Thread Gaging at Automate 2023
Visit our partners, New Scale Robotics in Booth 6602 at Automate next week (May 22-25) to see how thread gaging can become part of your automated inspection process! See the floorplan here.
Thread Gaging With Robots
Are you already using one or more robots for material handling but still gaging threads by hand? In the past, manufacturers relied solely on human operators to load and unload material and perform part inspections. However, the use of robots has improved production efficiency and reduced the risk of workplace injuries. This technology has allowed machinists to focus on more complex tasks that require human expertise, and it should be the same with thread gaging!
Integrated with New Vista’s Thread Gaging Equipment, your robot can automate the traditionally manual thread gaging process. While loading parts into a fixture for inspection is routine, New Vista’s Gaging Units are also built to inspect threads presented directly to the gage by the robot. By simply utilizing your existing grippers and bringing the part directly to the Gaging Unit, manufactures can eliminate the need for custom fixturing and achieve faster cycle times.
See three threads in a vehicle subframe “GO” verified simultaneously in the video below:
In addition to robot-loaded and robot-served gaging systems, New Vista offers robot-mounted gages. Contact us today for more information regarding how New Vista’s thread gaging solutions can benefit your inspection process. Applications service is available from New Vista’s Baltimore, MD (USA) location and in several other countries as well.
Single Pass GO/NO GO Thread Gaging
Many manufacturers are required to both “GO” and “NO GO” gage threaded features in their parts, but why use two gages when you could use one? In traditional thread gaging, separate “GO” and “NO GO” thread plugs are used to ensure that a thread’s pitch is neither undersize or oversize. New Vista’s combination “GO/NO GO” thread gages allow both inspections to be performed with one tool in a single pass for internal, through threads.
In sampling applications where the inspections are done manually, individual “GO” and “NO GO” gages remain practical. But for fast-cycle or automated work, where time is of the essence, combination gages not only reduce inspection time, but also cut the amount of gaging equipment required in half (compared to arrangements requiring separate “GO” and “NO GO” gaging systems).
You can see New Vista’s “GO/NO GO” thread gages demonstrate combination thread gaging in the video below:
In addition to “GO” for pitch diameter, combination gages are available in configurations for “NO GO” pitch diameter or “NO GO” minor diameter to suit a broad range of applications. Contact us today for more information regarding how New Vista’s combination thread gages can benefit your inspection process. Applications service is available from New Vista’s Baltimore, MD (USA) location and in several other countries as well.
Tool Compliance in Powered Thread Gaging
Misalignment is a fact of life in powered thread gaging and thread cleanout. You can’t avoid it. So how do you prevent, in real life, having the thread gage member jam in a good thread because of misalignment issues? New Vista’s patented torque control mechanism prevents damage even when misalignment is a factor, but for the thread gage member to travel effortlessly through a misaligned thread, using a compliant toolholder is a must.
Ordinary floating tapholders, of the type used in tapping operations, are not suitable for this kind of work; their use will result in stalling at entry, metal adhesions or out-of-phase rethreading. A properly designed compliant toolholder will, in contrast, allow the tool to compensate for both off-angle and out-of-position threads.
You can see New Vista’s compliant toolholders demonstrate out-of-position thread gaging in the video below:
Allowing up to ±5mm positional compliance (10mm true position) and up to 3° angular compliance (out-of-square), New Vista’s line of compliant toolholders is well suited to any application. Contact us today for more information regarding the New Vista line of Compliant Toolholders. Applications service is available from New Vista’s Baltimore, MD (USA) location and in several other countries as well.
What kind of Tools are used for Cleanout?
Cleanout taps are commonly used to clear moderate to heavy contamination (like weld spatter, thick paint, and rust) out of existing threaded holes.
These tools feature a pitch diameter that is tapered on both the front and rear portions of the thread with the middle portion reaching near the full pitch diameter of a cutting tap of the same thread size.
This configuration allows for the remediation of existing thread at a fraction of the torque required to cut (or form) them, thus reducing the risk of out-of-phase rethreading.
New Vista’s custom Serra-ToolsTM are designed to provide both “GO” thread verification and light cleanout (for chip removal, excess coating, and light paint) in a single pass.
Flutes in the “GO” thread gage create the cutting edge (or heel) without reducing the pitch diameter.
This configuration allows the remediation of existing internal threads at a torque level only slightly above that which is required for normal thread gaging.
