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Surface Plate Calibration vs New

rwa2004

Plastic
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Partly this is just me venting, but I am looking at costs to certify a surface plate to be more than the cost of a new surface plate.
I am wrestling with what I want to have vs what I need to have.
Need to have - An 18"x24" surface plate with papers to say it meets Grade B. I have one without papers, and I can't find a way to get it checked for less than what it would cost to buy a new one with papers. So how do I justify not just getting a new one? Seems wasteful.
Want to have - An24"x36" surface plate certified at Grade AA. I also have a old but good 24"x36" but with no papers. Even with getting both of these calibrated together I could still almost buy new (with papers) for less than re-calibration.
 
Have you contacted a lapping service or just a metrology/certification lab? It's possible a lapping service will bring the plates to your desired specs and issue a cert for less than the met/cert lab wants to just issue a cert.
 
I have contacted 4 different places that do just surface plates, evaluation and then lapping as needed. I don't think they are unreasonable in their pricing, it is just that they work on the road and the cost includes their travel costs (as it should). I have not found anyone who I can take the plates to and have them complete on site.
 
Need to have - An 18"x24" surface plate with papers to say it meets Grade B. I have one without papers, and I can't find a way to get it checked for less than what it would cost to buy a new one with papers. So how do I justify not just getting a new one? Seems wasteful.

so you end up with 2 plates for the same price, seems like a no-brainer to me.

make the existing plate a 'reference only' plate.
 
For a surface plate to be certified its temperature needs to be stable, so no lapping while you wait...

I suggest you look at it a different way. There is the direct financial cost, and the associated and indirect cost. Yes, you could buy new plates. Does that cost include stands? Even if it does, there is still the hassle of getting it all assembled. And you then have 4 surface plates when it sounds like you need two. If the stands are not included you have to get or make some. If you use the stands for the current plates you still end up with 4 surface plates- but two have no stands...

The next issue is this. You are doing this because of the need for certifications. Why is this needed now if it was not before? How much should you- or anyone else- trust the certification?

From my perspective the hassle factor of getting two new plates is more important than the cost- unless you have a good use for the current plates, are buying plates of a different and more useful size, or buying plates that are more wear resistant.
 
I am looking at costs to certify a surface plate to be more than the cost of a new surface plate.

I am curious, what kind of costs you are getting for calibration, and does it include surfacing?

And where are you pricing out new plates?
 
So far I have heard from 3 places and still waiting to here from 2 more:
1. $700 minimum ($500 minimum for work and $200 for travel).
2. $600 minimum and I bring the plates to them 2 hours away.
3. $500 - $550 but not available until in the area for other customers next July.
Sounds like inspection and resurfacing, if needed, would not likely be above the minimum.

One other had a $350 minimum but it sounded like the 2 plates might actually cost more than the minimum so I am still waiting to here what the total might be.

For what I must have - Grizzly has an 18"x24" with papers for Grade B at $165.00 (I am not thrilled about it being Grizzly, but if it has papers then it meets my needs).
For what I want to have - 24"x36" Grade A plates seem to be available in the $400-$500 range.

The money tells me to just buy another 18"x24" for $165.00 and move on with life, that is just not what I want the answer to be. Then I have 2 reference only plates that I cannot use for formal inspections.
 
For what I must have - Grizzly has an 18"x24" with papers for Grade B at $165.00 (I am not thrilled about it being Grizzly, but if it has papers then it meets my needs).

G9655? I don't see anything about it coming with papers. If it does I'd be surprised if it's a real report rather than the same photocopy they send out with all their plates. Grizzly isn't big on inspection... they'd rather just sell something that looks decent by eye and let customers do the QA. Also don't forget the $199 freight.

Standridge has an 18x24 grade B for $366.
 
So you need a piece of paper?

What requirements do you need for the piece of paper? My stuff (different industry) needs calibrated/checked by an ISO 17025 accredited agency that has that task on their scope. Does the new paperwork fit the requirements? I know when I buy new equipment that needs paperwork I have to pay extra for the calibration certificate that says it met the tolerance as found.
 
