Electronic Timer Versus Stopwatch

Coating thickness measurement for process control and improvement


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With its immense importance to the world economy, the automotive industry is constantly under pressure to reduce costs and improve quality. Continuous improvement initiatives common in the auto and other industries demand new, integral measuring systems, according to Automation Dr. Nix GmbH & Co. (Köln, Germany; in the U.S., Automation USA Inc., Gettysburg, PA).

Said to be the first of its kind in the world, Automation Dr. Nix’s menu-driven CarCheck coating thickness measuring system supports continuous improvement initiatives by enabling systematic checks and documentation of the thickness of vehicle body coatings.

Based on the company’s patented QNix 1500 model coating thickness measurement instrument, the device is said to offer a rugged, easy-to-use and reliable next-generation measuring system with a large measuring range and an innovative software solution. The QNix 1500 electronic coating thickness measuring instrument uses two independently working probes to enable measurement of coating thickness over both ferrous and nonferrous substrate. It also features a clear, readable duplex LCD and a large measuring range—up to 5000 µm.

Automation Dr. Nix compares the difference between conventional coating thickness measurement instruments and the Car Check device to the difference between using a stopwatch and an electronic timer for measuring lap times of a Formula 1 Grand Prix auto race.

The watch provides a snapshot, a single point of measurement. The timer helps users place lap times in perspective by collecting a history of lap times that can be analyzed, documented and compared.

The company says individual measurements on various spots of a car body—even if partly measured asymmetrically and without any records allowing statistical analysis—remain an important part of quality management.

They enable manufacturers to check the various depths of paints on automobile body panels. However, the ability to analyze the data from multiple measurements can help engineers and paint line managers optimize the efficiency and productivity of their coating processes.

According to Automation Dr. Nix, the CarCheck Measuring System provides structured design of the measuring task; systematic, verifiable documentation of measurements and analysis of measuring values combined with an intelligent menu navigation. The company says this approach offer considerable advantages in the speed and reliability of measurement recording, processing and documentation.