Thread Quality Control Series: Thread Remediation
The purpose of thread quality control is to ensure that two mating parts will assemble correctly. This assembly can be impeded by missing threads, incorrect thread sizes, or all too often, obstructions in the thread (such as weld spatter or broken tools). In most cases, confirmation of the thread quality can be assured by the GO thread-verification process. But when threads are obstructed, a dedicated remediation process may be required.
What is thread remediation? Put simply, thread remediation is the act of removing any obstructions that would prevent the threads from assembling with the threaded features on, or in, their mating parts. This process includes such terms as chasing, cleanout, retapping, rethreading or re-rolling. Remediation may be required for threads with embedded paint, weld spatter, rust, excess coating, dirt, dings, or distortions.
When performing thread remediation, the correct tool must be selected for the job. In the case of internal thread remediation, specially sized chasing tools or taps; or Serra-Tools™ can be used. New Vista’s Serra-Tools™ are particularly advantageous because these tools are GO gages with serrations cut into the threads to provide a cleaned-out and gaged thread in a single pass. Each tool is designed to meet a specific remediation objective, so contact your New Vista applications engineer to determine which tool is the best fit for your application.
When remediating external threads, two methods are predominant: remediation with dies, and remediation with thread rolls. The most common difficulties with external threads are plating and coating buildups, and dinging. While plating / coating buildups are most often remediated with dies, and dings usually remediated with thread rolls, each application is special and should be evaluated carefully to determine the best remediation process for the job.
When considering powered thread remediation, New Vista’s Thread-Remediation Units operate on the same principle as our Thread-Verification Units. Click the link in the description below for a detailed explanation of the patented design that makes New Vista’s thread Units fast and reliable. As always, New Vista Compliant Mechanisms are included with both handheld and automated Thread-Remediation Units to facilitate effortless entry into or onto the thread, and to prevent damage at the mouth, or end, of the thread.
If remediating threads is a recurring or required step in your manufacturing process, consider New Vista’s Thread-Remediation Units to speed up your cycle and eliminate errors. If you have additional questions about thread remediation, or would like tool and method recommendations, contact one of New Vista’s application engineers today. Expert applications service is available from our U.S. location and from locations in several other countries as well.
Powered Thread Gaging: At Your Fingertips
The trend to replace hand gaging with powered thread verification is a prime example of technology making manufacturing safer & more efficient. Gaging threaded features has traditionally been done by hand, however, this is often tedious and allows room for operator error or injury. That’s where the New Vista Handheld RT Thread Unit comes in. The RT Thread Unit allows an operator to quickly power a thread gage into (or onto) and back out of (or off of) a thread to ensure assemblability. Not only will you find that your inspection time is greatly reduced, but the risk of repetitive motion injuries is all but eliminated when using the RT. The RT Thread Unit Kit contains everything that you will need to start verifying your threads with your standard taper shank gages.
The RT Thread Unit Kit includes:
- One RT Thread Unit equipped with a Type FP Chuck
- Three tool adapters for taper shank gages (handle size 0, 1, and 2)
- One torque adjustment tool
- Two 14.4v rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
- One battery charger
To order your Handheld RT Kit today, click here.
Thread Quality Control Series: Pipe Threads
Pipe threads are manufactured in many forms, but the most common types are straight and tapered threads. Straight pipe threads are gaged with the “GO” & “NO GO” process like regular threads, but tapered pipe threads require an entirely different gaging method: A series of one to three “L” checks. In this video, we’ll cover how to gage the three types of American tapered pipe threads: NPT which stands for National Pipe Taper, and NPTF which stands for National Pipe Taper Fuel and comes in Class 1, and Class 2 classifications.
Contact vs Non-Contact Thread Gaging
What is the best way to guarantee that a glove fits? You could measure every feature of the glove, but you will only be confident in the fit when you try it on.
The same considerations must be made when choosing between contact and non-contact thread verification methods. In the example above, contact gaging is simply putting your hand into the glove, whereas non-contact inspection involves using a camera system to measure threaded features. While New Vista offers solutions for both methods, manufacturers tend to prefer contact verification.
Thread Quality Control Series: Powered Gaging of Tapered Pipe Threads
Pipe threads are manufactured in many forms, but the most common types are straight and tapered threads. Straight pipe threads are gaged with the “GO” & “NO GO” process like regular threads, but tapered pipe threads require an entirely different gaging method: A series of L checks.
The 3 main types of L checks are the L-1, L-2 (for external threads) or L-3 (for internal threads) & the 6-Step Check. To learn about these checks in detail, visit our post detailing the Hand Gaging of NPT Threads: Hand Gaging of NPT Threads. In this video, we will be focusing on the L-1 check, as it is the most common check used in powered pipe thread verification.