Gages are central to the world of quality planning and inspection. When designing parts, both big and small, all components must fit the specifications down to the letter. This is important because even the slightest variation can reduce the integrity of the machine. Due to this, it may not work properly, or its life may be greatly reduced.
This is where precision gages come in. Gages are used to measure everything that is planned for production. The measurements that the planner will take are used to draft the specifications for the parts. If the measurements are off, the part won’t perform correctly.
Depending on the specifics of the job, you normally have an option between three types of gages. An individual will have to consider which gage is best for the occasion based on the independent characteristics of each.
Let’s take a look at these characteristics then!
Types of Precision Gages
Here are the three main types of precision gages:
These include gages like calipers and micrometers. The broad category itself can be split up into absolute and comparative. We’ll speak about absolute-variable gages in this section. Micrometers are an excellent example of absolute-variable gages. These give you a direct numerical measurement. While they’re suited for general use, where the tolerance level is a lot higher, they are not ideal for high precision measurements.
User error can greatly affect the end result on these gages. Even though they can give results as accurate as “.0001”, in activities that cannot tolerate even the slightest mistake, they should not be used.
One of the ways in which user error is investigated is through the repeatability of results. This means that several people measure the same component and write down their results. Precision gages that return the same result consistently are said to return repeatable or reproducible results.
In this regard, comparative gages have the upper hand on absolute gages. A variable snap gage is one of the examples often cited in this category. These gages can measure items to an accuracy of “.0005”, and display results on a digital display, thus reducing chances of human error. They also provide results to a high degree of repeatability, which, as already mentioned, goes a long way in cementing confidence in the results.
Despite the positives, comparative gages aren’t immune to human errors. They are suited to most cases, but the next option is best suited for the most accurate results.
Precision gages built to take measurements for specific purposes produce by far the most accurate and repeatable results. They also prevent human errors. This level of precision comes at a cost though, purpose-built gages like air gages are expensive.
Here at MD Design and Automation, we offer precision machining and manufacturing services such as building purpose-built gages and CNC machining. If you’re looking for precise results, reach out to us today and let us take care of the rest!