 6 = Total dust ingress protection. The IP rating for liquids increases on similar scale from 0 = No protection to 8 = Protected against continuous immersion to a specified depth or pressure. Different factors to consider when choosing an IP rating include the context of the work you plan to do, what length of time you will need high or low levels of protection, and what debris or accidents could occur at the worksite.

That the Fowler zCat DCC CMM is direct computer controlled means that all of the features and capabilities of the CMM can be controlled by and recorded in the connected computer. The advanced technology of the zCat allows for direct communication between the tool itself and a computer through a wireless connection. The machine can be operated through the computer, or previously manual operations can be stored and repeated through the computer at a later time. Furthermore, all measurements captured by the zCat are swiftly and automatically transferred into the computer and stored in an Excel spreadsheet. Every Fowler zCat comes with built in ControlCAT software that performs all of these functions. The ControlCAT software is easy to use and operated by the touchscreen interface built into the zCat.

The features that come with the Mitutoyo laser micrometers make these devices the unique tools that they are. Each laser micrometer has seemless measurement range models from 0.005mm diameters of ultra-fine wires to 160mm diameters of cylinders. These tools also use an ultra-high scanning rate of 3200 scans per second. There is certified accuracy over the entire measurement range, certified by the “Traceability System to the International Standard.” These laser micrometers have improved resistance to IP64-level environments, having been developed specifically to withstand high levels of rough settings. The Mitutoyo laser micrometers also come with a DIN-size compact panel-mounted display unit (LSM-5200), which allows for easy mounting. The standard I/O output, analog output and RS-232C output interfaces, along with wireless capability, make these laser micrometers adaptable to your software and even your personal computers or printers. Finally, the free Quicktool software that is included makes setup simple and operation easy.
Every bore gauge needs to be set to match a master standard before it is used. A common mistake is when users do not purchase and use a setting master for this process prior to the first use of a new bore gauge. Whenever a new bore gage is purchased, a setting master ought to be purchased as well. Setting rings, micrometer, and master setting kits can all be used as master standards to complete the bore gage calibration procedure. If the step of matching a bore gage to a master standard is skipped, then the gage will be used without being properly set and all measurements taken run the risk of being inaccurate. If you are a new bore gage owner, or are looking to buy one in the future, remember to complete the bore gauge calibration procedure before using your new tool.

A coordinate measurement machine, commonly abbreviated to CMM, is a measurement tool that takes a geometric reading of an object using a probe that senses the angles and points that make up the object. The probe on a CMM can be one of many types including white light, optical, laser, or mechanical. Furthermore, the probe on a CMM can be either manually or computer operated. On the Fowler zCat DCC CMM, the probe is both manually and computer operated and transitions smoothly just by how the operator decide to use it. Most CMMs utilize the Cartesian coordinate system to determine the discrete points on an object. This movement along the X, Y, and Z axes helps to create a precise three-dimensional model of a part.

