Factors influencing the measuring result

Is it really a cliché that metrologists and quality control managers always want to be as accurate as possible, or is there a bit of truth to it after all? We think there’s some truth to it. Our #measuringheroes have in fact good reasons to work precisely. They say that up to 70% of factors that influence a measuring result can be traced back to people.

Your influence on the measuring result

The probing method, the selection of the stylus, the cleanliness of the measuring machine and the clamping of the workpiece – these are just some examples of how you can have an influence on the measuring result. Do you know how to correctly do all of the above? We can show you:

Probing method and number of measurement points

First decide whether the probing method should be scanning or discrete-point probing.

Scanning is preferable if the measurement involves:

  • Form tolerancing
  • Narrow tolerances
  • (Probably) high form errors

Capturing individual points is recommended in particular for measuring size and position deviations that exhibit no narrow tolerances (esp. large workpieces). In general, the more probing points are captured, the more reliable and useful the measuring result will be.

Select the stylus system

You have a number of options when it comes to selecting the right stylus:

  • Ball-tip styli have the widest field of application as they exhibit the same probing behavior in every direction. Note the size of the stylus tip: the bigger it is, the bigger the mechanical filter will be. This means the profile of the workpiece will be smoothed. This is often desirable during form measurement. 
  • Disk styli can be used in particular for measuring hard-to-reach areas. However, this usually results in strong filtering of the surface roughness.
  • Cylindrical styli measure in 2D and are particularly suitable for flat workpieces such as thin sheets. 
  • Star styli enable you to probe your workpiece from any direction and are thus frequently used for measuring side surfaces.

More about selecting the ideal stylus system

cleaning cmm

Cleanliness of your measuring machine

It may seem like a chore for some people, but it’s vital that you keep your measuring machine and its accessories clean. It isn't just visible dirt that can cause incorrect measurement results - fine dust and oil residue can, too.

Our tips:

  • Only use a lint-free cloth
  • Only handle metal and glass components while wearing gloves
  • Do not use any abrasive cleaning agents

Clamping and aligning the workpiece

Ensure that all elements being measured can be accessed by the styli. Your workpiece should neither be overtensioned nor too loose. Then it will be able to “function” regardless of temperature fluctuations, i.e. react without becoming overtensioned.

Keep in mind:

  • If the measurement of the workpiece is used for a function evaluation, the workpiece should be measured when installed. No forces should be exerted on the workpiece. Don’t forget: “Clamped as installed.” 
  • However, if the measurement of the workpiece is used for production evaluation, make sure that the workpiece is measured in the original clamping, as during production. In this case: “Clamped as produced.”