Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help. Inspection and Measuring Useful Information about the common equipment & techniques necessary to assure the quality of your machined components Control Quality & Reduce Scrap

Inspection and Measuring

Useful Information about the common equipment & techniques necessary to assure the quality of your machined components

Control Quality & Reduce Scrap

Inspection and Measuring

Small manufacturing businesses need to be certain the components they manufacture meet the specified design criteria and are in tolerance. Inspection and measuring techniques and equipment give that level of assurance and quality control. However there is a broad range of equipment and methods out there. How do you know yours are the most suitable or even fit for purpose? What are others' doing and are there alternatives that are easier to use, more efficient and better suited to your needs?

This page explores some of the inspection and measuring equipment and techniques out there for you to compare and make the right choice for your small business.

We include some recap info on using common familiar devices such callipers, micrometers and hand held gauges. In addition we try and explore slightly more high-tech solutions which should help you semi-automate your inspection, particularly for parts with more complex geometry.

For the small machine shop, inspecting and comparing physical components against 2D technical drawings or 3D CAD models is at the heart of this process. It should also be noted service and maintenance activities can also benefit from the information below. For production-based activities, building in routine, standardised inspection processes and procedures is a sound way of controlling the quality of your components. 

As ever with Advice Manufacturing, use and tailor these ideas to raise awareness, consider options and improve the way you do things. 

3773 -workshop practice from Syed Bakhtyar

Fundamentals of workshop measurement. Includes vernier calipers, micrometers and Standard Wire Gauge (SWG). Detail description of how to use the two measuring devices, as well as SWG numbers and actual diameters. Useful for measuring and inspecting components with regular geometry. 


Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) Explained: CMM definition and description including explanation of all key parts, include probes. Common applications of CMMs explained, together with a clear outline of how they work. Description of CMM use in the broader context of a sequential manufacturing process.

Hand Held Touch Probe: The operator demonstrates the practical use of a hand held touch probe on a component, for inspection purposes. Any slight motion or vibration are automatically compensated for during inspection. The specialist software enables a report to be produced with the measurement and inspection results.

Renishaw REVO Scanning CMM: High performance on a 5 Axis coordinate measuring machine for complex part geometry, for a production measurement application. The equipment is capable of measuring surfaces by taking thousands of points and using software to generate a surface. Cross-sections of which can then be checked against design requirements for accuracy.

Renishaw REVO CMM demonstration on very complicated geometry. The versatile capability of the machine is shown as it scans thousands of points per second, at high speed, with exceptional accuracy. Features like holes, pockets, chamfers and the pitch on threads are all effortlessly measured. Also probes are automatically changed.

PAS CMM Software: A practical walk through and demonstration of how to program and use PAS CMM software. This step-by-step demo features familiar operations such as selecting component surfaces and clicking options from drop down menus.

SMARTTECH 3D scanning of a metal object for quality control: A light based scanner is used to scan a component and bring it into the CAD environment, before comparing it to the reference CAD model for accuracy. A varying colour deviation model of the part illustrates the precision of the component geometry. Additionally, 2D sections of the model can be reviewed too. All this information and more can then be quickly pulled together into a quality control report. The convenient plug and play set up, together with the anti vibration scanner head and intuitive software make this a practical scanning solution.

Robot Inspection with 3D Scanning using the Breuckmann naviSCAN-3D White Light Scanner. High-end sensor tracking-based scanning enables CAD surfaces to be assembled quickly. Measurements are highly accurate and can be interrogated with the software. Mounting the scanner head on a robot arm provides an extremely flexible work environment for rapid scanning, measurement and inspection. 

Back to Machine Shop Essentials