Surface plates provide a flat plane used as a horizontal reference point for your dimensional measurements. They can be made from granite, metal, cast iron, or glass. Granite is considered to be the best material for a surface plate due to its surface hardness, low thermal expansion, no rust or corrosion, little warping, and long wear life attributes. These attributes result in very accurate, stable and precise measurements.
Serving as the baseline for all measurements, surface plates play a vital role in quality control. The surface is required to be extremely flat with accuracy up to 0.00001 inches or 250 nm for grade AA or AAA plates. Surface plates often check and zero out other pieces of equipment, so accurate and precise measurements are imperative. Machine shops, automotive and aerospace manufacturers require tight tolerances for shop tools and use surface plates to asses for warped areas on manufactured parts.
Surface plates must be calibrated on a regular basis, at the very least once a year, but we recommend every six months. Though granite is the ideal surface, abrasive dust or repeated sliding of gages can create wear spots that are invisible to the naked eye. Problems most commonly occur at areas with frequent use, so frequent calibration will ensure chipping, warping or wear has not occurred. An uneven surface will impact the functionality of the whole plate causing error in measurements and the passing of defected parts.
To maintain quality, contact Grand Rapids Metrology. GRM is a premier provider of surface plate calibration. We can assist you in ensuring its accuracy for use in your processes.
Dynamometers are commonly referred to as a dynameter or dyno. They are used to measure power, output, force, and torque. A force is applied to the flexible metallic ring of the dynamometer, it bends, and the applied force is measured. They are used in a variety of industries from laboratory science to manufacturing. Dynamometers are extensively used in the automotive industry to determine horsepower, max power absorption, and max rotary speed.
Due to wear, temperature changes, or corrosion, sensors tend to drift away from the original calibration. Since dynamometers are often used in the manufacturing and assembly process, drifting away from the original calibration could result in defects and/or recalls resulting in thousands lost. Your dynamometers should be tested and calibrated annually.
To accurately calibrate a dynamometer, be sure to contact a registered calibration company such as GRM. We will be sure to set all equipment to the correct power line input voltage if needed, and use our precision weights to do the calibration procedure.
It’s no secret that fabricating composite components has become a trend for the automotive industry. The composite parts are light, stable and maintain a high performance. They are used to reduce design cycle time, vehicle weight and CO2 emissions.
There are a variety of composite fabrication processes that involve molding to shape the resin into form. The hand layup method is the most common fabrication method which entails fabric being stacked and resin being applied after the layup is complete. To control the loss of moisture, there are several curing methods available. However, for high performance thermoset parts that need to be produced quickly, using an autoclave is the way to go. Thermoset parts require heat and high pressure to cure. When an autoclave is used, the part temperature is increased and then decreased back to room temperature in small increments to avoid any distortion.
Autoclaves should be maintained at peak performance to adequately process composites. If the autoclave is not up to standard, the strength, durability and integrity of the finished product is compromised. This could result in a recall, costing the company thousands. To keep this from happening, have your autoclave calibrated annually.
Grand Rapids Metrology offers onsite autoclave calibration services in which we check humidity and temperature. Contact us for a quote!
Grand Rapids Metrology has an on-going, long term relationship with an automotive manufacturing company. This company desired to know the weight distribution of its vehicles quickly after their assembly. Essentially, they required a quality spot checking of vehicle’s weight off of the production floor. These measurements are mandatory by EPA Standards in this industry.
Before GRM’s implementation of a custom engineered solution, this auto manufacturer utilized third-party providers. Due to production issues, they decided that spot checking would be the best option for their operation. Instead of using multiple third-party organizations, this company was able to hone in on just one, Grand Rapids Metrology.
The new process GRM created incorporated four platforms, one to weigh each wheel all connected to a central indicator. All four wheels were weighed at once as was the total weight of the vehicle. The weight distribution data was then collected and analyzed by the company. An operator watches the computer monitor for a green light to flash that displays a successful transmission has occurred. The data is accrued centrally for all assembly plants located through the world. The company can then use the data to verify that the vehicle has meet its specifications.
The success of this project has been overwhelming. The automotive manufacturer has implemented this process into all its plants across North America. Knowing the weight of each wheel and the vehicle as a total has enabled the organization to (1) comply with government regulation, (2) become more knowledgeable and efficient in the research and development of new vehicle design, and (3) inform engineers of any inaccuracies that have occurred along the production line.
A similar system could be utilized for any manufacturer of large objects and vehicles, for instance, farm equipment or RVs. For inquiries regarding our custom engineered solution, contact our Director of Operations, Terry Benjamin, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 616.249.1210.