OT: Use of the word "clocking" for rotational angle alignment
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    Default OT: Use of the word "clocking" for rotational angle alignment

    Here's a silly topic for a Monday: In an engineering call this morning, which involves Canadians and Americans and both physicians and engineers, the use of the word "clocking" was discussed, as the (Canadian) physician didn't know what it meant. I know a lot of American engineers use this term to generally refer to having rotational angles set up correctly. The most common instance of this I can think of is timing belts and chains in cars where all the pulleys have to be at the right angle to each other before the belt goes on. But I am not convinced "clocking" is the most common term for this, so was curious to ask in this forum, which is suffused with wisdom in the mechanical arts. I'm sort of a physicist and part electrical engineer so I'd say something like "you have to get the phase angles correct". What terminology do you all use?

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    I have heard the term 'clocking' used exactly as you described on several occasions. Sometimes paired with 'timed' or oriented relative to each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    I'm sort of a physicist and part electrical engineer so I'd say something like "you have to get the phase angles correct". What terminology do you all use?
    "HR will have your final paycheck ready by close of business, tomorrow."

    It is the relationship betwixt and among that has to "JFW".

    Otherwise:

    "Clocking" when, for example, seeking minimal TIR by finding countervailing errors by experiment. Milling cutter, holder, spindle taper, etc. Relationship not fixed, marked, nor known in advance.

    "Synchronizing" for a DOHC IC engine's cam drive gears, chains. or toothed belts, other mechanisms of rigidly related persuasion, that ARE known as such in advance, have but ONE "right answer", ELSE a limited set of same.

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    I have heard of screw slots being aligned so they all point the same way. Such as electrical cover plate screws so the slots are vertical as"clocking".
    Spark plugs can be clocked so the gap faces the intake valve.
    Bill D

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    I have only ever heard it used as you describe. For vehicles timing is used, but in relation to say getting a part aligned in a rotary fixture or indexer it would be clocked.

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    Clocking is a common terminology for what you are describing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rcoope View Post
    I'd say something like "you have to get the phase angles correct".
    No, just no.

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    Another common term in a variety of industries is "Registration" . . .

    Print Registration being the most common where you ensure that adjacent color impression drums are in registration with one another (or clocked in the thread vernacular).

    We use this term a lot in motion control systems to ensure that one part of the machine is in registration with another part of the machine. When making toilet paper or household towel, you need to keep the perf knife in registration with the cut-off knife at the end of the roll - often done at web speeds exceeding 2000 fpm. We are doing a machine now that does laser marking of a formed steel part and we need to make sure that the laser mark is in registration with the parting tool to ensure that we don't cut through the mark when forming the part . . .

    Printing registration - Wikipedia

    Another word is "Indexed" . . . but I digress

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I have heard of screw slots being aligned so they all point the same way. Such as electrical cover plate screws so the slots are vertical as"clocking".
    Spark plugs can be clocked so the gap faces the intake valve.
    Bill D
    I'd class both of those as "aligned" (with...). As you did. And cease.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I have heard of screw slots being aligned so they all point the same way. Such as electrical cover plate screws so the slots are vertical as"clocking".
    Spark plugs can be clocked so the gap faces the intake valve.
    Bill D
    I've also heard that described as spark plug indexing and perhaps indexing might be a more acceptable term to the others.

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    I've heard it being used to time two or more features in a round part, like a bolt circle, to a key way or set screw or even a gear tooth.

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    been a machinist (and other things) since 1974 til 2017. "clocking" came out of the mouths of the old timers way back when I was young. could refer to actual indexing of a part by various means, or a way to locate the part correctly for the next cut so previously machined or just existing features, as in a casting would come out right.

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    There are a number of words that I would consider better, clearer when used in different situations.

    "Clock" or "clocking" is perhaps most used in the UK when referring to dial and dial test indicators. This is probably due to the physical resemblance between the dial face of these indicators and the face of an analog clock. This seems to be a long standing usage and is probably considered proper in the UK and other places that were influenced by their usage.

