Modern Machine Shop

OCT 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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MMS OCTOBER 2018 32 QUALITY GAGING TIPS Measurement Tools Documenting Your Data Collection GEORGE SCHUETZ | COLUMNIST Industry 4.0 helps tie gaging equipment data with part measurement for 100 percent traceability. About 30 years ago, the concept of data collection for process control took a major leap forward. This was about the time that a combination of electronic technology and economics enabled gaging to become digital. With a digital signal available, it became possible to trans- fer information via cable directly from a hand tool or digital indicator to the data collector. This made it much more practical to document and monitor the manufacturing process. These days, checking parts at a gaging station with a hand tool or a ded- icated fixture gage connected to a computer via a cable for data collection is the norm. Today's hand tools and digital indicators have built-in data output, making data collection quick, easy, cost-effective and reliable. It provides a great solution for many process or quality-control applications. Now, technology has taken another step for- ward. Just as cellphones and wireless-computer peripherals have become common, wireless technology is moving onto the shop f loor. Small transmitters are now being built into hand tools that enable them to wirelessly transmit data to the gaging computer. Industry 4.0 aims to take all this data col- lection to new levels by monitoring everything along the manufacturing process, from collect- ing and storing individual-measurement data, to offsets sent to the machines, to the production results. Collection of this data needs to be easy and transparent to the operator, with no addi- tional work to delay the process. However, documenting the part quality sometimes may be more important. For some critical medical, aerospace and military applica- tions, each part's reading must be documented to verify later that the part was inspected and found to be within specification. Whenever there are life-critical parts, result documentation is likely to be required. Additionally, all gaging and measuring equip- ment must be checked periodically to ensure that it is capable of performing the job that it was intended to do, which is to measure parts accurately. For the vast majority of hand tools, this involves verifying the performance of the calipers, micrometers, test indicators and dial indicators. This process of checking performance

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