Gage Manufacturer Certification, What’s the Difference?

There are two types of calibration for gages: 1) gage manufacturer certification and 2) third-party traceable calibration. The difference between the two is important because each provides different levels of assurance that the gages you purchase meet specifications.

In most cases, your gage manufacturer can provide an optional service to certify that their products meet or exceed specifications set by national standards organizations (NIST, ANSI/ASME Y14.5M). This certification is called “gauge manufacturer certification” because it’s provided by the company who manufactured the product—it means nothing more than they took their own measurements before sending them out into the wild where anyone can use them and then return them to be checked again if needed.

Two Types of Certifications for Gages from Gage Manufacturer.

 The first is a gage manufacturer certification, which identifies the quality standard to which a particular gauge has been manufactured. For example, if you buy a gauge from an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, you can be assured that it meets their standards and therefore has been made with high quality materials and processes.

The second type of certification is traceable calibration—this means that your gage has been calibrated by an accredited third-party lab using traceable standards such as NIST or ASTM. Accreditation means that this lab has met certain criteria to gain recognition as an official laboratory by government entities or private organizations that act as governing bodies over certain industries (ASME).

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Gage Manufacturer Certification is an Optional Service.

Gage manufacturer certification is an optional service provided by a gage manufacturer to certify that their gages meet or exceed specifications. It is often referred to as a 17025 certification.

By selecting this option, the manufacturer becomes responsible for ensuring that all its products meet acceptable tolerances and specifications. The company must perform tests and analysis on each gauge to ensure it meets these requirements before providing it for sale.

The Gage Manufacturer has an Established a Calibration System.

In most cases, the gage manufacturer has established a calibration system and can provide traceability to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards. Traceability means that the manufacturer can prove that their in-house process for calibrating and checking the dimensions of their gages are based on national standards, such as those set by NIST.

This is not just important for compliance with industry regulations; it also ensures that your measurements will be more accurate than if you used non-traceable gages. For example, when developing a prototype, it’s likely that some parts will need to be custom manufactured. If you use an uncalibrated tool to measure these parts before they are made, then there’s no way to ensure that they were manufactured correctly or in accordance with your design specifications.

Gage Manufacturer Traceability

Traceability means that the manufacturer can prove that their in-house process for calibrating and checking the dimensions of their gages are based on national standards, such as those set by NIST.

This is important because it reduces risk to your business. You know that if you order a 10-inch gauge from one supplier but receive a 10-inch gauge from another supplier (which may look identical), you can still trust that your product meets specifications.

Traceable Calibration with a mic

A Second Type of Gage Manufacturer Certification is Traceable Calibration.

Another type of certification is traceable calibration. This kind of certification is typically provided by third-party calibration labs that can perform complete calibrations on your gage and provide you with a certificate showing that they have performed a complete calibration on your gage, and they can also provide traceability back to NIST standards.

In some cases, a third party may be required by their customers or the regulatory bodies where they operate, such as the FDA or USDA (US Department of Agriculture).

Third-party Calibration Labs

A third-party calibration lab can provide you with a certificate showing that they have performed a complete calibration on your gage, and they can also provide traceability back to NIST standards. This is important because it allows you to verify that the data on your gage is accurate, which gives you confidence in using this equipment for critical applications.

Accreditation means that an independent organization has reviewed and approved the calibration lab’s procedures, processes, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). The accreditation agency lists those who have been given accreditation status within their field of expertise such as ISO17025 or ANSI/NCSL Z540 – 2002 Type II Calibration Laboratory Accreditation Program. A list of recognized agencies can be found at www.aclsquareroot.org

Mitutoyo age manufacturer calibration

How to Look for a Third-party Lab that’s Accredited.

Look for a third-party lab that’s accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) or other organizations like ANAB. A2LA, which was founded in 1966, is an accrediting body for various types of laboratories and the largest such organization in the world. The Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) also accredits labs with specific focuses on food safety and other areas that have been designated by either AOAC or other organizations.

