||All Other Bolt Gages
are "One-Point" bolt gages
term lease plans available with option to buy. 100%
of lease can apply towards the purchase price.
DEMO units (if available): $18,500. Regular Purchase Price:
(These are US prices. Prices to other
countries are higher and vary depending on taxes, regulations, and
distributors.) SureBolt includes
a $3000 Panasonic Toughbook Laptop,
guarantee, Microsoft Office, 13.3 inch color touchscreen, full size keyboard, familiar
Windows 2000/XP operating
system, and much more.
New DSP patented technology allows dramatic improvement in
reliability, precision, and ease of use.
SureBolt records enough data to prove whether each bolt was properly
Easily customizable: call for estimates.
|Prices: $13,000 - $27,000 (two units as low as
$13,000 to $15,000 without
options). Peak-jumping errors, reliability problems.
Black & white 5
inch display, cryptic keys, cryptic operating system, ... (the
$27,000 unit does have a color display) See links below.
Have never been widely used because of
2. Much NDT training and experience required
3. Harder to use reliably.
4. When a bolted joint fails, you cannot prove you took a good
No custom applications without major development costs.
|More reliability by using the
patented whole echo, not just one point.
||All use just one point (zero
|More precision by using the whole
echo, not just one point.
||All use just one point (zero
|Full color 13.3"
Touchscreen display. 1024 x 768 XGA. Full size keyboard.
Ruggedized computer technology.
Press to get full size
Toughbook Model 72 configuration.
|Black and white
3" to 6" display.
Display is 4 to 13 times smaller (126 square inches
versus 36 to 9 sq. in.).
Only a few buttons with cryptic labels. Please go to the web
links below to see for yourself. The competition asked
us to remove their units' pictures. So we give you the text links.
|Easy to use and learn. Requires far less
training. Human minds remember graphics better than text. The steps to a
good measurement become obvious and easily understandable.
||Far more training and re-training. Users must
learn a whole new operating system, bolt gage terminology, ... etc.
Unless the customer uses these one-point bolt gages weekly, they will not be able to use
them properly without opening the manual. Cryptic terminology and cryptic steps.
See one of their users manual:
|Far greater reliability. NASA
used the SureBolt prototype on Space Station bolts that were
impossible for other bolt gages. SureBolt proved to be reliable on all
measurements and much more sensitive to tension and temperature
The new patented DSP technique proved to be more reliable on
every test and every bolt. NASA was so amazed, that they asked if SureBolt
|With a lot of training and laboratory tests,
NASA has used these
"One-Point" bolt gages for years. NASA engineers take
Polaroid pictures of the bolt echoes before and after tensioning.
even on strong signal ET umbilical bolts, NASA throws away
approximately one third of the measurements because they cannot be
trusted. Yet, when NASA used the SureBolt prototype, none of the
measurements had to be discarded.
|Easily compare echoes. SureBolt
records and displays your echo when there was zero tension in your
bolt. The new tensioned echo is laid on top of this zero tensioned
echo. The zero tension echo is in one color and the tensioned echo
is shifted in time and in a different color.
Therefore it is easy to
see for yourself, if you have moved the transducer (signal loss) and
if the tensioned echo has distorted and how much.
size 52 Kbytes.
|Many bolt gages do not show you any
echo. Some of the latest bolt gages try to show you a small portion of
the echo on their tiny 5" B/W screens (like a small scope). There are
comparisons to the zero tensioned echo.
So how can you see or verify
that the distortion is within limits? You have to rely on some
other cryptic measurement. Distortion can cause "Peak
Jumping" (20% to 60% error). Peak jumping has limited the usefulness of these
"one-point" bolt gages for 20+ years.
|Will work with weaker signals. Can be used
on a greater variety of bolts.
||Must be able to get a strong signal.
Therefore, will not work on some bolts.
All bolt gages must get an echo into a bolt. Lower frequencies couple
to the bolt better. But, lower frequencies have more unreliability and
less resolution for
all other gages because they use a single "Zero-Crossing"
(the slope is less).
SureBolt works even better with less damped and lower frequency
transducers. SureBolt lets you take advantage of the greater signal
strength and signal to noise ratios. No tradeoffs required.
|All other bolt gages work better with higher
frequency transducers that are highly damped. Therefore weaker
These higher frequencies make it harder to see the echo
distortion, even if you use a Polaroid (like NASA
Users have to sacrifice signal strength to get resolution. They
have to make a tradeoff between frequency, damping, resolution, and
signal distortion. See how this increases the experience and training
|Graph your tension changes in real-time and
in color. See multiple passes. See stability.
size 60 Kbytes.
|No color, no graphing capabilities. See
|Easy to enter notes, file names, special
parameters, tension calibration constants, temperature, ...
with very limited choices.
