Quality News

Height gages triple inspection speed

Life would be quickerr if we could drive safely three times as fast As individuals, we could increase our productivity by decreasing our travel time. Less time in the car would be more time at work or play. It would be a transportation revolution.

Although the arena in which Action EDM & Tool, Concord, NC, is involved is not transportation, the ability to triple parts inspection speed has changed the way the company works. Recent instrument acquisitions have helped Action EDM substantially speed and simplify its critically important 100 percent parts product inspection to the point where the company can approach zero-defects for its customers.

The Fowler 12" Z-Cal Height Gage is used by Action EDM in its quality department laboratory, while the 6" model is employed on the shop floor. It is suited to the close tolerance tool steel and carbide materials used in manufacturing.

Primarily manufacturing electronic connector tooling (high speed fineblanking dies) to a tolerance of ±.0001", Action EDM's highest priorities are product repeatability and accumulated accuracy.

The inspection procedure typifies how the company has improved its operations, says Roger Greeley, QA manager. “Formerly we relied on gage block setups and digital height towers for our inch-metric accuracy assessments,” he says. “Since March 2007, when we purchased two Fowler/Sylvac Z-Cal Height Gages – one 0.6", the other a 0-12" model — we can zero off the table directly in these inspection operations. For every hour we used to spend in inspection with the block and towers, we now spend only 15 minutes with this high precision Swiss instrument.”

The company tripled the speed of inspection, says Greely. In addition, the company's versatility has increased, because it has eliminated the errors of human touch and has added the ability to check parallelisms, sizes, and location.

The instrument is especially designed for measuring fragile and sensitive parts. Its probe speed is proportional to finger pressure as it measures heights, depths, slots, internal and external diameters, the distance between centers and position – all with an accuracy of 2µ. The deluxe probe set Action uses permits location inspections of threaded holes. Also, probes can be changed and calibrated in about a minute. The gage is light in weight (9.4-11.66lb, respectively, for the two models) and compact in size (14" and 20") and sold with a five-year warranty.

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Fred V. Fowler Co.

Quality Products

Fluke Norma high precision power analyzers introduced

The compact Fluke Norma Series Power Analyzers provide the latest measurement technology to assist engineers with the development and testing of motors, inverters, lighting, power supplies, transformers and automotive components.

Based on a patented, high-bandwidth architecture, the instruments deliver high-precision measurements of single- or three-phase current and voltage, harmonics analysis, Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) analysis, as well as calculations of power and other derived values.

The Series consists of the Norma 4000 Three-Phase Power Analyzer and the Norma 5000 Six-Phase Power Analyzer. These analyzers provide unmatched price performance for easy and reliable use in the field, or as a bench unit in laboratories and on test benches.


  • Electric motors and inverter drive systems – Through detailed spectrum analysis and dynamic torque calculation capabilities, switching losses caused by the inverter are accurately measured, and a thorough evaluation is made of torque transients and harmonics at higher frequencies.
  • Inverter drive system – Simultaneous measurement of all electrical and mechanical power parameters in the same time window lets users observe the influence one component has on another, or on the whole system.
  • Lighting systems – A wide bandwidth of up to 10mHz and a high sampling rate up to 1mHz provide detailed signal analysis at ballast outputs. A unique shunt technique enables power measurements at very high frequencies. Simultaneous measurement of input and output power provides instant calculation of ballast losses.
  • Transformers – Synchronous six-phase power measurements enable accurate efficiency and loss calculations of large power transformers even at low power factors. Synchronous multiphase resistance measurements of transformer coils are also possible.
  • Automotive – Synchronous electrical input and mechanical output measurements provide complete data on the efficiency and losses of individual components as well as the whole drive system.

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Fluke Corp.

Analog transducer/sensor meters offer small size

Transducers Direct offer a double advantage — a small programmable meter for analog sensors/transducers with integrated diagnostics for both input and output. Made in the United States, the TDRO-10 meter features two-button English programming and a 67 nsec. update rate. It measures 3.78" x 1.89" x 1.0". A quarter the size of conventional meters, it fits into a standard 1/8 DIN cutout.

The meter provides a six-digit LED display with large half-inch numbers and 6-millisecond refresh rate. Push-button diagnostics allow fast determination of programming vs. power supply problems. Quantity prices start under $100. Beside direct sales, units can be supplied private label to large OEMs.