A rule, sometimes referred to as a ruler or line gauge, is a measurement tool comprised of a straight edge device marked with graduations for measurement. Rules can be made of metal, plastic, or wood. They come in various lengths and widths from which you may choose depending on the nature of your measurement task. The graduations on rules may be etched, scribed, engraved, painted, or printed onto the tool, and depending on the material of the rule will have differing durability. Rules may be flexible or rigid in terms of build, with flexible rules being made to wrap around objects or corners for measurement. The five standard types of rule include: spring-tempered rule, flexible rule, narrow rule, hook rule, and short-length rule.
The zero error on a caliper has to do with the baseline point of the caliper. If properly cleaned and closed, a caliper ought to measure 0.00 exactly. Occasionally, this will not be the case and then you have a zero error. A zero error on a caliper can be positive or negative in direction. A positive zero error occurs when the caliper jaws are closed, but the readout has some positive value, whereas a negative zero error occurs when the caliper jaws are closed, but the readout has some negative value. This can occur when a caliper is not properly maintained, or after normal wear and tear from use. No matter the cause, a zero error occurs when the caliper is not properly calibrated to the zero point. Knowing if your caliper has a zero error is extremely important for the accuracy of your measurement. If there is any discrepancy in the calibration of your caliper, you must then account for it in your final measurement.
The process of direct gaging is when a ring gage is utilized as a means of checking the size and/or roundness of a part. When conducting direct gaging, the ring gage can either be a go ring gage or a no-go ring gage, sometimes known as a not-go ring gage. Direct gaging, or fixed-limit gaging works to establish a physical limit for the acceptable outer diameter of a part. Depending on the high limit (go gage) or low limit (no-go gage), it can be determined whether the part is oversized, undersized, or within an acceptable limit. Additionally, direct gaging is useful for testing the roundness of a part that might be missed when using a micrometer or some other tool as a comparator.
The process of indirect gaging involves using a ring gage as a reference point against which to set other measuring tools or instruments. Because the ring gage itself is not being used to test the final part, but rather to set another tool which will test the final part, this process is indirect. In essence, two tools are used in conjunction in order to assess the acceptableness of the part being measured. When conducting indirect gaging, the ring gage is known as the master ring or the setting ring. The unique feature of a setting ring is that it is built with a bilateral tolerance. A bilateral tolerance is defined as one half of the specified tolerance added and subtracted from the designated size. This measurement ought not to deviate any more than 0.00001in from the ring gage nominal size.
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.
Repeatability is the amount of closeness of a series of measurements assessing the same item or area. The closer the measurements are, the more repeatable. In essence, for repeatability you want the same measurement to repeat. While not always evident in larger production lines or projects, repeatability is incredibly important to establish, before mass production can occur. In order to establish the repeatability of your measurements, you will need to set a series of factors as stable and collect numerous data points. This is known as a repeatability test. The conditions in which repeatability is tested are crucial and include: the same item or area being measured, the same device or tool used to measure, the same operator completing the measurement, and the same environmental conditions throughout each measurement. When all of these factors are held stable and a series of measurements come out as nearly identical, the measurement can be said to be repeatable.
Spread-spectrum frequency hopping is a communication technique used by Bluetooth that allows it to successfully connect with up to eight different devices without unwanted interference among them. This technique decreases the chance that multiple devices will transmit information on the same frequency level at the same time. Basically, Bluetooth switches regularly between 79 different randomly chosen frequencies within the designated range 1,600 times every second. This allows each of the connected devices to use a very particular portion of the available radio wave spectrum and significantly decreases the chance that they will interfere with each other. Additionally, should any interference occur, it will only last for that very short amount of time, making it negligible. Every Bluetooth device automatically uses spread-spectrum frequency hopping.
Sylcom Software is a precision measurement computer program used to both display and record ongoing measurements taken with a variety of instruments. The precision measurement tool being used can connect to Sylcom through a wire connection directly, or through a wireless connection using Bluetooth technology. Many Fowler Precision tools come with Bluetooth technology, making it simple to load them into Sylcom through a receiving USB dongle. Sylcom itself is very straightforward to use. Simply log in as an administrator, and begin by configuring your instruments. This is how Sylcom builds Channels and Pages to store raw inputs from your devices. Once a tool is configured, a channel is automatically created. Then, simply add the channel to the pages by configuring the channel, adding the proper formula, and connecting the input. Through the Pages function you can change the readout type for your data, see live data on screen, change display modes, and store all recordings. The Work Menu feature in Sylcom allows you to select what is displayed on your Bluetooth precision measurement tool. You can adjust the internal configuration of the Bluetooth connected tool and write them back to the tool itself. This amazing software is a must have for storing and organizing your precision measurement data collected from Fowler Bluetooth instruments.

Small hole bore gages come in two main types: full-ball and half-ball bore gages. The terms full- and half-ball refer to the end of the bore gage that is inserted into the bore to complete the measurement. This end is typically opposite to the knurled knob used for setting the anvils. Full-ball small hole gages are generally simpler to set the anvils on and lock into place. More often than not, these bore gages will provide a more accurate and precise measurement of a bore. Half-ball gages are more prone to springing during measurement and require a more experienced user. Half-ball bore gages are more likely to result in an inaccurate measurement. However, some machinists prefer half-ball bore gages because they allow the user more control and leave room for adjustment in unusual measurement circumstances.

