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When installing thrust washers, spacers or shims into your application, a key characteristic is flatness. Flatness is defined as a part having a true horizontal surface, without a slope, tilt or curve. This is critical for our customers, and thus it is critical to Northern Industrial Manufacturing. We have a variety of in-process checks to ensure our product is flat coming off the press and throughout the different operations.
In GD&T, flatness is how flat a part is relative to a known datum. It is a geometric condition that apply to tools, instruments, work pieces and of course metal shims. Flatness measures the level of curve or slope and the plane where highest “point” on the surface is parallel to the datum or even the surface.
To ensure our product will be effective in customers’ applications we have partnered with a variety of gauging companies to develop a method of effectively checking for flatness. This gauging technology allows us to measure thickness to 0.00001 inches (0.0005 mm). This attention to detail has won us awards like the GM Global Supplier Excellence Award, and ZF Supplier of the year.
Northern Industrial Manufacturing’s extensive array of part testing capabilities will bring your components to market on time and within budget at the highest level of quality possible. With a goal of being the automotive industry’s “go to” source for high quality parts manufacturing, we would love to provide you a competitive quote.
The flatness of a part in certain application can determine how well the part will perform depending on its purpose and intended motion. If the purpose of the part involves full contact with a flat surface and it is really flat, the part will be able to make full contact with the surface. If the part is meant to slide or push on another surface and it is really flat, the part will perform well on its motion.
The units of measurement for flatness is usually in inches (English) and millimeters (S.I.). The flatness of a part is usually measured with a height gauge that can be run across the surface. For this to work with accuracy, the height gauge and the surface of the part needs to be parallel. If necessary, the surface of the part and the height will also have to be parallel to the table surface. That won’t always be the case though as some parts will have angled sides, such as ax blades, so they’ll need a wedge to hold the measured surface parallel.
Evaluation of flatness for parts is extremely important, especially for high quality precision metal shims. Because these precision shims will likely be in tight space between parts in a shaft, it would be important that the precision shim is flat on both sides so it doesn’t push on either one of the parts. It’s also important for each and every shim to be flat as well, so they can stack up together when they’re placed in a shaft.
In conclusion, the flatness of a part is significant as it may impact its performance in its purpose.
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