Miniaturization saves space in control systems and gives designers ayout flexibility. The compact design makes TDRO-10 meters useful for on-mobile and off-road equipment dashboards.

Designed for standard sensor inputs of 0-10V or 4-20 mA with over-voltage protection, the meter comes in versions providing one 16-bit analog output, two or four programmable PNP digital outputs with 100 percent scalable analog retransmission, and read-only with no digital output.

Programming requires no code and shortens startup and trouble-shooting. English prompts step the user through programming sequences. The output can be scaled to match the full 0-10V output of the transducer or only a selected portion. Programming capabilities include 100 percent adjustable zero and span, selectable number of digits and decimal point location, programmable switch point for each digital output, and 100 percent adjustable analog output.

Holding down a button converts the meter to pure volt meter readout, enabling check of power supply or programming errors of zero point and setpoint. If the meter doesn't show a full 10V, there's a power supply problem. If power supply is OK, then programming is faulty. Similarly, pushing another button displays the actual programmed analog retransmission to determine if there is a programming or wiring/power supply problem.

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Transducers Direct

Laser Range Meter is built to survive tough conditions

The Hilti PD 4 Laser Range Meter is slim, compact and built to withstand tough, everyday jobsite conditions.

The PD 4 measuring device delivers accurate measurements at the push of a button. With a sensor-automated backlight and simple, one-button operation for both measuring and tracking functionality, the PD 4 measures distances with laser precision of ± 1/12" from 7.8" up to 230'. Requiring only one person to operate, the laser range meter is able to measure in places where access is difficult, providing greater convenience and helping increase productivity.

The PD 4 has durable rubber protection surrounding the edges of the meter, creating a dust-tight, water-resistant casing. Tested in up to 2 feet of water for up to eight hours, the proven durability of the PD 4 lets the meter withstand the harshest of jobsite conditions.

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Hilti USA

Multi-functional handheld calibrator delivers accuracy

Omega Engineering’s CA150 handheld calibrator is accurate for source and measurement, within a 0.02 percent reading. The vertical body and large screen display provide easy handling for calibration needs.

The CA150 offers a loop power supply functionality and several setting and memory functions that will store up to 100 data items. This single unit can perform the job of several conventional calibrators including operation checks at a regular inspection and maintenance of thermocouples, RTDs and instruments, as well as maintenance and equipment diagnosis of process devices such as transmitters, thermostats and signal converters.

A recommended application includes a multifunction calibration platform for process control loop verification. The CA150 is useful for food processing, petroleum and chemical industries. This product is CE compliant.

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Omega Engineering Inc.

Starrett introduces fast, accurate and powerful multi-sensor vision system

The L.S. Starrett Co. has introduced the Galileo AV1824 Video Measurement System, the largest in the Galileo Line, extending the speed, power and accuracy of this class of video systems to larger parts. The new system offers increased versatility through its multi-sensor measuring capabilities including vision, touch probe, and laser scanning. The Galileo AV1824 provides an intermediate travel multi-sensor metrology solution ideally suited for QC labs, research, engineering and manufacturing environments.

The AV1824’s color optical system provides zoom magnification of 12:1 with a programmable magnification range from 15x to 550x with auxiliary lenses. A dual output LED illuminator, ring light and co-axial illumination provides exceptional lighting. Four-quadrant high incidence angle LED transmitted illumination is also available.

Other options include a Renishaw PH 6 contact probe with TP20 module, Optimet Mark III Laser Probe and a CNC rotary positioning device. The system includes dual flat panel LCD displays.

Its work envelope offers a measurement volume of 24" x 18" x 6" (610mm x 455mm x 155mm) on a (X-Y-Z) measuring stage and a motion volume of 24.2" x 18.2" x 6.2" (615mm x 460mm x 160mm). Overall size of the Galileo AV1824 is 39" x 39" x 60" (1,000mm x 1,000mm x 1,525mm) and the system weighs approximately 900lbs. Maximum workload (evenly distributed) is 220 lbs. (100kg) without translight or 44 lbs. (20kg) with the translight. High accuracy is ensured by a stable granite base design within 0.00060" overall at E1=5.0+15L/1,000 and an Encoder Resolution of 0.5µm (0.0000039").

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L.S. Starrett Co.