Brunson Instrument Company

A Blog for Metrology Enthusiasts

A Better Mousetrap

David Buck
By David Buck on Jun 27, 2019 12:01:09 PM
By David Buck

The Great Depression may have been the best thing that ever happened to Brunson Instrument Company.

Amber Nelson Brunson repairing precision surveying equipment in his shop, 1929.

The founder's story is like many of the early 1900s: an ambitious, gifted and intelligent young man moves from a hardscrabble farm (and a log cabin!) to the big city to look for work.

Amber Nelson Brunson was forced to leave school after the 3rd grade to help his family make ends meet, but what he lacks in formal education he makes up for in mechanical aptitude, design skills and determination.

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The Pharaohs Were a Bit Short-Sighted

Mark Meuret
By Mark Meuret on May 23, 2019 12:02:48 PM

The Egyptian pyramids have stood for millennia, but they could have been stronger.

Source: KennyOMG via Wikimedia

Yes, even after enduring 5,000 years of sandstorms and erosion the Pyramids at Giza still stand tall and proud… but they could have been built even better. Instead of four sides, Egyptian engineers could have used a tetrahedron--a three-sided pyramid on a triangular base.

The stability of a tetrahedron would have made the pyramids even more durable… and maybe even useful. Think of the metrology applications of using that solid structure as a base!

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Six Challenges of Laser Trackers

Deighton Brunson
By Deighton Brunson on Mar 7, 2019 4:19:23 PM

Picture what might have happened if you gave R2-D2 a laser interferometer. He may have become the first laser tracker in that galaxy somewhere, long ago and far away. There are some similarities, after all, between R2-D2 and trackers. They are both sophisticated devices that beep, spin their heads, and project light. However, instead of projecting images of Princess Leia, a laser tracker uses encoders and a distance-measuring technology to track and specify the location of an SMR target in 3-D space. Both are pretty cool.

And just as Luke had to understand R2-D2, laser tracker operators need to fully understand their trackers to get the most out of them, and avoid introducing errors, while measuring. Below is a list of some of the issues that you may want to watch out for when using a laser tracker.

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Leonardo da Vinci, Tiny Bubbles, and.... Photogrammetry?

Deighton Brunson
By Deighton Brunson on Feb 20, 2019 2:50:18 PM

Many of us are familiar with digital photogrammetry – you know, the science of establishing 3D coordinates using some nice digital cameras and some very cool software. But did you know that the principles of photogrammetry date back to the late 1400s? One of the first known proponents of this was actually Leonardo Da Vinci, who studied how to use projective geometry as a measurement tool. In the 1800s, Aime Laussedat pioneered the use of terrestrial photographs for topographic map creation from hot air balloons. How fun would that have been?

But if we fast-forward to the 1990s from Ye Olden Days, we see a time when software was getting much more powerful and computers were getting smaller. We also see pretty cool digital cameras being developed with high density imaging arrays. Put all those things together, and voila! You have modern digital photogrammetry. But wait, though, something’s missing….

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How often do you change the oil in your laser tracker?

Jim Vaughan
By Jim Vaughan on Feb 4, 2019 3:37:18 PM
A laser tracker provides the ultimate in measurement accuracy. Portable and practical for use in the field, they help many industries ensure quality, safety and efficiency.

However, from time to time, even precise equipment needs verification to ensure that it is still performing within specifications set by the manufacturer (known as MPEs, or Maximum Permissible Errors).

This is exactly why the United States Air Force (AFMetcal) asked NIST to develop an Interim Field Test for laser trackers. That standard became known as IR-8016, the NIST Field Test.

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Would you drive a Ferrari on bald tires?

Jim Vaughan
By Jim Vaughan on Jan 18, 2019 3:22:30 PM

Then why make the same mistake with your Laser Tracker?

Most of us have heard the proverb that ends, "For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail." While most companies have moved beyond horseshoes to the high-tech realms of lasers, the failure of the most inconsequential-seeming part of your equipment can destroy your entire measurement operation.

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Case Study: Properly aligned sawmill equipment lasts longer, saves money for Brunson client

Brunson Instrument Company
By Brunson Instrument Company on Mar 20, 2017 10:43:48 AM

Brunson helps Buchanan Hardwoods use precision alignment to uncover costs and add revenue to their bottom line

Buchanan Hardwoods - a leader in the lumber industry, supplying hardwood products to markets worldwide - came to Brunson Instrument Company in 2016 after installing a new carriage track in their Alabama sawmill.

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How to use Simple Geometry to Align Complex Machines – Part 2

Matt Settle
By Matt Settle on Feb 25, 2016 9:20:36 AM

Proper alignment is a core requirement for industrial processing equipment. In this blog series, we are learning to speak the "language" of machine geometry to bridge the communication gap between machinists and metrologists. By representing components as geometric entities, we clarify the alignment requirements and define which instrument is best suited for the task. 

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About the blog

The Brunson blog is designed to be a platform for collaborative exploration in the field of metrology. You can expect to explore new Brunson products, hear from industry professionals invited to be contributing editors, and gain insight from customers who use Brunson products. So if you are one of the chosen few people who understand that Metrology is not a study of the weather, please join us here.