In the end, it’s important to understand that your gages are not just a piece of equipment. They’re an essential part of your business and need to be calibrated regularly so they can provide accurate measurements. While there is no one right way to go about this process, we recommend working with a third-party lab that will make sure everything is done correctly and according to industry best practices.

 Are you still looking for specific Calibration vendors? Not sure which vendor is the best for you? We at Pride Gage can provide you Calibration vendors that can fulfill your needs. Give us a call and we will be glad to assist!

Keyanna Harper

Pride Gage Content Strategist
Read About Me to learn more.

How to Properly Package a Box for Shipping

When it comes to shipping a box, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. How you package the box can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring your item arrives safely at its destination. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to properly package a box for shipping. We’ll also provide some tips on how to avoid any damages during transit. Let’s get started!

Choose your Box

When you order your corrugated box, you’re getting a shipping box that’s made of corrugated cardboard. This type of cardboard is stronger than the thin cardboard used in shoe boxes and other commercial packaging. Boxes that are rated for international shipping are designed to provide high crush resistance, making them safer to use for packing fragile items. 

It is important to place the item in the center of the box when packing it for shipment. This will help keep the item stable and prevent it from shifting during transit. When an item is off-center, it can experience a lot of movement, which can damage it or cause it to break. By placing it in the center of the box, you can help ensure that it arrives at its destination safe and sound. So next time you’re packing up a box for shipping, remember to center the contents for safe travel.

Inside the Box

In addition to centering the contents of the box, you’ll also want to make sure that everything is securely wrapped up. Use packing materials like bubble wrap, foam to wrap the items to give extra protection from the sides of the box. Use packing peanuts to fill in any empty spaces and keep the contents from shifting around If you do not have packing peanuts use packing paper, or my favorite shredded paper. This will help prevent damage during transit and will also keep your items from moving around inside the box, which could cause them to break.

Using the shredded paper and packing foam to cushioning material around the item, before close the box and tape it shut make sure that the packing is filled tight to provide the items from to much movement during the travel.

Final Touch

 Make sure to use box sticker that is marked “Fragile” or Handle with care, so that the workers at the shipping company know to handle your package with care.

 Remember to include your shipping label on the outside of the box make sure that is has Your return address and the destination address correctly labeled on the box, always keep your tracking number, you never know when you may need it.

Using these tips will ensure that your package doesn’t arrive in shambles to your customer.

Keyanna Harper Pride Gage Content Strategist
Read About Me to learn more.

Custom Gages: You’ve made it, but can you inspect it?

From calipers to micrometers, to indicators and all manner of gages and metrology equipment, there are literally hundreds of standard off the shelf solutions for measuring the vast array of parts that manufacturers make. And with the often-assumed mantra of “if it can be made, it can be measured,” why would any manufacturing entity or inspection department be concerned about measuring a part, regardless of its complexity? Well, in metrology, as in life, there are a healthy number of exceptions to the rules.

Consider an exotic aerospace defense part with a labyrinth of grooves, vanes, holes, slots, shoulders, lands—a non-standard part worth well into five figures per unit. After designing and manufacturing the part, the manufacturer realized there was no way it could accurately measure the part. Pressed to deliver the part, the manufacturer sought a solution for the quandary and consulted our special gage division. After quick and intense analysis, a solution was drawn up, approved, and a custom designed and built gage was provided that ultimately solved their problem.

Going Custom: How and When to Decide

By examining a new product manufacturing program in depth well upstream during the design process, part feature inspection problems can easily be avoided. When a manufacturer launches a new program to make a complex or non-conventional part, among the key things it needs to determine besides how many parts can be made, the cost per part and how fast it can make them is how will the part be inspected and how long will the inspection process take?

