Which looks more durable to you?
The value of a Bostwick Consistometer is that it’s easy to use, which makes it simple to do repeatable testing. The Consistometer is made of stainless steel. One would think that this means a long and useful life. However, as I regularly discover, the real world often defies theory.
A Consistometer’s value is diminished if its leveling plate and screws get bent out of alignment. The story that follows tells how people in the real world handle, or mishandle, this instrument, and what can be done to save it.
A Bostwick’s Life
It’s 11:30 in the morning, and my humans have just pulled me out of the package in which I was shipped to them. After taking a moment to admire me, a brand-new Bostwick Consistometer, they put me to use. The screws at one end of me are adjusted to make me level on the table, and the door to my sample section is lowered and held in place with a spring-operated trigger.
My humans fill the sample trough, ready a timer, and release the trigger, opening the gate. They note how long it takes for the sample they’ve loaded to spread to a certain notch on my trough.
Their test complete, they walk me over to a sink and gently wash and dry me. We’re ready for the next test!
Two weeks later…
My humans sure have put me to work! I think we’ve both gotten used to the drill now, because it’s not taking quite as long to run each test. I love our efficiency, but I wonder if my humans haven’t taken it a step too far. They’ve started tossing me into the sink after we’ve finished a test, rather than taking the time to walk me over to it, and the wear is starting to show.
Some time later…
I think my humans are starting to get frustrated with me. It’s taking them longer to adjust my leveling screws because a particularly large dent on the plate that holds the screws has made it difficult to keep me level. I know they’re wondering if the results they’re getting are correct. What are we going to do?
Some time after that…
I’ve been relegated to the work closet – right in the back behind an old pail and some out-of-date cleaning supplies. It’s pretty dark back here. And quiet. Too quiet.
I miss getting tossed around.
Blinding light…and then…
I find myself in a different warehouse. A mechanic starts to remove the metal piece holding my leveling screws. Oh no! He’s going to take me apart!
Wait a minute…he’s not taking me apart. He’s putting a new piece on – a much thicker piece of metal that has its own, sturdier-looking screws. He makes some final adjustments and sets me down.
I’m back in the old warehouse – not in the dingy closet, but back out in full view. My humans see me and walk over, curious. They pick me up and inspect the alterations. I wait in a state of nervous tension as they set me down and walk away…
But they come back! With a load of sample! In no time, we’re running tests again. This time, when they toss me to the sink, the metal around my leveling screws doesn’t dent. We can run test after test, and I’ll still be going strong.
It’s a good life.
We developed what we call an Abuse Protection Option (APO) that extends the testing life of Bostwick Consistometers in the face of very rough treatment. Click on the image below to discover more details and to find out how to get APOs for your Bostwicks.
Click this image to learn more about the Abuse Protection Option
I hope that this short saga of a Bostwick Consistometer’s Life was useful and entertaining.
I remain a bewildered citizen of the Test Equipment World.
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By Art Gatenby