Mastering Force Gauges with Mark-10

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bottle force gauge test

Intro to Force Gauges

A Force Gauge is a great tool to add to your list of measurement equipment. If you test anything with tension or compression, you probably already have one, but are you using its full range of capabilities? Mastering your production value is not a simple task and saving money on simple things can make a big difference. A force gauge is commonly used for things a consumer may interact with, for example, a cereal box may have too much glue that some people cannot open. Another example would be to test the load capacity of a spring. The applications for force testing in compression and tension are expansive; here are some production areas that are already mastering the force gauge.

Medical and Pharmaceutical

Ever wonder what it would be like to buy a vitamin that was too hard for you to chew? Thankfully you will probably never run into this issue (unless you forget your dentures). All of your medical devices and pharmaceuticals are extensively tested for quality and usability for the ordinary person, but things like this could be a possible reality if it weren’t for force gauges. Here is a small list of applications the life science has found a force gauge useful for:

 

 

  • Tablet Crushing
  • Suture Strength –Sutures are the material that they stitch you up with, the “string”. “You’ll often see sutures and stitches referred to interchangeably. It’s important to note that “suture” is the name for the actual medical device used to repair the wound. The stitching is the technique used by your doctor to close the wound.” -(healthline)
  • Needle Penetration Force
  • Needle Break Force
  • Tensile strength of tubing and wires

The Mark 10 M7 Force Gage has break detection!

The break detection function identifies when a sample has broken, clicked, slipped, or otherwise reached a peak force and then fell by a specified percentage drop. Upon detection of the break, the gauge can perform several automatic functions like recording the peak, saving the peak, and stopping a test stand’s movement. The series 7 is capable of this due to the 14,000hz/s reading it can give. Giving you the ability to measure breaks accurately.

Electronics

A portion of our lives is spent looking and interacting with machines that didn’t exist a hundred years ago. Laptops, cell phones, all the way down to microprocessors can be tested using a force gauge. How? Laptops and screens can be tested with force/compression tests. A good example is measuring the amount of force needed to register a touch on a screen or a test to see when the screen cracks making the infamous not-so-beautiful spider web. Some tests like a keycap test could be used to measure the force needed to press the button down on your keyboard; even simple wires can be tested in various ways. The M7 can be used in a variety of ways; it can be programmed to automatically save the peak reading, transmit the peak, and zero the display upon the completion of an event. Looking to get an M7 force gauge, click here!  

Force tests in electronics.  

  • Switch force activation
  • Keycap press activation
  • Wire crimp pull test – testing the pull out of wires and wire strength
  • Component pull-off test – a piece of a circuit/motherboard that can be plucked off
  • Bend Testing
keyboard force test

Packaging

What if you saved someone millions of dollars a year because of a blob of glue? I heard a story about the difference between a blob of glue and the shape the glue was in saving millions of dollars. The package needed to be easily opened, but not come loose in shipping and it came down to the glue that was used to seal it, a blob versus a small shape! This test turned out to find that less glue in the right shape withholds the same amount of force and is opened as easily when tension tested. This saved them millions a year compared to the blob of glue they were using before. Trying to find your next “glue” solution? Connect with us, we have an expert in force tests (no, sadly he isn’t a Jedi). Additionally, here are some ways packaging places are using force gauges:

  • Opening force test
  • Bottlecap pull-off test
  • Burst test
  • Crush test
  • Adhesive strength test
  • Package strength
peel force test

Feature Spotlight

External trigger mode (requires a test stand)

This feature is useful when an application requires a large number of samples to be tested. For example, if a packaging factory needed to test 100 samples every week, they could configure their testing set up so that an operator would only need to press a single button to perform the test, export the data, and reset the test stand for the next test. Making your process efficient and easy to use for the operator. Get a force test stand and gauge from Mark-10 and run your operations with just the push of a button. Simply attach to the stand and start your testing. To optimize your process with a force gauge and stand, contact us! 

Review

Mastering force testing doesn’t have to be rocket science, and there are many more industries on this list that we didn’t mention that are using force tests to master the quality of their products. If you are wondering if a force gauge could be beneficial to you, contact us we can see whether break testing, bend testing, pull testing, destructive testing, or any types of force tests could be a fit for you! The price of quality products is only going up and ensuring that your products are working as they should is a key ingredient to quality. Not sure where to start, call us; we are more than happy to help see if this is the right application for you.

Get Your Truck Scale Ready for the Season

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GR Metrology Truck

Get Your Scale Ready for the Busy Seasons

Spring is coming and for many truck scale owners, that means preparing for the busiest time of the year, for others, it’s just the start of warm weather. Regardless we know you are preparing and we have a few recommendations for making sure your scale is ready for high-capacity daily use.

Inspect Your Scale

Inspecting your scale can take a mere matter of minutes and save you loads of money. Here are a few things to look for:

 

Debris 

Look under the scale and check for debris. If there is dirt or other debris clear it out with a pressure washer or hose if possible.

 

Base Checks 

Check your beams and base plates to make sure they are clear of any debris or dirt to prevent damages and deterioration. Moisture may accumulate here, so be on the lookout for corrosion.

