Scott Testing Machines, once the industry leader in a wide variety of tensile testing categories and still widely used in many industries, designed their equipment in the pre-digital era. With the rapid advances in digital technology in recent years mechanical testers have become less and less useful for product and quality testing.
Recognizing these limitations, PTES rolled out a Digital Conversion Program in September 2011 to extend the life cycle of many Scott tensile testers, dramatically improving accuracy, reducing cost of ownership and improving safety (see original post on 9/6/2011). This upgrade provides a very cost effective way to achieve a wide range of benefits for end users but it still comes up short in other categories.
In order to meet the needs of even more customers PTES is rolling out another option: the second generation digital weighing system upgrade. This updated offering includes a digital processor, load cell, digital LCD panel display and software. That’s right….SOFTWARE.
Easy Integration. The Gage Buster 2 processor and load cell mount seemlessly into your existing tester and eliminate the moving parts in the weigh head. The drive system, clamps and sample loading all work the same way, reducing the “learning curve”.
The only change is the digital display and ability to save data and/or connect to a PC. The Gage Buster automatically starts when a pre-determined load is reached so you simply load a sample, pull the lever and the load is displayed on the LCD panel while the test is logged into memory.
LCD Controlled Processor. The Gage Buster 2 is a very versatile low cost processor capable of handling a wide variety of materials, test set ups and procedures. Here are just some of the benefits:
- Store up to 2000 test results to permanent memory
- Store up to 6 test methods to permanent memory
- Auto-Test-Reset feature allows the indicator to reset itself for the next test without operator interaction.
- Stores up to 6 load cell calibrations for easy switching between load cells
- Optional USB Flash Drive allows user to save set ups and results to a memory stick so they can be brought to a PC with software, emailed, or used on another Gage Buster processor if multiple test machines are in use.
- Optional Gage Safe software allows users to import and view test data, graph and much more (more below).
Software. Many older Scott tensile testers used a manual chart recorder for completing a wide variety of tests. This set up is prone to many mechanical problems and requires ordering expensive chart paper to record results.
The real advantage to the second generation upgrade is the ability to review and save test results, set ups and other parameters on a PC in much the same way that you would with an electronic tensile tester. Gage Safe Software benefits:
- Save, display and store test results in a variety of formats or export the data to popular software applications like Excel for further analysis.
- Display test results live on screen, click on points for actual data values, adjust grids and see multiple curves on the same display.
- Export test parameters, load cell configurations and other data to a PC for safe storage and use as a back up in the event of damage to the tester or processor.
To learn more about the software please review the Gage Safe Brochure.
Cost Effective. As with the original digital conversion, the second generation digital conversion provides many of the same benefits in terms of maintenance costs. The same mechanical parts are eliminated, costly chart paper is no longer necessary when graphing to a PC and time spent training is at a minimum.
And the upgrade cost is still far lower than the purchase of an electronic tensile tester. There are more configuration options with the second generation conversion, but a “typical” set up involves a total cost of around $3499 (does not include PC). Compared to the price of a new 500 lb single column electronic tester (about $11,300) this is significantly less expensive and all your clamps, fixtures, etc are ready to use. No additional mounting hardware is needed.
Conclusion. This latest upgrade offering provides even more benefits to Scott customers than our previous conversions. And PTES is working to develop a variety of common test procedures into the set up of the Gage Buster 2. If you have always wanted the ability to save and display your test results on a PC but your company budget did not allow for it a Scott conversion may be for you.