A case study on practical error correction practices utilized on a CNC machine tool

John Cunningham, Qiang Xu, Derek G Ford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Geometric, load compliance and thermal errors are the major contributors to machine tool inaccuracy. Of these the two former error sources have been shown to behave in a relatively repeatable manner. As a consequence various compensation systems have been developed to reduce the effects of these two error types. This paper discusses a geometric error reduction exercise undertaken on a Particular machine tool. This exercise included refurbishing various components within the machine tool and then applying a pre-calibrated volumetric compensation system, through the retrofitted controller, to further reduce the residual errors. The data gathered throughout the past four years has been used to illustrate the changes observed in the volumetric accuracy and the repeatability of the geometric errors on this machine tool. In addition, during this same period, the dynamic performance of the machine tool has been continuously assessed using the Ballbar technique. The final results showed that the volumetric accuracy could be improved by a factor of at least 4 following the refurbishment and the integration of the University of Huddersfield's Volumetric Compensation Software. These improvements were achieved at a cost of approximately 20% of the price for that of a new machine with comparable features, the final volumetric accuracy figure being better than that for a similar new machine tool. An added software option also allowed for thermal compensation to be applied. This reduced the thermal errors observed when the spindle was running. The load compliance errors were demonstrated to have only a very insignificant effect on the machine tool's accuracy and so were not compensated for. Other improvements were also made to the machine tool to improve its productivity and maintainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in manufacturing technology XVI
EditorsKai Cheng, Derek G Ford
PublisherProfessional Engineering Publishing
ISBN (Print)1860583784
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
Event18th National Conference on Manufacturing Research - Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sep 200212 Sep 2002


Conference18th National Conference on Manufacturing Research
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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