Celebrating 45+ years of Equotip Portable Hardness Testers

Since the 1970’s, Equotip have been global leaders in portable hardness testing equipment. Take a look at the incredible innovation and evolution of the world-renowned portable hardness testers, from the very first release in 1975 to the present day with ISO/IEC 17025 accredited calibration as standard.

Celebrating 45+ years of Equotip Portable Hardness Testers

Infrastructure & Asset Inspection of Concrete Structures



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Screening Eagle's Proceq is a leading manufacturer of portable hardness testers that have had the most significant impact on the industry on a global level. Since the invention of the Leeb method in the 1970s, Proceq has continuously improved and expanded the product range to meet the evolving needs of the industry.

Proceq’s innovations with Equotip Portable Hardness testers have been welcomed by the market and the users. Today for example, we can not imagine a device that can not be upgraded via internet, or probes without an automatic recognition of impact direction.

The series of innovations within the portable hardness testing market has been recently accomplished with ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for all new Equotip portable testing devices and Leeb test blocks, thus establishing a new industry baseline for quality. 

Take a look at the incredible evolution over the years, from the very first release in 1975 to the present day…



Equotip Prototype 


The Leeb method, which is the basis of the Equotip portable hardness tester, was invented by engineer Dietmar Leeb and Dr. Brandestini at Proceq in Switzerland. The name ‘Equotip’ comes from an abbreviation of Energy QUOtient and TIP. Soon after the prototype invention, Equotip became the brand name for all portable hardness testers offered by Proceq. 



The original EQUOtip 


After the prototype came the Original EQUOtip, based on the Leeb rebound method. It was a major breakthrough in portable hardness testing technology and the device received the reputation of “build to last” as some of the units operate until today. The Leeb method has since become one of the most widely used methods for portable hardness testing.



EQUOtip 1 


1990 saw the introduction of the EQUOtip 1, a first-of-its-kind, software-driven version that was the first portable hardness tester to save data internally and transfer it to a PC. This Equotip version also saw the introduction of several novel impact devices that solved various challenges in the industry.



EQUOtip 2 


Proceq introduced the EQUOtip 2, which was a significant upgrade to the previous Equotip. It featured improved accuracy and repeatability and was capable of measuring a wider range of materials throughout a new set of conversion curves, and even more new probes (those that other manufacturers are offering now). It was a transcription of Proceq’s legacy and years of own research into a new class of portable hardness testing devices, whose features became the industry standard used up now. 





In the same year, Proceq released the EQUOstat, static low-load measurement portable hardness tester, based on the Rockwell Principle. The Equostat probe could be paired with the Equotip 2 as its display unit. It gained its reputation for accurate, rapid and reproduceable results for free-hand measurement on large flat surfaces and small parts.



Piccolo & Bambino


In 2005, Proceq released the small but mighty Equotip Piccolo and Bambino combining modern electronics with a new patented impact device that integrated the release trigger into the charging mechanism. Full bi-directional communication via USB permitted Piccolo to be remote-controlled and easily integrated into automated testing systems. Automatic recognition of the impact direction and self-diagnostics made testing with the Bambino almost foolproof. 



Equotip 3 


In 2007, Proceq released another breakthrough, the Equotip 3 which featured improved data storage capabilities and advanced features enabling e.g., implementation of devices into the production lines. It was also the first portable hardness testing device upgradeable via the internet and was developed with a more user-friendly interface, thus shortening the learning curve for new users. 



Piccolo 2 & Bambino 2


In 2009, Piccolo 2 and Bambino 2 were released with upgraded software features, their own PC software, and the possibility of custom conversion curve generation. The Bambino 2 is particularly suitable for quick and easy on-site hardness checks. The Piccolo 2 has the same features as the Bambino 2 but additionally offers real-time monitoring and user-defined hardness conversion curves. The Piccolink PC Software, which comes with the Piccolo 2, allows easy analysis of the data, including editing and exporting to reports. With the Piccolink software, the instrument can be remote controlled by the PC.



Portable Rockwell


In 2011, Proceq expanded its offering into a new method – Portable Rockwell, which in contrast to the Leeb dynamic method, represents a static measurement called Equostat. It gave the inspectors a quick, reliable and foremost non-destructive testing tool to test the hardness of various metals on site, without the necessity of cutting and transportation to a stationary Rockwell machine. Soon after that, a new generation of EQUOstat probes (renamed to Portable Rockwell), was introduced as compatible with Equotip 3 devices. 



Equotip 550


New technological achievements lead to the development of Equotip 550 in 2015, which is a portable hardness tester offering advanced features, including ruggedness for demanding environments, an intuitive user interface, easy automation, and integration. It also has the world’s widest standard compliance, selection of conversion curves, and the ability to use three different testing methods in one device. 



Equotip UCI 3-in-1


No longer than a year later, Proceq invented and patented the next generation of Ultrasonic Contact Impedance (UCI), which features a precise digital force sensor. Up until now, inspectors had to rely on several probes, produced for a specific test load. With this new invention, inspectors can use only one probe for most of their applications. The device also allows for user feedback, which provides alerts for error conditions and leads to greater accuracy in measurement.



Leeb D Live


Next, Proceq developed the world’s first Leeb D wireless device that is Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled, bridging finally the gap between old-fashioned and modern digital devices. The Equotip Live probes offer access to the cloud storage and data management ecosystem – Screening Eagle Workspace, for future non-destructive hardness measurement data management.



Portable hardness testing book


The release of the world's first Portable Hardness Testing book in 2022 was a significant milestone in the field of portable hardness testing. The book covers various testing methods and provides valuable insights into how to use portable hardness testers effectively, avoid errors, solve hardness-testing-related problems and use best practices, making it a valuable resource for beginners and experienced professionals alike. The release of this book contributed to the standardization and improvement of portable hardness testing and provided a reference for the entire market.



ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation


In 2023, Screening Eagle’s brand Proceq received the ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for calibrations of Leeb, UCI, and Rockwell users, and has now been implemented as factory-default calibration of all portable hardness testing devices and Leeb test blocks produced by Proceq. Now every new Equotip user can leverage the advantages of equipment that has been calibrated to the highest possible standards. 


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