With Chauvin Arnoux, Dover College students know the drill!

When repeated failures of the electronic tachometers fitted to pillar drills in the student workshop at Dover College meant that students were at risk of being unable to complete their assignments in time for assessment, the college needed to find a fast, reliable and affordable fix. Off-the-shelf digital panel meters from Chauvin Arnoux were the answer – they were available for fast delivery from stock, they were less expensive than replacements from the original manufacturer and, during more than seven months of operation, they have proved to be completely reliable.

Dover College has a well-equipped workshop where students following engineering courses carry out hands-on practical work that forms an important part of their final course assessment. Because drilling is such a frequent and essential operation in almost every engineering project, the workshop’s two pillar drills are vital pieces of equipment.

To ensure that the drills are being used correctly, they are fitted with electronic tachometers that allow the students to confirm that they have selected the correct drilling speed for the work in hand. This is important because, as well as shortening the life of the drill bits, using the wrong speed can increase the risk of accidents. For this reason, the college does not allow the drills to be used unless the tachometer is functioning correctly.

Recently, however, the tachometer on one of the drills failed, reducing the workshop’s drilling capacity by 50% and quickly creating a backlog of student work. A replacement tachometer, supplied by the drill manufacturer was fitted, but this also failed after a short time. Then the tachometer fitted to the second drill also failed which meant that both drills were out of action at the most critical time of the academic year, when the students were working on their final assessment pieces.

The drill supplier was asked to investigate the problem and to offer replacement tachometers but, because the drills were by then out of warranty, it quoted a very high price for carrying out this work. Looking for an alternative – and rather more affordable – solution, Dover College approached Chauvin Arnoux for help.

While Chauvin Arnoux does not supply dedicated tachometers, the company’s engineers knew that its versatile µDIGI1-F digital panel meter, which is most often used for monitoring electrical parameters, had a tachometer function. A Chauvin Arnoux engineer took a sample of this meter from stock and visited Dover College to assess its suitability for the application.

Bob Ayling, Dover College and Peter Halloway, Chauvin Arnoux

It was found that not only did it function perfectly, it was also compatible with the sensor fitted to the drill shaft, so no modification to the drill would be needed, other than to devise a simple adapter plate to mount the new instrument. And, as a very welcome bonus for the college, the Chauvin Arnoux µDIGI1-F was less than half the price of a replacement tachometer from the original drill manufacturer.

“We were absolutely delighted with the equipment from Chauvin Arnoux and with the outstanding service provided by the company,” said Bob Ayling, skills practitioner at Dover College. “We fitted the new digital panel meters to both of our pillar drills and were able to get them back in action in time for our students to complete their assignments, which led to much relief all round! The new meters function perfectly and do exactly what we want. And, of course, we were very happy about the price!”

At the time of writing, the Chauvin Arnoux µDIGI1-F digital panel meters fitted to the pillar drills at Dover College have been in regular use for more than seven months, and throughout this time they have performed faultlessly. In fact, the college is so satisfied with them that it has decided to make Chauvin Arnoux its first port of call for all of its future monitoring requirements – electrical and mechanical.

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