The names male and female when referring to threads basically refer to the location of the threads themselves in relation to the part. When the ridges circling the part are located along the exterior surface, then it is said to be a male thread. Alternatively, when the thread ridges are found along the interior surface of the part, then it labeled as a female thread. To summarize, internal thread ridges are female while external thread ridges are male. The most common scenario when pairing together two parts is that a male thread will be used to connect with a female thread. When pairing of threads is done in this way, the ridges line up and the threads are rotated into each other, functioning as a securing mechanism.
One potential way to distinguish between thread types is to determine whether the thread is tapered or parallel. You can see the different between these two types by looking along the length of the thread. A thread that is tapered will narrow in its diameter across the entire length of the part. Alternatively, a thread that is parallel will remain the exact same diameter across the part’s length. Whether a thread is tapered or parallel can typically be determined by just looking at it, however when the difference is minute you can use a caliper to make measurements of the diameter along different points. Knowing whether the thread you are working with is tapered or parallel will help you to find the perfect fit into a corresponding part.
Threads per inch, or TPI, and thread pitch are different but related methods of measuring the position of the threads on a screw, bolt, or fastener. The thread is the helical protrusion that is found along the length of these parts. TPI is a numerical representation of the number of threads in every inch of length along a screw. The thread pitch is a measurement of the distance between two thread peaks. Thread pitch is used when measuring or referring to metric parts. Both the TPI and thread pitch of a screw, bolt, or fastener can be converted between the alternative value using conversion tables, calculators, or a mathematical formula. Knowing the TPI or thread pitch of a particular part is important information for knowing whether the part will fit into the space it is supposed to go.
The Unified Thread System is a standardized system adopted by the United States, Canada, and Great Britain that unifies the thread specification of different screw sizes. The TPI is included in these specifications along with the coarseness or fineness of the thread. In fact, the level of coarseness and fineness of the individual threads directly impact the TPI. A course thread will result in a lower TPI while a fine thread will result in a higher TPI. The individual specifications included in the United Screw Thread System include: UNC, which stands for a course thread, UNF, which stands for a fine thread, UNEF, which stands for an extra fine thread, and UNS, which stands for a unified special thread.
The IP rating, or protection level, that you need will vary from job to job. What is most important is knowing the context you will be using your gage in and then deciding the degree to which you require protection, and from what specifically you want to protect your gage. Some precision measurement contexts will involve high pressure water tools and you will want a higher number IP rating to account for this. However, others might involve no risk of water being nearby, but be in a setting with a great deal of construction that will lead to accumulated dust. You will need to focus on a higher first digit in your IP rating for this purpose. Finally, there is a certain amount of protection that you can strive for concerning potential risks that may or may not happen. For example, there might not be water directly in the vicinity, but there might be a sink nearby that runs the risk of overflowing with regular use. Alternatively, the area where your gage will be used might not be scheduled for regular cleanings, or not be cleaned until the end of the project, so you will want to account for potential dust build up. There are many moving pieces to each precision measurement context, and you will want to know the specific risks you have to determine the best IP rating.
The MF series is the most standard version of the Mitutoyo measuring microscopes available. This series specializes in reducing magnification error that could be the result of variation in the point of focus. Using a telecentric optical system, these microscopes reduce the magnification error when working at low magnification levels of 10x or less. The specification in the MF series goes beyond the JIS standards and makes optimal comparative measurements using an optional reticle. These microscopes eliminate the risk of collision at ultra-long working distances from 1x to 100x, even when in the presence of surface asperities. Finally, the MF series of Mitutoyo microscope comes with a sliding nosepiece that allows for up to two objectives to be mounted at one time, saving time and energy to switch between them.
Depending on the available tools at your disposal and the budget you are working with there are a number of different ways in which to set your new bore gage to a calibration standard. One of the best ways to do so involves the use of setting rings. However, using setting rings can be an expensive process and typically involves the purchase of multiple sets due to the limited range of each one. An alternative method is to use a micrometer as your bore gauge calibration standard. Most metrologists will have a micrometer around, making this a convenient option. A third method involves purchasing a bore gage setting master kit, like that offered by Fowler. These kits may be expensive, but you definitely get more bang for your buck and will be set for any bore gauge calibration procedure you need to conduct. Finally, some users just sent out their bore gage for calibration, but this can be time consuming and comes at a higher cost.
The main qualities that you will want to consider when deciding on what material gage blocks to purchase include dimensional stability, accuracy, thermal conductivity, and hardness. Dimensional stability refers to how much a material changes in size over time. Through use and environmental changes, some materials are more susceptible to changes than others. Accuracy is the degree to which a material can be made more precise through flatness, parallelism, and the finish on the surface. Thermal conductivity relates to the coefficient of expansion of a material and refers to the ability of a material to move to the same temperature of another material. This is important, for various industrial parts will come with their own coefficients of expansion. Finally, hardness is the quantitative degree of resistance of a particular material. Depending on its grade of hardness, a material will be more or less resistant to wear or abrasion.
Human error is unavoidable in any profession. Similarly, in precision measurement, the height gage operator is a crucial factor in its accuracy and success. This is particularly salient when an operator is working with a manual height gage. The speed and pressure with which a part is touched onto a height gage can significantly alter the outcome of the measurement and introduce variability. Due to this potential for error, operators must go through very regimented and precise training in order to properly learn how to operate a manual height gage. The icons on a height gage have been specifically developed to be intuitive and instructive for use in order to aid the operation of the height gage. Finally, the more electronic the height gage, the less pressure that falls onto the operator, resulting in the minimization of error in accuracy due to operator involvement.

