Automated Thread Gauge

Our Automated Thread Gauge is a testament to Autonetics’ ongoing dedication to advancing factory floor metrology. First introduced in 2009, the AGU has been tried and tested in the toughest Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) manufacturing lines across North and South America.

The verdict from every plant has been the same: it just works.

What is the AGU

The AGU is an automated, high-speed, in-process, non-contact measurement system designed to automate the process of OD thread inspection.

The gauge quickly and accurately measures all OD features of threaded pipe. Originally designed for API threads, the technology has quickly been adapted to semi-premium and premium thread types. Including those with negative flanks.

How Does it Work

The AGU is installed downstream from a pipe threader (CNC lathe, PMC, etc). After a pipe is threaded, it is transferred down the line to a blow-off station (also supplied by Autonetics). The blow-off station ensures that all water, coolant, and other debris are removed from the threads prior to inspection.

AGU 4 Gauge Head

After blow-off the pipe is transferred into the gauging station where a robotic arm is used to position the gauge head on the face of the pipe. A precision 7th axis linear stage is actuated to traverse the length of the threads while the sensor array collects tens of thousands of data points.

The gauge head is rotated to several positions around the pipe to build a composite image of the threads.

Once the scan rotations are completed the robot retracts to the home position and the pipe is cleared for transfer out of the cell.

Features Measured

Even before the robot has completed its return home the results of the thread inspection are processed and presented on the Autonetics high-resolution touch-screen HMI.

All calculations are performed in accordance with API Specification 5B Sixteenth Edition, dated September 2017. The following thread elements are measured:

The Interface

The AGU interface presents a clear and concise summary of each pipe inspected. Powerful trend charting is available to allow operators to make adjustments to the threader prior to an element exceeding the tolerance limits.

Tolerances for each API thread type / diameter combination are pre-loaded onto the gauge. A “Work Order”, which defines the current thread type being produced and sets the appropriate tolerances, is created manually or via input from the handling PLC. All tolerances can be adjusted through the HMI or via remote input.

AGU HMI Home Screen - Thread Inspection Results
Supported Pipe & Thread Types

Through the use of an automated tool changer, the AGU supports pipe diameters from 2-3/8″ up to 13-3/8″. Changeover time between measurement heads is less than 45 seconds and can be fully automated via a tool rack positioned in the AGU cell.

All API thread types are supported: Eight round tubing and casing, long and short threads, and buttress casing.

Additionally, custom specialty threads can be added to the AGU. Including semi-premium and premium threads with negative flanks.


Each AGU installation is tailored to fit the customer’s manufacturing facility. Considerations of existing infrastructure, floor space, thread types and pipe diameters produced, integration with with existing systems, and even cycles times all play a key role in pricing an AGU.

As such there is no one-price-fits-all. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and let us quickly prepare a budgetary proposal for your finishing line.

Autonomous Gauging Unit 4

Contact Autonetics today to speak directly with a thread inspection expert.

  • Category

  • Purpose

    In-Process Thread Inspection
  • Industry

    Oil Country Tubular Goods
  • Accuracy

    0.0005 in
  • Repeatability

    +/- 0.0002
  • Supported Pipe

    2-3/8" to 13-3/8"
  • Cycle Time

    30 - 60 sec