    From that I get the impression that many types of alignment are referred to as "clocking" because those dial and dial test indicators (aka, clocks) are used in the alignment process. But this most frequently refers to a linear positioning: it's use for an angular one seems to be less common and probably related to an angular process that uses a DI, DTI, or some kind of circular device with a rotating pointer.

    I am a US engineer and I like using terms that are more precise and less likely to lead to misunderstandings. I have not either heard nor used the terms "clock" or "clocking" for angular alignment of any type. This is just not the best, clearest terms for any of these tasks. The terms that I would prefer would vary by the angular task that is at hand. So, if I were setting an apparatus to a desired angle, perhaps using a protractor style scale, with or without a Vernier, I would probably use the word "set" or "set the angle". Someone mentioned the alignment of two or more images. To my mind, image alignment is a linear task, not an angular one even when those images are being created with rotating drums. For such a task the work "alignment" seems to be more descriptive. And if you get into the rotation of the drums that are creating those images, then the word "synchronize" seems to be a better way to express what is needed.

    When spark plug timing is needed, the word "timing" is what I have seen commonly used and it is probably the best one for that situation.

    "Clocking" could be used in any or all of the above situations, but IMHO, it is not the best word to use. I suspect it is used in an attempt to appear to be "cool" and that is not a good or sound engineering practice (again, IMHO).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I have heard of screw slots being aligned so they all point the same way. Such as electrical cover plate screws so the slots are vertical as"clocking".
    i think in this example the term would be "anal" haha

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    I have heard of/used the term “clocking” in the automotive/industrial repair field to reference the reassembly of a part that could be positioned several ways around its central axis. Examples would be the mounting of a new or rebuilt turbocharger so that the flanges align or the nose cone on a replacement starter motor that allows for various application. We very commonly refer to this as “clocking”.


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    “Proper angular alignment”


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    Quote Originally Posted by capnron1969 View Post
    I have heard of/used the term “clocking” in the automotive/industrial repair field to reference the reassembly of a part that could be positioned several ways around its central axis. Examples would be the mounting of a new or rebuilt turbocharger so that the flanges align or the nose cone on a replacement starter motor that allows for various application. We very commonly refer to this as “clocking”.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    same, i was going to use alternator as an example (or a/c compressor clutch coil)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cg285 View Post
    i think in this example the term would be "anal" haha
    "Alignment" "Analment".. ..I think some marriages end that way?

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    It's used for the simple reason that it is an understandable and descriptive term.

    'Proper angular alignment' is a bullshit term, in contrast. Why? For one thing, it makes you sound like you are given to airs. That's what happens when someone speaks in a 'fancy' way that is in fact less accurate. If it were more accurate, then it would be 'good speech'.

    Why is it less accurate? Because angles can exist in more than one plane. Something can be in 'proper angular alignment' in one direction and off in the other. But 'clocking'? A clock is flat and eliminates all the guesswork as to which plane you are talking about. Superior.

    Now, what's really a mystery is why some people use the term to describe walloping another person. As in, "Ed Earl up and clocked Jethro and knocked out his last tooth!"

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    GregSY gets my vote OT: Use of the word "clocking" for rotational angle alignment


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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    It's used for the simple reason that it is an understandable and descriptive term.

    'Proper angular alignment' is a bullshit term, in contrast. Why? For one thing, it makes you sound like you are given to airs. That's what happens when someone speaks in a 'fancy' way that is in fact less accurate. If it were more accurate, then it would be 'good speech'.

    Why is it less accurate? Because angles can exist in more than one plane. Something can be in 'proper angular alignment' in one direction and off in the other. But 'clocking'? A clock is flat and eliminates all the guesswork as to which plane you are talking about. Superior.

    Now, what's really a mystery is why some people use the term to describe walloping another person. As in, "Ed Earl up and clocked Jethro and knocked out his last tooth!"
    Clocking someone may just be short for "cleaning their clock "


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