Choosing a Force Gauge
Posted on July 12, 2022 | in Ergonomics
VelocityEHS ergonomist Jennie Dustin shares key features to consider when purchasing a force gauge and takes a closer look at three common brands.
Hi, my name is Jenny Dustin. I’m a certified professional ergonomist here at Humantech (now VelocityEHS Ergonomics). Today, I hope to talk to you about three different types of force gauges and when you can use each and some of the features and functions of each of them.
Force gauges, as you guys know, are some of the most important tools that we use as ergonomists, so it’s important to know when to use which, and it’s also important to note that all of the force gauges I’m talking about today, they do have both a push and a pull function as well as a peak force and sustained force function. So those are some things that you typically look for in any force gauge that you buy.
So, let’s go ahead and start with the Shimpo. The Shimpo is an analog force gauge. You can order it in either metric or imperial. It’s capable of pulling different capacities. You can order different capacities, but up to 100 pounds or 50 kilograms, and the nice thing about the Shimpo is it comes with several small attachments, so it can be very good at measuring things like clips or grommet insertion forces. And then, the last thing about the Shimpo is that because it is analog, there’s not any electronic parts that you have to worry about, so it tends to be a bit more durable. You don’t have to worry about getting it wet. Things like that, and it also comes in a smaller case. So, for example, if you’re traveling from plant-to-plant and you need to bring a force gauge with you, it’s a bit smaller and compact.
The next option is the ergoFET. The ergoFET is actually a digital force gauge. It comes in, again, can be ordered in either metric or imperial, and it comes in capacities up to 300 pounds. The ergoFET is capable of doing data logging, if that’s something important to you, and the nice thing about the ergoFET is that it has a large surface area on the back, but also has a lot of attachments that have large surface areas, so it can be very useful for, for example, a vehicle body panel where it’s your entire hand that’s pushing, so you can actually capture that with the ergoFET.
The last force gauge we’re going to talk about is the Chatillon. The Chatillon is also a digital force gauge and, unlike the others, it’s actually capable of switching between units on the fly. So it can switch between imperial and metric as you need it to, which is very nice. It has a force capability of up to 500 pounds and it’s also capable of data logging. The Chatillon also has some of these small attachments that we saw in the Shimpo, but it has such a very broad range of force capabilities, that it is capable of doing many different things so it can be a good all-around force gauge.
So, those are three different types of force gauges. Obviously, there are many other different types. The really key thing to take away is that you need to know what your situation is at your site, what capabilities you need, and really make sure you find the force gauge that’s appropriate for you.
As always, you can find more information on Humantech (now ehs.com) and thanks very much for watching.