Making It: A Processing and Manufacturing Website

The Risks Of Not Inspecting Parts From The Beginning

Accuracy in measurement has never been more important. Our society has become so reliant on automation and machinery that a poorly made machine can create a lot of problems, not just in the factory, but in the world as a whole, as products are delayed or released with defects.

To strengthen the accuracy of the parts you use in your machinery, these parts have to undergo dimensional testing. In a busy manufacturing environment, it can be tempting to scrimp on testing or skip it occasionally. Don't do this. The testing is what ensures that the parts you're producing meet the specifications for the equipment they'll go in, or the specifications for the processes in which they'll be used. That accuracy shores up your company's reputation and helps keep business flowing.

A Game of Technology Telephone

Do you remember the game "telephone," in which you'd whisper something in someone's ear, then they'd whisper it in another person's ear, and so on around a huge circle of people? Then the first and last people would compare what they heard. The beginning and end phrases were always hilariously different.

In technology and manufacturing, the same effect -- albeit less funny, as it can create safety issues -- happens to parts that are just slightly outside tolerance levels. Maybe that first part is slightly smaller at one point than is allowable, which means the equipment it goes into vibrates and rattles more, which loosens other parts of that equipment if vibration damping isn't in effect, which leads to more back and wrist problems for operators -- you get the idea. By getting parts into compliance from the get-go, you reduce, if not eliminate, all those risks down the line.

Outside Tolerance Equals out of Compliance

Equipment and parts have a tolerance range, meaning the exact dimensions of a part, for example, can actually be within a range of measurements. The range is usually small. If you manufacture parts that are outside tolerance, however, that means the parts are not in compliance with the plans, and possibly not in compliance with local, state, or federal regulations that govern the use of the equipment in question. That can create a world of problems for your company as people suffer the effects of the poor manufacturing. So ensuring the parts go through dimensional inspection also protects your company in the legal sense.

Dimensional testing and inspection is an essential part of the manufacturing process. It is not something you can skip. Instead, it's something that you have to ensure is done on a regular schedule.

To learn more, contact a dimensional inspection lab in your area.