Thread Gages: Consider These Details

Industrial facilities are filled with metal parts, pipes, machines and other large objects that likely demand the attention of everyone indoors. However, smaller pieces like screws, nuts and thread gages (or gauges) also require attention. Thread gages are particularly important, because they're used to ensure that the screws or nuts you're manufacturing or using will be able to keep sheet metal, equipment panels and other things in place. Therefore, to keep thread gages functioning well, consider these gage suggestions.

Use Appropriate Type

Of course, a thread gage only works on the components it's meant to work with. For example, if you're attempting to determine whether there are enough threads on a screw, a ring gage should be used to calculate TPI (turns per inch). If you need to double-check pitch diameter to verify the sizes of the parts you're working with, you'll need a simple plug gage.

Because work may require multiple gages for a particular task, ensure that multiple gages are always kept at every workstation. In fact, you may require that each workstation has a set of gages on hand, at all times, that includes different kinds of gages, so that workers need not step away to get the tools they need.

Look for Rust

Thread gages are susceptible to rust, just like any other metal tool. Therefore, you may want to think about cleaning and wiping gages with oil-based waxes and ensuring that they are not exposed to water. Store the gages carefully in closed boxes. Encourage good airflow throughout the facility and monitor the condition of the gages regularly.

Test with Master Gage

Something often overlooked is testing with a master tool. The master gage exists to test many kinds of gages to ensure that they are still accurate. This is important; gages, like all equipment, can become less accurate, and that could prove to be problematic for the nuts and screws being handled. Periodically testing gages and keeping a log of when testing occurred is useful.

Train Employees

You may think your employees may already know how to use gages. Nevertheless, ensure that they're trained about how best to care for gages, use them and test them. That way, faulty habits from past employers won't affect the gage-related work they perform for you.

Gages and other components deserve attention as much as the huge machines on your work site. These suggestions can focus your attention on these tools so they're always working well.