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How much Tolerance does your machine tool consume?

by Michael A. Mariani...

How much Tolerance does your machine tool consume?


Michael A. Mariani IQL (Independent Quality Labs, Inc.) Ashaway, RI USA

Whenthereisnoobviouscause,diagnosingmachiningproblemsisdifficultandcostlywithsomany interrelatedfactorsimpactingfeaturetolerances:tooling,fixtures,cutterpath,temperature, measurementaccuracy,machineprecision,etc.Thelistofpotentialproblemareasislongand knowingwheretofocusisoftenaneffortintrialanderror. Withsomanydeviationsourcesconsumingtolerance,itsadvantageoustogroupthemintothe followingfourmajorcategoriestodefineaToleranceConsumptionBudget: MachinePrecisionHowaccuratethemachinepositionsforthisspecificoperation. ThermalInfluencesAmbientaswellasInternalMachineTemperaturechangesduringthe operation. ProcessFactorsToolingBehavior(distortionduringthecut,wear,etc.),FixturingEffects (repeatabilityoflocation,flexure,partdistortions,etc.),CutterPathErrors(programmedpathisnot consistentwiththedesiredsurface),etc. MeasurementUncertaintiesEnsuring that yourmeasuringdeviceisatleastfour(4)timesmore accuratethanthetoleranceyouaremeasuring.

MachineToolPrecision VolumetricPositioningPerformance TemperatureInfluences ShopEnvironmentAmbient InternalMachineSources ProcessFactors/Variation ToolingWear,Deflection,etc. WorkHoldingOffset,Flex,etc. Measurement/InspectionUncertainty CMM,Handtools,etc.

TOLERANCE CONSUMPTION BUDGET

Typical Tolerance Consumption Budget

Machine Tool Tolerance Consumption

2011 IQL Inc. ~ 1 of 4

Thequestioniswhichone(s)canbeimprovedtoconsumelesstolerance?Experimentationisthe mostcommonwaytoanswerthisquestion. So,placeyourbetsontheconsumptionrootcauseandstartspendingresources. Ifyouthinkits MeasurementUncertaintyMeasurethatpartontheCMMandseeifyougetbetterresults. ToolDistortionUseastiffertoolandupdatetheCNCprogramtouseitforthatOP. MachinePrecisionHavemaintenancelasercompensatethemachine. ThermalInfluencesMonitortheshoptemperatureandseeifthereissignificantvariation. NoobvioussourceChangethecutterpath,andkeepchangingittostaywithintolerance. ExperimentationisexpensiveandalloftheeffortisNONVALUEADDED. Thereisamore efficient waytoidentifywhichfactorstofocusonbaseduponadeterministic approach.Asimpleframeworkexistsfororganizingeachfactorspotentialtoleranceconsumption ortoleranceconsumptionbudgetforaspecificoperationandmachine. Programs using this approach at national labs have proven to be very effective in improving machiningprocessesandachievinghighaccuracyresults.Thesuccessoftheseprogramshingedon effort related to data gathering and analysis, which would far exceed practicalindustrialapplication. Reducing NonValue Added effort is contingent upon rapidly identifying therootcauses,i.e.thekeytolerance consumersforanoperationandonly focusing on those that improve the process. Using a tolerance consumption budget focuses the diagnosticeffortonthekeytolerance consumers and identifies the largest consumersquickly.
True Position - Hole to Datum Hole Like triage, using a tolerance consumption budget helps to sort outthoseareasthatarecritical.Inmedicine,manytoolsandtechniqueshavebeendevelopedto assess and sort patients; to identify those who can be helped and in which order. In triage, the objectiveistofocusoncriticalneedsrapidlyandnotuselimitedresourceswheresuccessisunlikely, onlygatheringenoughinformationtodeterminewhereandwhentoapplyresources.

Inmanufacturing,thesameistrue.Therearemanyfactorsimpactingthemachiningoutcome. Focusingonthosethatarecritical,intherightordersavesbothtimeandresources. Rapidlyestimatingtoleranceconsumptioncanbeachallengegiventhesophisticationofmachining systems.Knowingenoughtodeterminewhatiscriticalistheobjectiveandunderstandingthreeof thefourtoleranceconsumptioncategoriesensuresagooddecision.MeasurementUncertaintyand ThermalInfluencescanbeestimatedusinggagecalibrationdataandstraightforwardcalculations usingthermalexpansioncoefficients.

Machine Tool Tolerance Consumption

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Separatingtoleranceconsumptioneffectsofprocessfactorsandmachineprecisionpresentsmore ofachallenge.Thesheernumberofprocesselementscanmakeestimatingthetolerance consumptionforeach,anythingbutrapid.Machinepositioningbehaviorisalsocomplex consideringmultipleaxesandstructuralconfigurations.Machineprecisionistypicallydefinedby linearpositioningofindividualaxes,whichinpracticehasonlyasmallimpactontolerance consumptionforaspecificoperation. Summingmethodsexistforestimatingtoleranceconsumptionofmachinetoolsusingdeterministic methods.Untilrecentlytheissuehasbeentheavailabilityofmodelingtoolsthatmakethese methodseasytoapply.IQLhasdevelopedandlaunchedaneasytousewebbasedtool, www.locuscae.com,thatprovidestoleranceconsumptionestimatesinamatterofseconds. LocusCAEisatoolthatcalculatestoleranceconsumptionbasedupondetailsofthemachining feature.Theuserselectsthetypeofoperation,i.e.sizeofabore,widthofapocket,truepositionof abore,etc.,andinputsdetailsofthefeatureanddesiredtolerance.LocusCAEthencalculatesthe toleranceconsumptionforagivenmachinetooltype(VMC,HMC),providinginstantfeedback regardinghowmuchtoleranceisbeingconsumedbythemachinetoolalone.

Locus CAE Tolerance Consumption Results - True Position Hole to Datum Hole

Machine Tool Tolerance Consumption

2011 IQL Inc. ~ 3 of 4

Knowingthemachinesconsumptionspeedsthedecisionmakingprocessforcorrectiveactions.If themachineisconsuminglessthan25%ofthetolerance,therootcauseislikelyelsewhere.Ifits consuming50%,lookingtominimizetheeffectsoftheothertoleranceconsumersisrequired.Ifits consuming80%,themachinecouldbeoptimized,theprocesscouldbeshiftedtoahigher performancemachineorperhapsamoreappropriateprocesscouldbeused(grinding,EDM,etc.). Inaddition,knowingthemachinetoolstoleranceconsumptionpriortolaunchingapartinto productioncanhelptoidentifyissuesbeforemachining.Thisknowledgecanhelptoshapethe manufacturingstrategy,identifynewequipmentorsupplierneedsaswellasprovidefeedbackinto thedesignteamtomaketheparteasiertomanufacture,givenlimitedmachiningoptions. ApplyingdeterministtoolslikeLocusCAEhelptoguidedesignandmanufacturingstrategy,and shortenmachiningdiagnostics,whichsignificantlyreducesnonvalueaddedeffortandshortens productioncycletimes. Knowinghowmuchtolerancethemachinetoolconsumescanbeinvaluable!

2011 IQL Inc. All rights reserved. Locus is a registered trademark of IQL Inc.

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Machine Tool Tolerance Consumption

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