Publications

Articles

Machine Tool Metrology Made Simple

Making it easy is the phrase for today's offerings in probes and metrology devices for use on CNC machine tools. Software advances will be a key enabler. Ever tighter part tolerances and the need to make parts 'right the first time' are prompting more offerings in metrology devices for use directly on or near CNC machine tools. At the same time, increasing use of four and five-axis machines presents its own challenges in calibrating machine tools. View complete article from January 2012 by Bruce Morey, Contributing Editor, on Manufacturing Engineering's website.

In the pursuit of 5-axis precision

A super-tuned, but less expensive, machine will perform significantly better than a poorly installed high priced machine. IQL Engineering Services provides solutions for enhancing the volumetric positioning performance of CNC machines. IQL SuperTune is an on-site process that combines low-impact anchoring and precision alignment/adjustment, resulting in high machine stability and optimum positioning performance. New and existing machines can be SuperTuned. IQL SuperTuning can be executed in a few days to minimize production impact. View complete article from February 2010 on American Machinist's website.

Don't Chase Variability with CAM

A recent study showed that mechanical SuperTuning of a moderately priced CNC machine could dramatically improve volumetric positioning accuracy. In order to implement the most cost-effective solutions to customers’ production requirements, shopfloor managers often call upon the least expensive machine on the floor that can handle the job right. Of course “right” involves more than just accuracy. Along with machine availability, there are often trade-offs concerning speeds that must be considered. View complete article from August 2009 by Chris Felix, Associate Editor, on Production Machining's website.

Addressing Machine Tool Errors

What is machine tool metrology? A practical definition of machine tool metrology is the process of gaining insight into a machine's accuracy via measurement. The accuracy of a machine tool is a direct result of how true each individual axis moves, as well as the relationships between the axes. Those knowledgeable in the field focus on "Volumetric Positioning Performance", which provides insight into overall machine capability. This approach to evaluating machine tools considers the performance within the entire work zone, providing a more comprehensive view of a machine's behavior than other techniques. A concept used since 1985 in the CMM industry, it's now being slowly adopted by machine tool manufacturers. At the end of the day, a machine's positioning accuracy determines its ability to achieve desired feature tolerances—in other words, its productivity. View complete article from March 2009 by Moise Cummings of TechSolve, Inc. and Michael Mariani of IQL, on SME's Manufacturing Engineering website.

What Does "eAx for HMC ZzxBm_XzxYxySt" Mean?

Although "eAx for HMC ZzxBm_XzxYxySt" is an odd-looking string of letters, it is an example of precise notation for identifying sources of error in machine tool performance. The naming conventions represented by this example bring order and clarity to one company’s efforts to evaluate and improve machining results. Identifying errors correctly is essential to understanding concepts such as volumetric performance and error budgeting. View complete article from August 2009 by Mark Albert, Editor-in-Chief, on Modern Machine Shop's website.

A Better Alternative to Chasing Variability with CAM Software

A study performed by IQL (Independent Quality Laboratory, Rockville, RI) shows that the volumetric positioning accuracy of a popular, moderately priced machine tool can be improved by a factor of 2:1 versus the same machine that was purchased and installed to the manufacturer’s standard specifications. This makes it unnecessary to use CAM software to compensate for dimensional variability within the machine’s measuring envelope. View complete article from December 2008 on MCADCafe's website (originally on MasterCam.com).

Product and Service Literature

IQL Brochure [pdf] 5-Axis Machine Accuracy Training [pdf]
IQL SuperTune Service [pdf] Machine Performance Grading and Correction Training [pdf]
Locus DFMx Development Project [pdf] Machine Tool Metrology 101 Training [pdf]
Locus eM Software [pdf] Machine Process Diagnostics Service [pdf]
Triton Rotary Axis Analyzer ("R-Gage") [pdf]

Press Releases

Leading industry experts come together for 5-Axis Machine Accuracy Training [pdf]

[doc] [5AMA images]

Ashaway, RI – September 11, 2013 - IQL (Independent Quality Labs, Inc.) has partnered with IBS Precision Engineering to offer 5-Axis Machine Accuracy Training, a seminar that provides the understanding and application of fundamental metrology principles specific to the testing and improvement of 5-axis machine tool accuracy. The three day session is offered October 25-27, 2013 at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in East Hartford, CT. Methods required for measuring and evaluating 5-axis machine tool performance are presented in simple, straightforward modules through lecture and live demonstrations featuring the latest in 5-axis measurement technology...

