PAGE 41 — COMPAC SWISS TEST INDICATOR

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Long Island Indicator Service

PROFESSIONAL REPAIRS & SALES IN THE U.S.A. SINCE 1959

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Roy Meyer and team


Compac Swiss

test indicators and dial indicators

World famous Compac dial indicators, Compac test indicators and Compac dial bore gages are the finest Swiss-made measuring instruments available. These gages have all the features which have made Compac so desirable: durability, long life, and accuracy in which every machinist concerned with performance should invest. Since the 1940's these Compac indicators have been the best quality available.

Initially an independent Swiss company, Tesa Division of Hexagon Metrology is the current manufacturer of these tools.

In 2005 they took the step of reducing the number of inch-reading models in their catalog and focusing on the metric. Some of their previous inch models are now sold under the Mercer name.

In late 2010 they relocated their manufacturing facility in Switzerland and during this transition many models were temporarily unavailable.

Production resumed in late 2013 when, we were told, fabrication was returned to their facility in Renens on Lake Geneva. More indicator models were made redundant. The Compac dial bore gages were removed from production in 2015.

Virtually all Compac models were discontinued in 2020.

We still have some stock

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The show is over. COMPAC indicators are discontinued.


A brief history of Compac indicators

In the 1950-60's Compac of Geneva, Switzerland, manufactured the best selling indicator and dial bore gage imports in the United States. These models were sold with the name Alina. They were so well built and such favorites of machinists of the time that, even today, we receive these indicators for repair. In Europe the indicators were sold with the name Parvus. In a misguided effort to build a sturdier gage, the manufacturer changed the models to clinkers that had all the grace of a bread box. These were the short lived IXL series.

Just a few years later, they introduced the current Compac models. They have had minor changes in the past 10 years but nothing that affected the over-all look or performance. The Compac indicator is designed to last: sturdier than the Bestest and less costly than the Interapid. It fits perfectly in-between. They are also marketed in the UK with the name Mercer. For several years they were sold in the USA with the name SPI.

Tesa of Renens, Switzerland, was the manufacturer of Compac indicators as well as Bestest, Tesatast and Interapid indicators.

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A page from the Alina catalog around 1960


Deciphering model numbers

  • G models have large dials
  • L models have long contact points
  • A models read in inches
  • E models are waterproof
  • B models have bezel locks
  • S models have single revolutions
  • T models have a maximum reading pointer

Deciphering calibration data

For their inch reading models, Compac has come up with a rather unique measurement unit: the minch. Apparently this means "mil" in common jargon, or one-thousandth of an inch (milli-inch). For the rest of the world, the Minch is a channel off the coast of Scotland.

Keep this in mind when deciphering the calibration reports that come with many of their gages.

Mercer Top Quality

Mercer Top Quality Series (Swiss made models) are nothing but Compac indicators in disguise. If you need to replace your Mercer dial indicator, make a selection from the Compac models shown on these pages. If you have a Mercer model number we'll be happy to cross-reference it for you. Spare parts, with the obvious exception of dials, are the same.

Some of the Compac-Mercer indicators were discontinued in 2015 due to lack of sales.

Even though Compac has discontinued most of its inch-reading Compac dial indicators, you can probably still find the same models sold with the Mercer name. See Mercer on page 170.

The manufacturer frequently changes the availability of their products.

Compac metric

Some Compac gages are available in inch or metric versions. The letter A indicates inch readings. It comes from the French word anglais (English).The absence of the letter A indicates metric readings. While many parts are interchangeable, contact points and many gears are not. Check the parts lists carefully.

Other manufacturers' metric indicators are usually outfitted with yellow dials for the American market. Compac metric indicators, made for the world market, ship with white dials. Note that metric Mercer indicators have yellow dials since these are specifically marketed for countries using the Imperial system.


Discontinued Compac models

Tesa, the manufacturer of Compac, has removed some of the slow moving Compac items from its catalog. In January 2005 they announced that model CL4 dial gage with electrical contacts as well as accessories R13 and R43 are discontinued. The following models are no longer available: CL4-532, CL4-532G, CL4-555, CL4-556, and CL4-556G.

In September 2005 they announced the discontinuation of most of the inch reading dial indicator models. They have been replaced by Mercer models.

As of 2014 the Compac metric dial bore gages are discontinued. The inch versions are only available by special order and delivery is likely to require 5-6 months. The smallest dial bore gage IA00A is no longer available.

As of 2015, additional Compac indicators (inch versions) have been discontiued leaving only the most frequently sold models still available.

Almost all Compac gages were discontinued in 2020.

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Compac dial bore gage were among the best available but sadly have been discontinued.


Q:

I came across an indicator that I cannot find mentioned on your website. It is an EITEL JET 513 AK with .5" travel and .0005" graduations. It is in a box that says Compac Geneve but I am unsure if that is the original box. If Compac did make it then I am thrilled. Can you tell me anything about this?

  • Yes, these were made by Compac (Geneva). They were introduced as an economy model when Mitutoyo first began selling their inexpensive Japanese gages around 1960. The Swiss saw this as a threat to their position as the number one import and the “JET” indicator was the result. It was designed as a throw-away and parts were not generally made available for repair purposes. They remained in production for about 25 years and then the Chinese joined the game, making even these economy gages look expensive. Compac has now had to discontinue most of their inch reading gages due to competition.
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Companion Reference Guide for Test Indicators
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