What is an Optical Comparator?

What is an Optical Comparator?

An optical comparator is a device that applies the principles of optics for the inspection of manufactured parts. In a comparator, the magnified silhouette of a part is projected on a screen, and the dimensions and geometry of the part are measured against the prescribed limits.

Optical comparators provide a cost effective solution for non-contact measurement. Optical Comparators are found in shop and lab environments that are often related to product manufacturing activity. An optical comparator is used for a wide range of dimensional inspection applications. Optical Comparator horizontal models work well with parts that need to be fixed, held in a vise, or on centers. Optical Comparator vertical models provide accuracy and are ideal for parts that are placed on the glass insert of the work stage. Optical Comparator vertical systems work well when the parts to be measured are flexible or soft.

What is an Optical Comparator used for?

Optical comparators are inspection machines that project magnified images of parts onto a glass screen using illumination sources, lenses and mirrors for the primary purpose of making 2-D measurements. Optical Comparators have been used for more than 50 years and remain a versatile and cost-effective technology for the monitoring and the processes and quality of a broad range of manufactured parts. An Optical Comparator Originates from static overhead projectors that displayed magnified images of screw threads onto a wall for manual measurement, optical comparators have evolved into full-featured machines that use modern mechanical, electrical and optical technology to minimize inspection time and maximize cost savings.

Optical comparators are easy measurement instruments to use. In less than a couple of hours, users with only a little amount of gaging experience can make accurate measurements using an optical comparator. Because an optical comparator displays the part’s 2-D image on-screen, the image can be easily associated with the part’s 2-D CAD drawing. This simplifies the process of developing measurement procedures for parts from drawings and minimizes the subjectivity of more complex measuring methods.

For more information on an Optical Comparator, please contact Precision Calibration Services, Inc. at 586-779-4516 or use our easy online Contact Form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.