The Fowler zCat DCC CMM is the top notch CMM device available in the field of precision measurement today. The most distinguishing feature is its portability. The Fowler zCat weighs only 30lbs and runs on the included 10.8-volt lithium battery for up to 4 hours. Unlike any other CMM available, these features make it simple for you to bring your zCat to any part that needs to be measured rather than having to bring the part to the CMM. Additionally, the entire design of the Fowler zCat was created with the user in mind. Intended to be simple to use, the zCat has intuitive controls and a basic interface. Easily switched from computerized to manual, the zCat offers the best of both worlds for anyone that needs both functionalities. Finally, the Fowler zCat comes built with ControlCAT software, a specialized programming software made just for the zCat that is simple to use and incredibly precise.

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.

The TM series measuring microscope was released by Mitutoyo with an ergonomic design and newly enhanced features. The LED illuminator built into each microscope was newly designed for improved observation in the TM series. The base design of this microscope was modified with a lateral notch, built to make the tool easier to move around and carry. The optical camera adapter on this model also improved the microscopes design, as did the new AC adapter which was included to cover a wider range of voltages. Overall, the TM series measuring microscope was designed to be adaptable in high traffic work settings while having a smaller footprint on the environment. The TM series of Mitutoyo microscope is ideal for measuring machined metals, particularly when measuring dimensions and angles, or when checking gears or screws after attaching a reticle.
The MIN, MAX, and DELTA (or TIR) measurements are important for ensuring that the part you have made is precise enough to function properly. If you are building a part that will need to work as just one piece of a bigger mechanism, then you will need that part to be the correct shape with the correct surface structure. Using an indicator to measure the MIN, MAX, and then the corresponding TIR will help you to do this. For example, if you are building an axle that will be used in a bigger machine that produces parts for space shuttles, you need that axle to fit precisely where it needs to in the bigger machine. Additionally, you want to ensure that over time, the surface of that axle wears evenly rather than unevenly, as uneven wear might disrupt the functioning of the machine and the corresponding parts it produces.
Due to their lightweight structure, ultralight calipers are easier to learn how to use than Vernier calipers. While they are known for having high levels of accuracy and precision, Vernier calipers are also notorious for not having great repeatability and for being difficult to learn how to use. Better measurements from a Vernier caliper require a high level of expertise for the operator. Alternatively, ultralight calipers are much easier to learn because they require less expert use and allow for clearer measurements. They are simpler to align properly and offer a digital measurement readout helping to assure reliability and accuracy.
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.

The type of bore gage required will vary depending on the measurement job at hand, as well as on the preference of the user. Dial bore gages are often an excellent choice when needing to conduct a highly precise measurement of a bore. The biggest benefit of the dial bore gage is that it does not require the transferring of the measurement to another tool (micrometer or caliper), but rather has a built in mechanism so that a bore can be measured directly. In general, dial bore gages are both highly accurate and highly fast. Additionally, a dial bore gage comes in handy if the user needs to assess a bore for wearing or tapering that could impact the roundness and symmetry of the bore. Dial bore gages come with a very high resolution, usually reaching an accuracy of 1/100 of a millimeter or 5/10,000 of an inch.

