An Investigation into Enabling Industrial Machine Tools as Traceable Measurement Systems

  • Rocky Verma

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Engineering (EngD)


On-machine inspection (OMI) via on-machine probing (OMP) is a technology that has the potential to provide a step change in the manufacturing of high precision products. Bringing product inspection closer to the machining process is very attractive proposition for many manufacturers who demand ever better quality, process control and efficiency from their manufacturing systems. However, there is a shortness of understanding, experience, and knowledge with regards to efficiently implementing OMI on industrially-based multi-axis machine tools. Coupled with the risks associated to this disruptive technology, these are major obstacles preventing OMI from being confidently adopted in many high precision manufacturing environments.The research pursued in this thesis investigates the concept of enabling high precision machine tools as measurement devices and focuses upon the question of: “How can traceable on-machine inspection be enabled and sustained in an industrial environment?”As highlighted by the literature and state-of-the-art review, much research and development focuses on the technology surrounding particular aspects of machine tool metrology and measurement whether this is theory, hardware, software, or simulation. Little research has been performed in terms of confirming the viability of industrial OMI and the systematic and holistic application of existing and new technology to enable optimal intervention.This EngD research has contributed towards the use of industrial machine tools as traceable measurement systems. Through the test cases performed, the novel concepts proposed, and solutions tested, a series of fundamental questions have been addressed. Thus, providing new knowledge and use to future researchers, engineers, consultants and manufacturing professionals.
Date of Award24 May 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SponsorsRolls-Royce PLC & Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
SupervisorPaul Maropoulos (Supervisor), Nicholas Orchard (Supervisor), Dean Jones (Supervisor) & Stephen Conway (Supervisor)


  • Machine tool metrology
  • On machine probing
  • Systems thinking
  • In process inspection
  • Multi axis machining
  • High precision machining
  • Uncertainty estimation
  • Metrology
  • Machine tool performance

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