How Much Does Your Tape Measure Affect Your Bottom Line?

How Much Does Your Tape Measure Affect Your Bottom Line?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, tape measures have been around for what seems like forever. Every woodworking and metalworking shop, every production facility, every machine shop uses tape measures. But how accurate and reliable are they? 

That depends on who you ask. 

There are countless craftsmen that swear by their tape measure and rightly so. Most skilled cabinet makers, for example, can use their tape measure to make accurate cuts well within 1/64”. But even the old-timers will tell you, you can’t trust just any tape measure. 

Place 3 or 4 of your most used tape measures next to each other and stretch them to 10ft. Now compare the graduations. Notice a variance? This is a common issue between tape measure manufacturers. They all use a laser system to etch or engrave the graduations, but how accurate are the lasers are or how often are they calibrated? They only need to be accurate enough for 1/64” graduations at best. Most tape measures only have 1/32” (0.031”), 1/16” (0.062”) or 1 mm (0.039”) graduations so how do we know the lasers are calibrated to be better than that? 

Using those same tape measures, have different operators mark the same measurement on a piece of wood and compare the measurements side-by-side. Notice another variance? What about the thickness of the marking? Was the mark in the center of the graduation or offset to one side? What about the hook on the end? Was it bent from dropping the tape measure or letting it slam against the housing when retracting? 

Although these may seem like miniscule issues, imagine how these variances translate into the manufacturing process. They will eventually compound and cause assembly issues, part rejects, part reworks, and slowed production. Even the most skilled craftsman can have an off day – measuring too short or too long. This ultimately affects your bottom line. So how do we solve this? 

Most manufacturing facilities fabricate custom hard stops and jigs to help locate the parts being processed. These often involve time-consuming setup between parts and may be setup by an unskilled or improperly trained operator using those same unreliable tape measures. 

Kentucky Gauge is your solution. 

Kentucky Gauge has been helping manufacturers solve their measuring inaccuracies for over 20 years. Offering both manual length stops and motorized length stops, as well as pusher systems, Kentucky Gauge has a wide range of measuring products that are built to withstand the day to day rigors of heavy production, with options that are affordable for startups. 

Kentucky Gauge equipment utilizes an IP67 rated non-contact linear encoder that reads a magnetic scale adhered to the guide rail. This translates to positioning accuracies within thousandths of an inch. Every time. No compromises. 

ANY Manufacturing process that requires repetitive and precise length measurements can benefit from a Kentucky Gauge length stop or pusher system. They work with saws of all types, drills, ironworkers, punch presses, shears, rakes, custom machinery, and more! 

Prevent part rejects caused by inaccurate measurements or operator errors. 

Maximize your production equipment and throughput. 

Turn any new, unskilled hires into your most productive machine operators. 

Allow your operators to focus on the big picture and let Kentucky Gauge take care of the rest.

Published on September 15, 2020