Automotive Ball Joint Gauge

Having just designed a new automated, robot-tended cell for producing studs for automotive ball joints, Federal-Mogul quickly realized the need for an equally impressive gauging solution.

Federal-Mogul approached Autonetics about a turn-key inspection system after several other vendors failed to provide a working solution.

The SGU, or Stand-alone Gauging Unit, is a high-speed, non-contact, mobile gauging station. The rugged, mobile design allows for the gauge to be quickly moved between production cells. No setup or tear-down operations required.

Autonetics met with Federal-Mogul engineers, collected project requirements, obtained sample parts, and delivered a completed gauge beating quoted lead times. The gauge was delivered in the Summer of 2014 and is still use today.

Features Measured

  • Ball Sphericity

  • Ball Diameter

  • Neck Diameter

  • Taper

  • Taper True Position

  • Undercut Diameter

  • Distance: Sphere to Top of Part

  • Thread Major OD

  • Thread Minor OD

  • Pitch Diameter

  • Thread True Position

The design and build of this gauge presented many challenges. Optical micrometers were the best choice of sensor technology, but the physical size of the sensor enclosures prevented measurement at the “neck” of the part — the diameter was too small. 

To overcome this challenge, Autonetics implemented a system of prisms designed to bend the LED light source 90°. This configuration allowed the sensors to be mounted in such a way that would cover the smallest and largest portions of the part – avoiding the need for multiple part configurations.

Autonetics’ metrology team are pioneers in factory floor metrology. Each gauge is hand-crafted to provide consistent, reliable results. Through the clever use of modern-day technology, experienced design engineers, and dedicated leadership, Autonetics delivers affordable gauging solutions for the automotive industry.


Mobile Precision Inspection Technology