Your quotes sound slightly high to me, but not out of the range of possibility.

For grade B I pay $17 per square foot if it's in tolerance, more if they have to lap it. I bought two plates, 24x30 and 36x36, from a PM member and had my local lab check them at my facility. The smaller plate was out .002", so they had to lap it. Cost was $170. The larger plate was in spec, so it was only $153.

They should be willing to tell you what they charge per square foot, hour, etc.
 
So I will pile on this discussion. As I have been known to also vent my frustrations.
My situation is that I work in a large corporation. I am a small one man shop inside of an R&D lab. I have a 24X 24 in surface plate with no papers or cert tag of any kind. I also have an old be very decent brown and sharpe digital micro hite. Nothing is calibrated. and is not required to be because everything that I do is considered non deliverable. But I got the notion that I would like to have some sort of calibration to know if any of my tools are accurate. Then the other day I noticed a 36" x 24" granite surface plate just siting by a dock looking like it was about to be thrown out or something.

I confirmed that the plate is excess and that I can have it. (in my shop not to take home). But I thought it would be good to have it checked before we have it moved to my shop. I talked to the guys that would certify it. ( we have a nice metrology lab on site and I am lucky to know those guys). They tell me I need to contact another department to get the plate and height gage put into data base for calibration cycle log. So I do that. They tell me to fill out something they have on the inranet. But then I am stopped because I do not know when and where these things were purchased. I do not know what was paid for them. I told them all that I know is they have been here with no identifiers or calibration markings and that tells me they are not calibrated. That was about a week ago. I have gotten no response. I have gotten involved and contacted at least 5 people with details on this issue.

My point and venting frustration rant. We have the tools. We have a proper metrology lab with personnel qualified and paid to calibrate, certify, inspect, lap, all the things to put thier quality stamp and confirm calibration of measuring tools. But I just cannot get it done because.???? and no one seems to care.

I have been known to vent my frustrations on this forum. I told myself I would be more positive. But I just had to share the ridiculousness. I am learning not to sweat it. At this point I figure if the company, my boss, quality, etc.. does not care. Than I should not either. I am letting it go and just accepting that I work in a shop that I cannot truly confirm any of my dimensions are accurate. I mean I guess what I am doing works. but down to the .001" how do I really know if nothing I have to measure with has any certifications or references.
 
But then I am stopped because I do not know when and where these things were purchased. I do not know what was paid for them.
The system probably only wants numbers. Use your imagination if you want numbers going back to original purchase. You could also be honest and say purchase price=$0, purchase date=now, since you are rescuing them from scrap.
 
Seems I missed this the first time round, but I have the same problem here.

New, certified surface plate is (significantly) cheaper than recertifying an existing one.

All well and good to say more=better, but I'd like a viable long term solution that doesn't involve collecting surface plates (and preferably not scrapping them for no reason).

I do in house calibration of almost everything. Hard gauges (gauge blocks, gauge rings, length bars etc.) are externally calibrated and the CMM is third party calibrated. I use said hard gauges as traceable masters to calibrate all the measuring tools.

Is there a good, functional, industry acceptable method of in-house certifying a surface plate?
 
The system probably only wants numbers. Use your imagination if you want numbers going back to original purchase. You could also be honest and say purchase price=$0, purchase date=now, since you are rescuing them from scrap.
I did try $0 and the digital form gave me an error. Then I tried $1 then it took me to a page to fill out who paid for it. And I could not put my name. Had to put a department cost center from a drop down menu. That is when I stopped. Thought I shouldn't just guess or make things up when involving department budgets. Even if it is only $1
 
Heck, I'd take it back to the disposal area and make sure the trunk of my car was open and properly positioned to receive it. My home electronics lab and garage shop were filled with quality equipment mostly by buying industrial surplus at pennies on the dollar as companies downsized or went out of business. Their loss, my gain. If you can't change the rules, just chill out and don't worry about it. You'll have a much happier career and lower blood pressure.
 








 
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