Machine Tool Metrology Applications Seminar is Offered by IQL in May [pdf]

Ashaway, RI – March 15, 2011 - IQL (Independent Quality Labs, Inc.) is offering Machine Tool Metrology 101, a seminar that provides in-depth understanding of machine tool positioning accuracy (metrology) and its impact on manufacturing process capability and on-machine measurement. The three day session from May 10-12, 2011, is offered in IQL's new manufacturing and training facility in Ashaway, RI. Through lecture and hands-on demonstrations, methods required for measuring and evaluating machine tool performance are presented in simple, straightforward modules...

Advanced Machining Process Diagnostics, a Course on Tolerance Consumption Budgeting and Machining Outcome Prediction, is Offered by IQL in April [pdf]

Ashaway, RI – February 18, 2011 - IQL (Independent Quality Labs, Inc.) is offering Advanced Machining Process Diagnostics, a seminar that provides a practical understanding and application of tolerance consumption budgeting for machining process diagnostics and corrective actions. The three day session from April 12-14, 2011, is offered in IQL's new manufacturing and training facility in Ashaway, RI. Methods for predicting tolerance consumption for machining operations based upon desired features, tolerances and machine tool capability will be presented...

IQL Offers Machine Tool Metrology Applications Seminar in March [pdf]

Ashaway, RI – January 10, 2011 - IQL (Independent Quality Labs, Inc.) is offering Machine Tool Metrology 101, a seminar that provides in-depth understanding of machine tool positioning accuracy (metrology) and its impact on manufacturing process capability and on-machine measurement. The three day session from March 22-24, 2011, is offered in IQL's new manufacturing and training facility in Ashaway, RI. Through lecture and hands-on demonstrations, methods required for measuring and evaluating machine tool performance are presented in simple, straightforward modules...

LocusCAE: a NEW tool that estimates tolerance consumption for machining operations [pdf]

Ashaway, RI – December 17, 2010 - IQL introduces LocusCAE.com the first of a new generation of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools for predicting machining outcomes based on machine tool capability. Knowing how much of a feature’s tolerance is being consumed by the machine tool allows you select the right machine for the job before cutting a chip. Knowing a machine consumes 10% or 80% of the tolerance saves a lot of wasted effort to prove out an operation or troubleshoot a machining issue. Visit www.locuscae.com today and see how Locus CAE can help you...

IQL Awarded $3.9M Research Contract to Develop Metrology Based CAE Tools [pdf]

Rockville, RI – December 1, 2009 - IQL (Independent Quality Labs, Inc.) has been awarded a $3.9M research contract. The three-year contract will be administered by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s (RDECOM) Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Prototype Manufacturing Team. It will focus on achieving the Army’s vision of a highly efficient production base through enhancement of manufacturing metrology based computer aided engineering (CAE) tools. The CAE tools will focus on manufacturing process output prediction and supply chain risk mitigation...

White Papers

How much Tolerance does your machine tool consume? [pdf]

by Michael Mariani

When there is no obvious cause, diagnosing machining problems is difficult and costly with so many interrelated factors impacting feature tolerances: tooling, fixtures, cutter path, temperature, measurement accuracy, machine precision, etc. The list of potential problem areas is long and knowing where to focus is often an effort in trial and error. With so many deviation sources consuming tolerance, it’s advantageous to group them into four major categories to define a “Tolerance Consumption Budget”. Read more...

Machine Tool and Motion Error Standardized Definitions for Simplified Error Modeling [pdf]

by Robert Callaghan

Error models for the purposes of understanding and correcting machine motion errors have been used for many years. Most of these models have been developed to define and improve the behavior of specific laboratory devices or commercial products. The adaptation of Error Modeling for general use in factory applications requires the incorporation of a wide variety of machine configurations. Some of these machines and their errors are described in ISO and ANSI Standards. Read more...

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