Market Report on Measuring Tools (Part 1)
Perhaps, we should make it clear that we’ve made on outlook on primarily standard line and angular measuring devices, such as micrometers, angle meters, calipers, bore gauges, etc. and also the devices which replace them in light of the world engineering and industrial progress: height meters, pneumogauges and reading devices.
Of course, the outlook won’t be complete without the figures, but we will dwell on that in our further reports.
It’s a strange world. Metrologists, engineers, old-school workers stubbornly stick to working with measuring devices made in USSR.
The quality of tools produced back in USSR times was chiefly good, so lots of different precision and standard measuring instruments of that time ( micrometers, bore gauges, etc.) are still widely used at work.
Nevertheless, even top-quality tools from the past breaks, may be dropped and not always inherited by the following generations. Strategic supplies of unsold goods from USSR times have almost run out and there are only names which remain from a lot of plants.
Now it is difficult for the remaining USSR plants to keep to the same quality level. It’s not the aim of the given outlook to find the reason for that. We just state the fact that nowadays quality is far from what it used to be and a lot of positions in demand are not produced at all, although we may find them in pricelists and offers of once respectable enterprises.
Primarily only well-known names of plants from that time are left, but what stands behind those names is PRC offers, which can’t boast the best quality while the price is close to that of the genuine European manufacturers.
If, for example, one needs a caliper just to check the box, for the process where the precision and reliability is not of any importance and the measurements are required once in a month, the standard quality of PRC production might be enough.
However, there is also production with a high level of responsibility, which is produced in rough conditions (dust, damp, etc.) where microns are important. To insure precise measurements one needs a premium-quality tool, which can’t be interfered with dust or dirt and damp, because it can be placed in a bucket with water for one week and it will still work with precision.
Now we are not speaking about the range and the possibilities of measurements of premium-class measuring devices, as far as, for sure, it is difficult for a non-professional to produce a reliable and non-standard (non-straightline) measuring device.
Taking into account all the abilities of the best Chinese producers, we can’t say that they don’t produce all the spectrum of devices. Sometimes a customer doesn’t have any other way out, but to address the genuine premium-class producer ( given that this producer possesses such kind of production).
To look at the state of things from the perspective of monetary issues, let’s consider the purchase of a standard electronic caliper (150 mm) with an average market price of $ 35 and a premium-class caliper amounting to $ 100. Which one would You prefer? Probably that for $ 35. And it won’t be a year of constant usage (if, of course, numeric display is all right) that You will have to throw it away. We will leave the reliability and precision of the cheap variant without comments. We’d better get back to that of premium-class quality with carbide or ceramic jaw for superprecision measurements with the opportunity to measure details right on the machine, without paying attention to coolant and oil.
To be continued…