 

Clear the Ends 

Clearance areas at the front and back ends of your scales may pile with debris. Clear the approach clearance for any debris that may have accumulated, as well as check for any objects that may have made their way to the end of your scale.

 

Water 

Puddled water under your scale can lead to rust and corrosion of your truck scale. Check your drains to see if they are plugged, and make sure that they are cleared. If you don’t have a drainage system in place, consider installing a gravity drain system or sump pump.

 

Rust 

Rust can accumulate on the surface of your scale and lead to holes in your scale. Remove rust by scrapping with a steel brush and then repainting the scale.

  • Repaint Bonus: Repainting your scale keeps it looking fresh and more appealing to the eyes!

 

Crack Check (not for plumbers)

Look for cracks in your scale’s foundation and deck. Finding cracks and repairing them while they are young can prevent large costly repairs in the future.

Scale Calibration

Scale calibrations play a leading role in getting your truck scale into top shape. Calibrations ensure that you are not overcharging your customers or undercharging, costing yourself money. With your truck scale braving the elements every day it may need periodic calibrations due to external factors affecting the accuracy. To help with how often you should calibrate your scale, look at what a small inaccuracy can do.  

Example

Weighing Volume

300 trucks/day

Weighing Frequency

5 days/week=

1,500 weighs per week

 

 

4 weeks/month=

6,000 weighs per month

Product Value           

$51.4/ton=

$.0257 per lb.

Inaccuracy per Single Weigh 

150 lbs. light x $.0257=

$-3.855 per weigh

Inaccuracy Cost a Week

1,500 x -3.855

$-5782.5

Inaccuracy Cost a Month

-5782.5 x 4(weeks)

 $-23,130

 Inaccuracy Cost a Year

-5782.5  52(weeks)

$-300,690

Reports

High-quality service providers are necessary for the longevity and functionality of your truck scale. After maintenance, calibration, or any other service is performed on your truck scale, a quality service provider should give a detailed report, providing documentation for what was done to your scale. It should include detailed test results like (as found) and (as left) after each calibration, any changes or adjustments, and a summary of service. They should also supply any recommendations based on the findings after the service. Need full documentation of what’s happening to your scale during service? Connect with us!

Review

Your truck scale is the foundation of your business operations and downtime can be extremely costly. Taking proper preparations to optimize your scales performance before the season begins will only increase the life and productivity of your scale. Check over your scale and make sure that the service being provided is quality service. Not sure what quality service looks or sounds like? Give us a chance to show you!

4 Ways Inaccurate Measurements Are Costing You $

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Measurement Quality

Why Do Calibrations Matter?

Calibrations ensure consistency as well as accuracy for measurement equipment. Calibrations compare the measurement equipment against a measurement standard, and when required, adjusting the equipment to be within the given accuracies according to that standard. Calibrations provide accuracy, repeatable measurements, reliable benchmarks, and traceable results. Measurement equipment is not an exception when it comes to normal wear and tear on equipment. Over time, your equipment can deteriorate affecting your accuracy and end products. Without regularly scheduled calibrations equipment can fall out of tolerance resulting in inaccurate measurements. Threatening your safety, equipment life, and product quality. The quality of your revenue depends on the quality of your product, which depends on the quality of the calibration.

Wasted Raw Product

Wasting material is never good, especially in large quantities. Imagine if your calibration was off by .2 oz, and that messed up a plastic mixture. That material mixture wasn’t caught until it was melting. All the material that was being melted has to be thrown out and anything that is still in the process of being mixed has to be tossed out. Wasting a large amount of raw material, and money from your pockets.

 

Uncalibrated or incorrectly calibrated tools can create errors in the production process. Resulting in ineffective material or parts. The cost of having a high reject rate of parts over a year adds up quicker than one might expect, burning holes in your pockets.

See what wasted product could be costing you here with our inaccuracy calculator

Recalls

Product recalls are something we wish would never happen, but they do, on average 300 times a year. Recalls, big or small are a pain to handle and are never fun to deal with especially when it comes to large scope products, or material being sent out. Make-good requirements might have to be made, or shipments of the new product for a severed price or even for free. Resulting in a large not planned trick or treating event that might damage a company’s reputation. Following a quality standard with regular calibrations and maintenance is a sure way to help prevent recalls. Make sure that you are producing quality items, so your customers aren’t the ones calling you for product issues.

Downtime

Production downtimes are no joke, downtime is a leading cause of money loss in manufacturing. Having a single line down is costly for business operations and whenever you are not outputting product, you’re losing money. Unplanned downtime is the worst of these, this can happen due to equipment failures and broken equipment. If a machine breaks causing a line to go down; you are paying for things all that time the line is down. Planning a regular repair and calibration schedule can help reduce the risk of downtime and increase your product output rates. 

Audit Findings / Risks

Audit findings can be a quality nightmare if you are not properly abiding by the rules. Although failing an audit may not result in monetary loss, it can end causing up the loss of your accreditation through repeated failures. Losing that accreditation could mean the loss of contracts, supplies, and customers.

