Ten Things to Consider when Buying Measuring Equipment for Quality Assurance
Manufacturers often need to use every advantage they have in order to stay profitable in the competitive environment of today’s world, especially in low margin industries such as food manufacturing, pulp and paper, chemicals or packaging.
When you are looking for measurement instruments that will help you keep your processes within tolerances, it can be difficult to know which one is best. In the past, no matter which measurement instruments you’ve tried or used to measure the quality of a product, they never seem to work out for your favors.
The last thing you need when measuring the quality of a product for your project is to reduce throughput, increase costs or produce more waste. But do not fret, before you give up, here are 10 tips for helping you to select the measurement instrument that’s suitable and right for your needs.
1. You must always know what you are measuring
- It is important to agree on and know what it is you wanted to measure.
- You should consider and ask yourself these questions like “Is it line speed, product PH, thickness of product or moisture content?”
- You might be dealing with all of these questions or more, however a multi-purpose measurement instrument might not be as fast or accurate as measurement devices built to for one thing well.
2. You should always Compare the speed of the test to the speed of your line
- It is important to ensure that your maximum line speed is well within the measurement instrument’s longest test time.
- If the times are too close, you might find that you need to slow the line sometimes so the device can finish testing or give you accurate results
3. You have to Check the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
- You might think that you have found the perfect measuring instrument for your project.
- However, if the instrument is too fragile, you will be shutting down the production too often.
4. You should understand the preventive maintenance schedule
- Ideally, it won’t need servicing more often than the rest of the line equipment, but whatever the schedule, you should make sure you follow it.
- You will get more accurate results and possibly prevent unplanned downtime.
5. You should price out all consumables required
- You should make sure you know every consumable item and its cost per production period.
- Sometimes, the less expensive instrument may not actually be less expensive as you thought.
6. Always get maintenance and integration costs in writing
- If you are planning to integrate the measurement device directly into your line, you should make sure you get the costs in writing.
- If the vendor will be providing warranty services, you should find out if you have to send the device to the manufacturer for repair, or if the technician will come to you.
- It can make a big difference in how long the instrument is out of commission.
7. Always look for real-time alerts
- You’ll want to make sure that it not only measures things correctly but tells you when things start to go awry. If you can get alerts by text or email and in a monitoring console, that is ideal.
8. Always ensure that the test device’s tolerances are the same as or tighter than your tightest specs
- If a measurement instrument cannot measure to your tolerances, then it’s a waste of time and money.
9. Always know where important spare parts are kept
- When a measuring equipment breaks, you will want it back up and running fast, but that may depend on where the manufacturer stocks repair parts.
- If there is a fragile or long lead-time component, stock your own spare at home unless the manufacturer keeps spares close by.
10. You should map out alerts and get assurances in writing that the device complies with your specs
- You should make a list of all the measurements and alerts you want, and get assurances that the instrument can handle them all.
- This is a good idea to check this part with references as well as the manufacturer’s spec sheet.
Now that you have read about these ten tips, this may help you make a better informed decision when purchasing measuring equipment for quality assurance. Plastmost Entremise always offers measuring equipment that are of high quality and good tolerance, therefore you will not be disappointed when selecting measuring equipment from Plastmost.