Verification of inspection and assembly instruments

Verification of inspection and assembly instruments

The automotive and aerospace industries have long faced a serious dilemma. Given the crucial nature of the end products they manufacture, all parts and components should be free of defects.

On the other hand, manufacturers need to cut costs and raise productivity to remain competitive in the market. These conflicting interests led to the proliferation of ‘inspection gauges’ (Inspection Gauge Tooling & Check Fixtures).

In short, an inspection gauge is a device that, once production parts are mounted in it, allows inspection by comparing them with the geometry and features of the gauge. This involves preparing check items for parts or vice versa

– Sometimes it is the control instrument that is placed in it.

In general, the idea is that if a part and a control element match, that part is within specification. These components, used in parallel with hand tools to take additional necessary measurements, have long struck a balance between part integrity and the need to reduce production costs.

But how do you ensure that the control instrument itself has been properly made and can serve the above control purposes?

The instrument must then be checked for accuracy using another measuring device. For these tasks, use certified equipment such as stationary CMMs, measuring arms, laser trackers and precision 3D scanners.

Such inspection involves measuring the geometry and comparing it against a designed nominal 3D model (CAD) and then preparing reports and an inspection sheet with listed characteristics and tolerances.

Thus tested and approved for use, the instrument can be used in current production.