Safety Risks can happen when a truck is overloaded due to poor calibrations.  Having a truck that is overweight not only is a potential risk to the driver but can result in potential fines. Not only that but if that truck is in an accident by being overloaded, you could be sued for this. Calibrations may seem like a small tedious task done to get past a quality check; changing the outlook on calibrations as the means to high quality is our goal.

Summary

Inaccurate measurements are a killer to businesses. Some businesses have to close after a large production recall and loss of reputation. Avoiding inaccurate measurements is one way to assure that you are producing quality content straying from downtime. Calibrations are the answer to creating quality products that are precise and with unfluctuating quality. Avoiding audit failures and fines is a good motivation, but what if the motivation was to create the highest quality product possible? We want to change the way calibration is looked at and set the bar in quality. We have the experience to know what works and how to promote long-term changes. Want a long-term change in quality, contact us. 

Surface Plates – The Types, Use, and Calibration

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.

Minimize Measurement Error

When production is dependent upon measurements, it is vital to make sure the measurements are accurate; however, measurement error is unavoidable. It is important to understand the causes of error so that one can minimize the possibility. This article will discuss the three main categories of measurement error: systematic errors, random errors and human errors.

 

Systematic Errors

Systematic errors occur due to a fault in the measuring device and are separated into 3 subcategories: instrumental, environmental and theoretical.
Instrumental errors occur when there is a defect with the measuring device. Environmental errors occur due to external conditions such as pressure, humidity and temperature, and theoretical errors are caused by simplification of the model system.
To reduce systematic errors, make sure the equipment is in good working condition, the environment is controlled, and the standards used are applicable.

 

Random Errors

Random errors are caused by sudden changes in experimental conditions. They are random and often unavoidable. You can see the effects of these errors when the least significant digit changes through out multiple readings.
Random errors may be unavoidable, but they can be minimized by taking multiple readings and averaging the results.

 

Human Errors

When humans are reading and recording the results, there will always be human error. Observational errors are due to wrong observations or readings. Parallax errors are due to the angle at which one reads and records measurements. Interpolation rounding errors occur when the reading falls between two lines on an analog device.
To reduce these human errors, make sure your equipment is up to date and to record the results at eye level.

 

Measurement error is bound to happen. But now that you know what to look for, errors can be minimized. Grand Rapids Metrology can help you determine if there needs to be a process adjustment to minimize and control measurement error.

 

 

Sources:

Measurement Errors

Benefits of Using a Single Source Vendor

In 2013 we changed our name from Grand Rapids Scale to Grand Rapids Metrology to better communicate our expanded scope of capabilities. The word scale has a limited connotation, however the word metrology, the scientific study of measurement, has just the opposite. Before 2013, the services that followed our name were that of a scale variety and not much else, but now our offered services are much greater. From dimensional and mechanical test equipment to temperature and electronic calibrations, our new name is a reflection of our ultimate goal; to be a single source measurement vendor for our customers.

This goal is a great responsibility for us, but we see it as a great opportunity for our customers. Using a single source vendor in any area can be vastly beneficial for both parties involved. When working exclusively with Grand Rapids Metrology as your measurement vendor, here are some benefits you will encounter:

Lower cost of doing business due to the consolidation of all requirements with one supplier.

More consistent quality. In our industry, different vendors have varying accreditation standards. Using multiple suppliers, for instance, could result in half of your equipment being A2LA accredited while the other half is only NIST traceable. That leaves a headache for you to remember which equipment has which accreditations (even more so, when do they all need to be calibrated??), but using one measurement supplier is an easy fix to that problem (by the way, GRM is A2LA accredited and reminds you when calibrations are due to occur).

Customer service relationships improve. When a company has one vendor, the people at that company becomes to intimately know you and your business. The familiarity allows the manager to anticipate needs, find customer solutions for individual customers, and track orders from start to finish. Building rapport with a single vendor encourages the formation of a truly functional working relationship that minimizes compatibilities issues.

• Improved plan synchronization, information exchange, and supplier responsiveness. The heightened relationship, as mentioned above, has rippling benefits.

• Decreased effort to manage supplier performance and relationships on your part because you are tracking only one supplier, opposed to multiple.

• If complications of any type should arise, it is simple to find the source. With numerous vendors, problems could be the fault of anyone, but with one supplier the party at responsible is easy to identify and a correction can be made quickly and efficiently.

Save time in the procurement phase i.e. the time spent comparing vendors to find the best. If your company already has found a good relationship with a vendor, it’s easier to continue with them for additional products/services.

The vendor should take on more responsibility. At GRM, we find that making life easier for you is our mission. With features like complete asset management and 24/7/365 emergency service, we take pride in taking the load off your shoulders time and time again.

It’s just easier– one phone number, one contact, one invoice, one unbeatable relationship.

The road to becoming a single source vendor is not an easy one, but we feel we are up to the task! If you feel there are any areas of measurement you would like to see added to our scope, leave a comment below or call us at 800.348.5701 and we will be sure to address them!