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Dimensional Measurement Blog

Four Powerful Ways to Use Dimensional Inspection

Posted by Mike Knicker on May 22, 2013 5:00:00 AM

dimensional inspection powerful usesDimensional inspection is used in a broad range of industries for a wide variety of applications. However, there are some common reasons why this type of measurement is used. Whether the objective is to compare a prototype to a drawing or to ensure that a finished product meets certain standards, the fundamentals of dimensional inspection remain the same. Highly accurate measurements are taken to determine how closely an object matches its originally intended dimensions.

In general, if dimensional measurement is required, the results must be both accurate and precise. Although multiple techniques and countless applications exist, there are four main categories of dimensional inspection.

Four Common Dimensional Inspection Applications

  1. First article inspection. Implementing a manufacturing process requires extreme attention to detail, especially if the process is new or if the equipment has been specially designed. First article inspection is required to ensure that the equipment was properly installed and calibrated, and to verify the manufacturing process. Dimensional measurement is used to compare the first objects from the manufacturing line to 3-D CAD models or other specifications.
  2. Quality control. When objects coming off a manufacturing line must meet certain quality standards, measurement equipment is used to confirm that the dimensions fall within the required tolerance levels. In some cases, when the tolerance levels are more rigorous, each object is measured automatically. In other cases, batches might be spot-checked for quality.
  3. Regulatory compliance. In industries for which regulatory compliance is necessary, dimensional measurement ensures that the required specifications are met. Regulatory bodies such as the FDA or FAA often have requirements regarding the dimensions of certain components. 
  4. High-precision engineering. When creating a larger assembly from smaller parts, high precision is often required. If a minor flaw or inconsistency can impact an entire process, ensuring that such imperfections do not exist is critical. 

Employing dimensional measurement in these scenarios offers many benefits, including reduced liability, improved quality, and lower costs.

If you need dimensional inspection services for your business, contact the professionals at Q-PLUS Labs. We provide outsourced measurement services for a range of industries including manufacturing, aerospace, medical, and more. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you with your dimensional measurement needs.

How does your company use dimensional inspection?


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Topics: dimensional measurement, dimensional inspection, 3D Scanning, 3D Scanning, inspection, dimensional inspection equipment

How to Determine Which Dimensional Measurement Product to Buy

Posted by Mike Knicker on Oct 10, 2012 11:19:00 AM

EZ Starrett Dimensional MeasurementDimensional measurement has very different meanings for different industries, which is one of the reasons it can be so difficult to determine what type of equipment to purchase. Even if you know exactly what you need to measure, there are still a lot of steps in the process before you make a purchase.

Dimensional Measurement Criteria

Specifying the equipment is the first step in the process. You will need to ask and answer a series of questions, including the following:
  • How precise do you need to be? This is perhaps the most important question you must answer. Precision is a limiting factor that must be addressed early in the purchasing process. If you buy equipment that is unable to meet your precision requirements, it will be useless for your project.
  • Do you need to meet regulatory requirements? If you work in an industry that requires regulatory reporting or auditing, it is important to take the correct measurements at the correct level of precision.
  • How long will you need to use the equipment? Testing a series of prototypes may require you to use the equipment for several months and then no longer have a need for it. On the other hand, testing equipment for a production line will be in operation more frequently and for a longer period of time. In this case, it's important to select equipment that is durable and reliable.
  • Is your staff trained to use the equipment? When it comes to dimensional measurement, the testing procedure can be just as important the equipment itself. Make sure you have qualified staff or an adequate training budget before you make a purchase.
  • What is your budget? Knowing how much money you have to spend on equipment, staff, training, and operation is a critical factor in purchasing dimensional measurement products. You may find that purchasing used equipment is more cost effective, or decide that you can only support one type of measurement in-house?
  • What is the size range of the parts? Smaller parts need different equipment than larger parts.
  • What are the parts made of? Measuring soft rubber requires different sensors than hard metal.
  • How difficult is it to use, calibrate, and repair the equipment? While your staff may be trained to use the equipment, it's important to know what type of support you will receive from the manufacturer and the supplier. 

Work with a Dimensional Measurement Expert

Because there are so many factors to consider when making such an important decision, it's important to work with a qualified specialist throughout the purchasing process. A good provider will work with you through every step of the process:
  1. Specify - You should go through a rigorous process to determine exactly what type of equipment you need. This will include answering the above questions and many more to ensure that your new equipment can meet your needs and integrate successfully into the rest of your process.
  2. Purchase - After deciding what type of equipment you need, you have to decide which manufacturer to go with, whether to rent or buy, and whether to buy new or used products.
  3. Set Up - A good provider will continue to support you after you've made a purchase. Proper set up is critical for accurate results.
  4. Integrate - If your new equipment is part of a larger process, integration with other systems is a necessary part of setting it up.
  5. Validate - After setup and integration, your new equipment must be tested to ensure that it is working properly.

In addition to providing outsourced dimensional measurement services, Q-Plus Labs also resells new, pre-owned, and custom measurement and inspection equipment. We work with a broad range of manufacturers and only sell equipment that we have approved to work in our own lab, so you can be confident that it will work for you. Contact us today to learn more about the products and services we offer.

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Topics: dimensional measurement, equipment, criteria, inspection