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How Quality Inspection is Achieved at AST

January 5, 2018 by Christine Berlly

In order to achieve regulatory compliance, bearing distributors must be have the equipment and experience to provide expert quality inspection and product verification services on their own bearings and third-party bearings.

The ABMA (American Bearing Manufacturers Association) has specifications for tolerance definitions and gaging practices for ball and roller Bearings (ABMA-4-1994 (R1999)). It includes terms and definitions of tolerances for the boundary dimensions, running accuracy and internal clearance of ball and roller bearings listed in other ABMA and ISO standards. The standard also includes descriptions of the measuring methods commonly used within bearing industry. However, unless this standard is applied by trained professionals with proper equipment, it is meaningless.

Through the use of video microscopes, dimensional including roundness, radius, & roughness (Ra), hardness, torque, and digital noise/vibration AST has the means to verify bearings boundary and internal dimensional characteristics. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, AST maintains a Tool and Gauge Calibration System, which conforms to ANSI/NCSL Z540-1.

To further ensure that product is exactly the quality level and specifications required, AST’s Engineering Department works closely with its customers technical & engineering departments to provide assistance with bearing selection, proper lubricant, mounting, documentation including CAD files, and elimination of stack-up-tolerance issues.

The equipment and verification resources employed by AST include:

  • Electronic Air Gauges with a resolution of ten millionths of an inch.
  • Vertical Comparators with digital amplifiers with a resolution of one millionth of an inch.
  • “GRW” Noise Tester
  • Taylor Hobson Form Talysurf 50 Profile Analyzer
  • Large bore noise and vibration analyzer
  • Electronic Balances
  • Digital and dial vernier calipers
  • Stereo Microscopes with digital video output
  • Radial Play Gauges with a resolution of twenty millionths of an inch.
  • Mitutoyo No 192-140 12” Vertical Height Gage.
  • Starrett Grade A – Inspection Level Granite Surface Plate.
  • Inch & Metric, Grade 2, Gauge Block Sets.
  • One Model 4TTA Wilson Rockwell Hardness Tester
  • Miniature and Instrument Bearing Torque Tester
  • Plug Gauges
  • Dial Indicators
  • Digital Micrometers
  • Barden Smoothrator

Contact us if you need third party inspection or verification services, AST’s experts are standing-by and ready to work with you.


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