Requires cryptic codes. The user manual has to be read. Cryptic
way to enter all the parameters necessary to take a tension reading.
|Graphics, long labels, large screen, and
on-line help let you quickly understand how ultrasonics work. No
||The user must understand ultrasonic bolt
gages before he can use one of these. The language is very cryptic because
there is not enough room on a 4" to 6" B/W screen.
Also there is not enough room to
show all the needed real-time information on one screen. See
|Large on-screen buttons. Each button is large enough for
a long label. Also there is on-line
dynamic help for each button.
buttons are so small that the button labels can only be 8 to 10
characters long. And some buttons have a label that is very
cryptic - you have to open the manual. No on-line help.
|Each button does only one function. Full
||Buttons have more than one function.
Example: you must
press 3 or more buttons, just to enter one ASCII character for a file
XP/2000 operating system.
||Learn a new cryptic operating system.
|Store each set of bolt files, with all your
on-line notes, in their own test folders. Files are Excel compatible.
||No notes. Cryptic file system.
|See the whole echo train.
This makes it easy for you to
learn and show others how ultrasonics work.
||Too cryptic. No whole echo train capability.
|Playback echoes and graph data.
||No playback capabilities.
|When something goes wrong, what caused it?
Prove to safety that you took a reliable tension reading. If the bolt
breaks or comes loose, you have proof that your tension data was based
on a non-distorted, or distorted echo (if your
installer made a mistake).
Therefore it is easier for you to investigate
what really caused the problem.
|You have no way to
investigate the cause of the failure. You cannot prove to safety or your boss,
you took a good measurement. If the bolt
breaks, it may have been a good or distorted echo, but you have no way
of proving it.
Therefore it is harder for you to investigate errors.
|Higher accuracy using less measurements. Easier to make these measurements. Built in bolt calibration
calculations. See SureBolt's "Spare
Parameter". You can use the "Spare parameter"
to calculate your bolt's coefficients.
||Less accuracy. More measurements
required. For improved measurements, the user needs to calculate
the bolt parameters for each bolt. This requires measuring more bolt
parameters than is really necessary (like
the ultrasonic velocity for each bolt) or do the calculation by hand.
|Use SureBolt to calculate and record bolt calibration
||Not available. Do this
|Hardware and user interface features use the
familiar standardized PC technology. Updated multiple times per year.
New features, options, ... etc.
||No regular system upgrades, no add-in
software, no easy upgrade capabilities, ..., etc.
|You have no need to transfer data to another machine
to do your reports with Excel. You can use Excel (comes already
installed) to write your reports.
You can use the floppy disc, Ethernet, USB, etc. to share you reports and
backup your data.
|You must install and learn how to use custom
software on a remote PC to download the data files.
No floppy disc.
|No hidden information. The screen and memory
are large enough to let you see everything that is going on.
||Hidden information. You have to trust their
cryptic distortion and signal strength indicators.
|Simple equation on the screen lets you see
how tension is derived.
(Echo change MINUS change due to temperature) TIMES
Calibrated coefficient = Pounds tension
Two calibrated coefficients required (change in echo time due to
tension and change in echo time due to temperature). Both are easily
|Read the manual on how the change in echo
time is converted to a change in length, and then converted to a
change in tension. See
Three calibrated coefficients are required (change in ultrasonic
velocity with tension, change in length with tension, and change in
length with temperature).
uses PC technology and industry standard interfaces.
is easy to repair and troubleshoot. Industry standard interfaces give
a long useful life. It will be easy to replace any failed components (PCMCIA
card, CD bay, or laptop).
||Useful life limited to the
manufacturer's limited resources. No hardware or software is based on
an industry standard. Therefore more likely to have some parts that go
obsolete. Therefore making future repairs more difficult (more
|Vastly easier and more reliable.
Enough data is recorded to prove your measurement was reliable.
One customer called up and said he wanted SureBolt because SureBolt was
not "tweekable". He had employees who learned to trick the other gages
to "read" the value they wanted. SureBolt records enough to catch this fraud.
Like banks do not have to trust their low salary tellers to handle
$300,000, because they have ways to catch this fraud.
|Have never been widely used because of
2. more training and experience required
3. harder to use.
4. The operator got the bolt-gage to read the desired value, but how
do you know it was a good measurement? You cannot verify the
5. Employees have been known to turn dials and knobs (lying to the
boltgage about temp, ultrasonic velocity, ... etc.) to get the desired
value, so they can go home.
|Many more advantages.
||Many more weaknesses.