It is not unusual for a company to design and make parts, only to discover that the parts cannot be properly inspected or the company has assembled a crude or rudimentary gage to attempt measurement. However, bringing custom gaging professionals into a program at the design stage or even before production ramps up is critical. Supplying prints and prototypes of the product is also very helpful, as well as knowing what the project timeline is and a budget range for the special gage solution. Both of these factors are also important, in addition to keeping an open mind on the solution. At times, a manufacturer may have a preconceived notion that a special gage will take “X” amount of time to design and build and cost “Y” amount of money, only to learn that the actual gaging solution was simpler, faster and under budget. In other scenarios, designing a more engineered solution for a complex application could take two to three months or more and require a significant investment. Whatever the situation, having advance notice and involving experienced gaging engineers early on in the process is vital to a successful program.

Specifying: Best Practices and the Process

Having an upfront dialog on the application details will set realistic expectations for the project. However even initial notice alone will not address all potential issues. Consider this real life example where custom gaging engineers have only been provided partial information about a job that outlined the part design details, as well as budget and deadline requirements. The special gage was created and approved for delivery by the customer. However, once in-house and ready to be used, the gage did not perform as intended due an interfering fixture that prevented the gage from reaching the part. No information had been provided about the fixturing setup. The gage had to be modified to the required diameter and drop criteria, which resulted in added time and cost. This actual instance could have been avoided if all information, including the fixturing details, had been initially communicated.

To facilitate a comprehensive, open dialog it is also important to note that if a project is of a confidential nature, the special gage supplier should be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Here are the general steps to expect during the special gage design and build process:

  • Step 1: Consultation, Quotation, Acceptance & Specification
  • Step 2: Design
  • Step 3: Prototype (optional as required)
  • Step 4: Test & Final Specification
  • Step 5: Custom Gage Solution

Letting your imagination run wild, here are but a few of the ways that special gaging can solve inspection challenges.

Custom Caliper

Recently, a manufacturer sketched their own rough design of a desired gage solution so that our special gaging group could create a more streamlined version. We designed a few different preliminary prototype versions and brought these to our customer. On site, additional challenges revealed safety concerns and size restrictions. After this initial review, we provided a full prototype for customer testing, a process which took about a month. Once the company approved the prototype with a few required changes, we initiated manufacturing.

This efficient process resulted in custom manufacturing a wireless caliper that measures from 0 to 48 inches with an accuracy of .010 inch. Designed for a foundry, the caliper was made to be rugged but nimble, so that it could be used on materials up to 1,500 degrees F. When using the caliper, the operator measures 1,200 degrees F titanium forgings.

The gage is easier to maneuver than a normal caliper or gage of its size. This caliper is well-balanced, with the center of gravity meant to be in the user’s hands so that there are no issues with the user interface. A Bluetooth device is used to send data to the company’s in-house SPC software to ensure a safer, cordless application. We collaborated with our customer to write software to expedite the data transfer.

Aerospace Area Flow Gage

Custom designed for each application with generally moderate modifications, area flow gages measure the minimum area openings of turbine engine nozzles. Area readings are in .001 square inch resolution. The area flow gage uses eight or more contacts that reach into the throat of the turbine nozzle openings. The recorded measurements are transferred via hydraulic cylinders to a dial indicator.

Using mechanical linkage and hydraulics, the algebraic area is transferred to the indicator or electronic probe at the top of the gage.

Openings of segments are matched and located opposite one another on the engine circumference to provide a balanced air flow. Gages are custom designed for each stage of the turbine. This gaging is critical to proper engine performance and operation.

Measuring Hot Steel During Heat Treating/ Forging

In another example, a new gage for measuring hot steel flat stock during the heat treatment process was needed. The old measuring device utilized a gage with a crude fractional dial that did not provide accurate or repeatable results. In addition, it often stuck to the hot steel and ruined the piece being measured. Even worse, on several occasions, the old process caused burn injuries to the operator.

After collaboration between the customer’s engineers and our special gage group, a radically different gage was developed that met all of the design criteria. The new hot steel gage takes measurements quickly, with only two seconds of contact. It uses an electronic indicator with a hold feature to lock the reading so it can be safely read away from the dangerous area, and in better light conditions. The custom hot steel gage is nickel plated to minimize radiant heat transfer. The operator’s hand now stays 12 inches away from the hot steel, and the gage is very accurate, measuring to ±.003 inch.