Essentially, the total indicator reading (TIR) and the full indicator movement (FIM) measurements are different names for the same output. Both of these terms are assessing the degree of difference between the highest and the lowest point on the surface of a part. The subtle difference between them is that TIR relies on the readout of MIN and MAX from an indicator, whereas FIM relies on the zero cosine error and thus provides a slightly more accurate depiction of the actual movement of the indicator along the surface of the part. Both of these terms refer to the discrepancy along surface smoothness and shape, and can be used for similar purposes. The biggest reason that both terms exist is likely a delay in updating both professionals and materials. Most engineers today were educated using the term TIR and the majority of paperwork in the field still uses TIR terminology. FIM is a newer term and will take some time to become the standard in the field.
Graduation marks are the very tool used by the operator of a precision measurement tool. If they are inaccurate in any way, then the whole final measurement is affected. Due to this, they are a very important part of the precision measurement process. The smaller the distance between graduation marks, the greater the sensitivity that can be achieved by the instrument. The degree of accuracy of the graduation marks themselves, the amount of resolution of the marks, and the appropriately thin line used to mark a point all influence how close to 100% accurate the measurement can get. It is within the graduation marks on a measurement instrument that the power of accuracy lies. There is of course always room for observer error, but no outcome measurement would be accurate if the graduation marks used are misaligned.
Repeatability is simple in concept, but complexly linked to the overall quality and precision of any manufacturing job. Essentially, repeatability guarantees that you are measuring what you say you are, when you say you are. While the measurement of repeatability itself requires all factors to be held stable, this ensures that when any element is altered, such as the part being measured or cut, that the process itself is remaining the same. When mass producing car parts, every car that is ultimately built needs to be made up of identical pieces in order to function well and safely. By having a repeatable measurement process in place in production, you are guaranteeing that what you are producing is identical in quality. In this way, the repeatability of the smallest measurement in this process can have important effects all the way up the final outcome.
An IP rating is an extremely important factor to consider when purchasing a gage. While there are circumstances where the precision measurement environment you will use the gage in is relatively controlled, you always want to know the degree to which your tool is protected. There will be a variety of needs for protection, and you will not necessarily require the highest level. However, knowing what level of protection you do have available can save you time and money. There are a number of different and unexpected circumstances that can happen to a tool when it is in use. Perhaps you need your gage for factory work and you know that the climate is controlled and clean, and there should be no risk of dust or water in the area. However, what if a pipe bursts in the wall of the factory, or someone forgets protocol and brings in dust particles from another project. While you cannot protect against every possible scenario, you will want to use the IP rating of your gage to your advantage to determine what level of protection is necessary.
Knowing the tolerance of your gage blocks, or their grade, is an important tool to simplify the process of using them. Essentially, the tolerance is a way in which to classify how accurate your gage blocks will be. When calibrating a fixed gage, you might normally need to know the tolerance to stay within the required accuracy. The grade, or tolerance level, of your set of gage blocks helps to standardize this process and ensure that the µm is where you need it to be in order to perform the calibration. This eliminates the need to calibrate the length of the block stack from the calibration report. Various grades, or tolerances, are used for various calibration and precision measurement purposes, but as long as you know the tolerance of your gage blocks, you are at an advantage.
As with most measurement tools in the field of metrology, your ultimate goal will be the highest level of precision and accuracy possible. This goal is best accomplished when all steps have been taken to make the measurement tool optimally suited to what is being measured. When considering an indicator, whether it is digital or dial, part of what you will want to focus on is the type of contact point. Many people may not realize the various types of contact points available and therefore may rely on only a couple of potential options. When the contact point on an indicator is properly adjusted by shape, material, and extension, there can be immense results in the accuracy of the final measurement. Considering the different types of indication contact points available is important to successful precision measurement.
Often when thinking about the repeatability and precision of a measurement, we consider the measurement tool or device itself and its quality. While this is incredibly important, it is equally important to not overlook the operator of that device or tool. The metrologist in charge of conducting any measurement has a crucial role in both the repeatability and accuracy of that measurement. Two of the more common causes of variability due to the operator of a measurement is inexperience or inefficiency. Inexperience may be due to an operator being new, using a new machine, or conducting a new type of measurement. Testing for repeatability can be important in identifying what an operator needs to work on. Inefficiency may be due to lack of rest, overwork, or job boredom or frustration. Testing for repeatability can also be a great way to identify operators who need improvement in their work environment. While the measurement tool is at the heart of any measurement, no tool can do its job without an experienced and efficient operator.
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