Kamatics and Sunnen Launch Innovative Digital Gage to Boost Productivity

In a bid to enhance productivity and profitability, Kamatics Corporation, a manufacturer of precision parts and bearings, has partnered with Sunnen to develop a digital bore gage. The move is aimed at eliminating the challenges associated with manual data transcription, which is slow and prone to errors. The digital gage is set to revolutionize operations in the Electronics industry, particularly for firms involved in the production of custom precision parts.

The partnership leveraged the already established analog PG-800 gage as a foundation for the digital system, expediting the prototyping process. According to Phil Hanna, Sunnen’s Product Manager, the PG-800 was chosen as the base due to its proven efficiency and reliability. The analog gage, typically used with a Sunnen PG-400E or PG-500E setting fixture, covers diameters ranging from 0.370 inches to 3.00 inches.

The digital transformation of the gage involved integrating an internal computer into the PG-800 mechanism. However, the challenge lay in data acquisition and display. Initially, engineers envisaged downloading data onto a flash drive. However, upon receiving the prototype, Kamatics opted for a direct PC connection, prompting the engineering team to incorporate this feature into the gage.

Approximately a year after the initial design meeting, Kamatics began beta testing the Sunnen PGE-6000 Electronic Bore Gage on its shop floor. Chris Sopelak, Senior Team Leader of Components Manufacturing for Kamatics’ spherical value stream, commended the collaboration between the two teams. He noted that the aggressive feedback cycle during development and swift software updates significantly contributed to the project’s success.

The PGE-6000 Electronic Bore Gage has since transformed Kamatics’ operations by providing a digital solution for bore measurement data acquisition and tracking. The digital gage simplifies the measurement process by eliminating guesswork and potential human errors associated with manual data transcription. It is compatible with Sunnen’s existing PG-400/500 setting fixtures and stores essential data for part inspection.

Hanna highlighted the cost-effectiveness of the electronic bore gage as an alternative to air gaging. Unlike air gaging, which requires probes and master rings for each size, the electronic bore gage is flexible and handles a wide range of bore diameters. The PGE-6000 measures from 0.370 inches to 3.00 inches, similar to the PG-800, and can accommodate various materials.

Serialized part measurements are stored in the gage and then transferred to the SPC system for analysis through a direct cable connection to a PC or USB drive. This feature allows Kamatics to get an instant digital readout for 100% inspection, significantly improving productivity.

Sunnen officially launched the PGE-6000 at IMTS 2022 and has since started leasing and selling the gage across various industries. Kamatics has already purchased three units, signaling its commitment to embracing digital solutions in operations.

The development of the PGE-6000 Electronic Bore Gage underscores the growing importance of computers and programming languages in improving productivity in the Electronics industry. By eliminating manual data transcription and providing instant digital readouts, this innovation is set to redefine operations in this industry significantly.