This page contains links to articles related to coordinate measuring
machines and inspection. All articles are provided in PDF format
and can be viewed with any PDF viewer.
CMM Measurement Uncertainty Budget
This article describes a generic uncertainty budget when using a CMM for
inspection. The estimation of measurement uncertainty is a requirement
for ISO/IEC 17025.
This article describes the reasons for having the environment of a
coordinate measuring machine at the standard reference temperature of 20
̊C and the effects of using a CMM at a non-standard temperature. This
article also looks at common methods used to compensate for temperature
and the types of materials used in the construction of CMM's that have
an impact on how the machine will perform when temperature changes.
Temperature variation in a lab environment, when using a coordinate
measuring machine, can be a large source of measurement error. Partial
solutions to temperature related problems exist but do not address all
problems and may even introduce collateral problems in the process.
Compensation Map Increments
This article is written as a guide for the choice of compensation map
increments used on coordinate measuring machines. Selecting a suitable
increment is important since a step size that is too large or too small
will result in a loss of machine accuracy. Often the actual compensation
map increment is selected based on secondary reasons (i.e. matches the
increment of a step gauge or is simply a round number). In some cases
map increments are selected with the believe that using a very small
increment will improve the performance of the CMM. Most calibrators only
have one opportunity to fully map a machine so comparative tests where
the map increment is adjusted are never performed.
Often the biggest question when performing any kind of measurement is
simply “is it in spec?”. In some cases it is very clear that the
measurement is either inside or outside of specification and in other
cases, particularly when the measurand is close to the specification, it
is not so clear and cannot be stated with any kind of confidence either
way. Often measurements close to the specification, when simply
repeated, can appear to shift from one side of the tolerance to the
other. This kind of situation can be accurately described as simply
This article is about compliance statements and the accepted practices
for expressing compliance to a specification. When expressing an opinion
of compliance from the performance tests on a coordinate measuring
machines following any recognized standard, such as ASME B89.4.10360 or
ISO/IEC 10360, it is necessary to do this with a suitable level of
confidence particularly if traceability is a requirement.
Horizontal Arm Deflection
Horizontal Arm coordinate measuring machines have a unique problem due
to their cantilever design. As the arm extends the center of gravity
changes resulting in a measurable deflection in the tower of these
This article describes some of the problems related to calibration of
horizontal arm coordinate measuring machines and effects of deflection.
All manufacturers of horizontal arm CMM's have provisions for dealing
with tower deflection as this is a common problem for this type of
CMM Interim Testing
Interim tests are performance checks of a CMM that are done regularly
between calibrations. Interim checks are important as they can
proactively indicate that a problem exists with a machine and can also
provide confidence in the equipment.
This article is written to describe different methods for CMM interim
CMM Kinematic Axis Order
To describe the significance of the kinematic axis order of a CMM
machine. The kinematic order defines how the machine axis are
interconnected and is used as part of the machine compensation data to
correct for known errors. An incorrect kinematic order means the
software is not capable of compensating for the known machine errors
properly and may actually increase the measurement error of a CMM.
Comparison Between ISO/IEC 10360-2:2009 and
ASME B89.4.1:1997 Performance Standards
This document describes the testing method and results from a comparison
of the two major performance testing standards for coordinate measuring
machines; ISO/IEC 10360-2:2009 and ASME B89.4.1:1997. The ASME
B89.4.10360-2:2008 is identical to ISO/IEC 10360-2:2009 therefore the
results apply to both standards.
The Renishaw Machine Checking Gauge is included in the comparison tests
as a point of reference. This gauge is ideal for CMM interim checking
due to its speed and ease of use so therefore a comparative test using
this gauge to established standards seemed appropriate.
Applying Compensation Map Data
This article is written as a practical example of how to interpret
compensation data from a coordinate measuring machine and create a
correction value and tool coordinate system for any position in the
measuring volume. This information can be used to build a working model
for error map correction and can be useful for developing other
utilities to allow interpretation or correction based on measurement
Errormap Rotation Point
This article describes the significance of the position selected as the
rotation point for a coordinate measuring machine compensation errormap.
Recently an example was found that highlighted problems as a result of
selecting a mathematical rotation point at a location different than the
mechanical rotation point. The effect was clear on the linear data from
the compensation map.
The ideal position for the rotation point is always the same as the
mechanical rotation point the the axis of a CMM. One example where
placing the rotation point inside the volume of the CMM is desired is
when the goal is to have all the parameters collected then built into a
compensation map in one step. This is more a case where the advantage of
having the ability to collect all the data then building the map in one
step outweighs the disadvantages of not having the rotation point at the