Categories : Professional working tools guide
Height gauges, vernier height gauges, electronic and digital height gauges…The nomenclature of these measuring instruments is varied and complex, as are their features, which may differ from model to model. For this reason, choosing which Height Gauge to buy can be even more difficult and confusing.
Taking into account the growing need for this type of instrument in the laboratory and in production, what are the main components, characteristics and indispensable functions to take into consideration for an optimal choice?
With the goal of answering this question, Mister Worker™ has decided to investigate the subject with TESA Technology, a leading Swiss company in the sector of professional and laboratory measuring instruments. With more than 80 years of experience, this company stands out from the others for the high quality of its products, its unique know-how in micromechanics, as well as for its publicly recognized experience in the field of dimensional metrology.
A Height Gauge is a measuring tool used essentially to determine a height, but not only. In fact, it can measure internal and external dimensions, steps, heights, depths and distances. It is composed of a support base, a column installed vertically on it, an internal mechanical system that determines the vertical movement along a carriage of a measuring probe, usually with a sphere as a terminal, which determines the acquisition of the position of that point with respect to a reference. The position of the element to be detected is acquired through an optical reader, mounted on the trolley, which reads an optical line fixed on the instrument column. The detected signal is then displayed on a control panel of the instrument, where it will then be possible to carry out a whole series of calculation operations among the acquired elements.
In choosing the tool, there are many evaluations to be made. The first discriminants are related to the type of estimates to be detected, to the required measurement range and to the level of precision. Other factors may be related to the environment in which you intend to use the tool. The Height Gauges can be produced with the use of different types of material, both for the construction of the support bases and the internal columns. These characteristics, depending on the working environment in which the instrument will be applied, determine its stability to always provide correct measurements as the environmental conditions of use vary.
There are essentially two types of Height Gauges, manual and motorized. The difference consists in the movement of the vertical measurement axis and in the point acquisition system. In both versions, the acquisition of measurement points is independent of the operator's hand, thanks to a patented mechanical system.
This type of instrument is an essential partner for ease of use, reliability and versatility. Every company should have a height gauge for the wide range of applications and functions they can perform. This tool, in fact, is used for 1D measurements of heights, distances, diameters, center distances, inclinations, orthogonality. In the most advanced systems it is possible to create a second measuring axis, based on the rotation of the piece by a known angle, for the estimation of elements in 2D.
The latest innovations are related to electronic data management systems, to display units with touch-screen technology and to Bluetooth® connectivity.
The instrument must be used by placing it on a granite surface, which, associated with the quadrature of the vertical meter, will guarantee a reliable measurement system. The pieces will then be positioned on the same granite, even with the aid of dedicated mechanical supports. The points are picked up thanks to the "probing" of the surface of the piece by means of a probe which, depending on the geometry of the piece to be detected, can have different shapes (ball contact of different diameter, disc contact of different sizes, rod of depth...). The point grip is then performed with the aid of a knob that acts on a patented mechanical friction system for manual instruments, or on a patented impulse knob that acts on an electric motor, for the motorized version.
Like all measuring instruments, also Height Gauges periodically need to be checked or calibrated. With respect to TESA, all vertical meters, upon leaving the factory, are equipped with a primary SCS calibration certificate. In reality, the standards do not give a compulsory duration of one year for this certificate but, each company, based on a series of internal evaluation parameters, can determine the duration. What it is normally advisable to do is to periodically check the instrument within the organization, using certified samples, such as parallel gauges, which are normally already present in a company.
TESA is, in the measuring instrument market, a recognized brand for the high quality and reliability of its products, always at the forefront for the quality of the materials and for the technological solutions applied. Since the birth of the Height Gauges, in the early 80s of the last century, TESA has placed itself on the market of these instruments as a reference brand and undisputed leader of the market. Historically it offers a wide, complete and high performance range. In its top of the range, the MICRO-HITE series (with the top-selling Height Gauges, MICRO-HITE and MICRO-HITE + M) we find the maximum quality of the materials chosen for the realization of this type of instrument and the best latest generation technology, combined with a complete, intuitive user interface that is easy to learn and use by any operator. Do not forget the TESA-HITE series, with the TESA-HITE and TESA-HITE MAGNA models.
The Bluetooth® system guarantees data transmission from the instrument to a PC in a simple, stable and universal way. One of the advantages is to be able to eliminate the manual transcription of the data detected by the operator, thus eliminating possible human error and speeding up operations. Another advantage is that of not having a connection via a cable, which could be an impediment in the phases of use of the instrument.
The TESA Bluetooth® system involves the use of a circular transmitter, to be connected to the data output integrated in the instrument, and a USB receiver to be connected to the PC (not necessary with some more recent operating systems) capable of receiving the signal of 8 instruments. The TESA DATA-VIEWER software, which can be downloaded for free directly from the download section of the TESA website (www.tesatechnology.com), manages the Bluetooth® input signal on a PC and allows you to view and collect measurement data on a spreadsheet (for example Excel) or it can act as a "bridge" to other data processing or statistical analysis software (such as STAT-EXPRESS, Q-DAS, etc.)
The whole range of TESA Height Meters (therefore the TESA-HITE, MICRO-HITE and µ-HITE families) are designed for connectivity via the Bluetooth® system.
The new TESA TLC-BLE Bluetooth® connectivity system can be applied directly to all measuring instruments equipped with TLC output (TESA Link Connector) and with the aid of an adapter also to all those with Opto-RS232 and Sub-D output RS232. Therefore, even older generation electronic instruments can be upgraded easily and at a very low cost to the new wireless connectivity.