Despite being some of the most commonly available and used instruments of inspection in manufacturing field, thread gauges are often easily confused and can be quite intimidating to anyone who has not familiarized with their various designs. Small errors can result in huge consequences such as misjudgments or regular necessities for replacing gauges. This article highlights some of the common but avoidable mistakes made by buyers when purchases these tools. Alongside are tips for making the right gage choice that suits your needs.
- Using incorrect kind of gage
Some of the quickest and fastest tools to use in metrology are plug gauges and thread rings. However, despite their efficiency in verification of many aspects of a thread e.g. size or form, they are not without shortcomings. For instance, one might not know the exact depth of a threat without a physical count and that is time consuming. It is therefore important to ensure that the instruments you are choosing e.g. thread plug gauges are calibrated properly for depth estimation. Besides they should be fast and easily readable.
Taking into account the length of the thread is equally important. You might require an inspection across the thread’s full length or even opt for shorter threads, each suited for go member or no go member respectively.
- Wrong choice of style and material
It is advisable to always consider material and frequency of the product being assessed to ensure correct choice of gauge style and gauge material. This will minimize your expenses since thread gages can be quite costly and accumulate quickly. For example, chrome plated gauges are suitable for products made of robust materials since they are long lasting and therefore evasive of quick wear.
Reversible plugs are appropriate for gauges that are highly used and therefore result in a lot of erosion. Furthermore, the frequency of use of your thread size should inform you on the kind of gauge design you shall need. Hence it’ll be unnecessarily costly and wasteful to purchase a gauge design for thread sizes that are inconsistently and irregularly used.
- Incomplete thread size specifications
Thread size specifications are outlined in standard publications e.g. ASME B1.2, ANSI to help operators get the right fit. According to these specifications, there should be a match between thread call out and the class of fit. Here is an example; a thread ring gauge having a class of fit as 3A matches with prints indicated as 3/16 – 18 UNEF- 3A. Customers are reported to commonly make mistakes by requesting opposite class of fits, say 3B. This is an error that is costly and regrettable.
It is clearly important that as a customer, always be on the watch out keeping in mind the above highlighted mistakes. Ensure you thoroughly engage your supplier in order to avoid frustrations and inconveniences with gauges. There are a number of gauge suppliers with expert teams in the U.S including ‘gaugetools.com’ that you can contact for further information and assistance.