"We have pioneered the very first hand-held ultrasonic gage with a color display with live waveform (A-scan) for echo verification and the ability to vibrate the gage on an alarm condition, which is great for noisy environments. We always strive for our products to be based on valuable customer feedback. Echo 9 represents all the new features our customers have been requesting," adds Carnavale.
NED: How is this gage different from similar products?
DC: We offer a larger, high-resolution 3.5-in. sunlight-readable display; rechargeable on-board batteries; a device that can be used in both corrosion and precision applications (corrosion typically uses dual probes with 0.001-in. resolution, while a single element with 0.0001-in. resolution is used in precision applications); custom boot with stand; removable SD card memory up to 32 Gb, larger file sizes; and editable IDs. The gage is field-upgradeable to add software options directly from the keypad, such as live waveform, datalogger to interface with Microsoft Excel and B-scan, available Bluetooth for field offload of data, and vibrate and change color of the display on an alarm condition.
NED: What problems did you encounter during the development process?
DC: With an entirely new platform and custom case, a great deal of product packaging for custom molding was time-consuming, particularly when we were designing the case with IP67 in mind. Also there is a great amount of custom software such as with the datalogger interfacing with a micro SD card with larger and editable IDs, which also requires more time to implement.
NED: How long did it take from conception to final production?
NED: Did cost factors play a role in the final design of this product?
DC: Yes, as there are always tradeoffs of feature vs. benefit. At the beginning of the project, we always set clear cost goals to ensure that we are competitive on a world-wide basis. Also, there will always be tradeoffs in what the market will accept, even with innovative products like Echo 9.
NED: Who do you consider your target audience to be and what benefits will they realize from using this product?
DC: Our gages are designed to be very simple to use with minimal keys and can be held in one hand. We designed a custom rubber boot with stand and built-in finger strap for easy and ergonomic holding of the case in either a left- or right-hand configuration. The Echo 9 platform is field upgradeable so we can address low cost needs on up to the most challenging ultrasonic thickness gage applications. The benefits are a larger, high-resolution 3.5-in. sunlight-readable display, rechargeable on-board batteries, capability of being used in both corrosion and precision applications, custom boot with stand, removable SD card memory up to 32 Gb, larger file sizes, and editable IDs. Most users are in QC/QA or a field inspector. We sell to refineries, inspection companies, and factories producing parts such as steel, plastic, and glass.
NED: Care to add any other interesting sidelights?
DC: We are a U.S. manufacturer of quality, hand-helf thickness gages with unique features outlined above. We also offer prompt and personal services not always found in industry today. The leaders of Danatronics have more than 75 yr of industry experience.