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NDT.net Issue - 2019-07 - NEWS

Cutting the Cord: A Simple Solution for Wireless Thickness Gage Data Transfer


Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas (OSSA)226, Waltham, MA, USA
 
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2019-07

Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) activities help companies ensure their manufacturing processes are well defined and that the quality of their products is acceptable. The 38DL PLUS® ultrasonic thickness gage is a common tool used to perform quality control inspections on manufactured goods made of plastic, metal, composite, rubber, and various other materials. For example, a plastic piping manufacturer may record wall thickness measurements of extruded pipe to confirm that it stays within an acceptable range. Once the inspector has recorded a thickness measurement, they will typically enter the value into a statistical process control (SPC) program, which helps to monitor and control the manufacturing process. However, the time-honored ways of getting the thickness data into the SPC program present many challenges and create potential sources of operator error.

The Old Ways Are Problematic

There are several ways that thickness values captured using an ultrasonic thickness gage are entered into an SPC program, and none are very efficient. They include:

  • Manually entering the values
  • Sending the thickness values to the SPC using an RS232 or USB cable
  • Saving the readings into a survey file on the gage and then transferring to a PC using our GageView software

Once the completed survey file has been transferred to a PC, the readings are exported to a spreadsheet program before finally being imported into the SPC program.

These data entry methods are inefficient or introduce possible errors in reporting. For example, an inspector manually entering data into a SPC program could make a mistake and enter an incorrect value, jeopardizing the integrity of the data. Sending values directly from the gage to a PC using the RS232 cable eliminates the potential for human error when entering numbers, but this method is inconvenient since the instrument must be physically connected to the PC, which takes the instrument off the production floor. In addition, sending files or values from the gage to a PC using a USB connection depends on maintaining reliable communication between the devices, which can be challenging if drivers and firmware are not up to date.

Now, there’s a better way.

21st Century Solution

The 38-Link™ adaptor attaches to your 38DL PLUS® thickness gage’s protective rubber boot. Once connected, your gage can wirelessly communicate with a mobile device or Windows® 7 or 10 PC using a Bluetooth® connection.

Connecting your gage takes only 2 simple steps.

  1. Download the Olympus LINK™ mobile app to your smartphone or tablet or install the Link-Wedge app on your Windows 7 or 10 PC.
  2. Attach the 38-Link adaptor to the back of the gage and follow the instructions in the Olympus 38-Link Getting Started Guide.

    Sending Data to Mobile Applications

    Use the Olympus LINK mobile app to wirelessly send thickness data from your 38DL PLUS gage to a mobile phone or tablet and share your results over text message or email. You can also send data from the gage to compatible third-party mobile applications.

    Sending Data to a PC

    The optional Link-Wedge software enables you to wirelessly send data from the 38DL PLUS gage to almost any Windows 7- or 10-based data entry program. The Link-Wedge program runs in the background and lets the gage easily interface with third-party applications—no modifications or coding required. Simply open the Link-Wedge program, connect the 38DL PLUS using the 38-Link Bluetooth adaptor, select an open data entry field in the Windows program of your choice, and start sending data.

    The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Olympus Corporation is under license.

    Wireless LAN and Bluetooth dongle availability varies by region. Contact your local Olympus sales representative for more information.

    Tags: Thickness Gage, Conventional Ultrasound

    By Calvin Jory - June 11, 2019, Product Marketing Specialist, Ultrasonic Flaw Detectors

    Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas (OSSA)

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