Correctly calibrated quick-test gauges

20 years of successful collaboration

Kroeplin, a traditional engineering company from Schlüchtern, has been producing gauges for nearly 80 years.  Its products are mainly used to quickly measure dimensions of parts located in difficult-to-reach areas. For  many decades, its measurement instruments were mechanical, but over the last 15 years they’ve been increasingly  replaced by electronic measuring devices. These are not only highly accurate, they also offer useful features  such as digital displays and minimum/maximum functions. No matter which measurement principle is used,  rigorous testing is essential. For the last 20 years, Kroeplin has turned to the Ilmenau-based Steinbeis Transfer  Center for Quality Assurance and Image Processing for its professional and reliable support. The specialists from  Ilmenau develop and design high-precision testing technology for hundreds of different types of quick-test  gauges. 

Quick-test gauges are used in a variety of  ways: to measure inner-grooves, wall thickness,  outer measurements but also for dental  applications. Steinbeis engineers have  developed the gauge technology for each  new generation of mechanical and electronic  testing device. Since electronic quick-test  gauges provide linearization, based on  measurement deviation functions, the requirements  have become more complex. 

The hardware used in the test system is now  in its third generation. A high-precision incremental  length measuring system with  deviations down to the sub-micrometer  range is used as reference. The gauges always  have a fixed arm and a moving sensor  arm on a swivel. They are placed on an aerodynamic  bearing so movements can be compensated  for when the tips of the feeler arm  slide into position and are moved automatically.  The resulting target position is used to  determine the actual value measured by the gauge, the according deviation curve is plotted  on a screen. With mechanical gauges  this curve is used for adjustment, with electronic  ones it forms the basis for the linear  approximation function to be stored in the  gauge its microprocessor. Based on the testing  that follows, a test certificate is issued  for delivery with each gauge. 

The comprehensive testing software programmed  by the Ilmenau Steinbeis Transfer  Center comes complete with printing, administration  and service functions. Future  innovations at Kroeplin GmbH will pose new  challenges to testing technology, so that  further cooperation with the Steinbeis  Transfer Center Ilmenau will be extended  into a third decade. Clients around the world  benefit from the know-how offered by both  business partners, as Kroeplin also produces  quick-test gauges for Japanese, American  and Swiss customers.

With each project, the Steinbeis Transfer  Center for Quality Assurance and Image Processing  has continuously expanded its understanding  of high-precision incremental  measuring processes, precision instrument  construction and software development.  Aside from its collaboration with Kroeplin,  the center is involved in a variety of projects  with domestic and foreign companies, most  of them focussing on industrial image processing  for precision geometry measurements. 

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