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Roundness Measuring Machine

Roundness measuring machine is a sophisticated inspection device with a precision spindle

that measures various circular or cylindrical features. The measurement of roundness
deviation of work pieces is essential in mechanical production control. Most roundness
Measurements are carried out with rotating spindle instruments. The spindle run out errors of
roundness testers is verified and eventually corrected using roundness standards such as
precision spheres or hemispheres. For the traceable calibration of roundness standards
primary roundness measuring machines are used, offering lowest possible measurement
uncertainty. A primary roundness measuring machine is distinguished by the fact that the
roundness measuring machine is distinguished by the fact that the roundness measurement is
independent of any standard due to the application of error separation techniques, by the
possibility for a complete characterization of all relevant components and influence quantities
and by achievement of state of the art measurement capability.
Name of instrument
Range & Resolution

Roundness Measuring Machine

Mahr perthen
Height 300mm, Diameter 300mm


& 0.01m

Range &


Form tester

MMQ42 Mahr perthen

Height 300mm


Form meter
Rotary table


Mahr perthen
Mahr perthen
Mahr perthen

& 10nm
Diameter 300mm


The two basic types of high precision of roundness measuring instruments are one in which
high precision spindle carries a sensitive indicator around the circumference of the workpiece

which is stationary and another is one in which a high precision turntable rotates the
workpiece against a stylus which is held stationary. The work piece, object whose roundness
is to be measured, is first kept on the rotatory table of the form tester. The probe is made to
touch several points on the work piece. The surface of work piece deflects the probe and this
deflection is transferred as a graph of roundness profile of the work piece to the form meter.
The continuous trace got in the polar graph represents the radial deviation given by the work
piece when the probe was deflected. Magnification factor used exaggerates the profile in the
radial direction but the angular position on the graph of the profile is not magnified and is
same as that of the work piece. In some cases the output of a roundness trace consists not of a
polar graph but a set of numbers which represent radial deviation of the workpiece at equally
spaced points around the circumference. This is equivalent to a polar graph except that the
trace consists of a discrete number of points instead of a continuous curve. There are several
ways to assign numerical roundness value to the workpiece from its polar graph. One way is
to draw either the minimum circumscribing circle or maximum inscribed circle and state of
maximum departure from one or the other. Another way is to draw the pair of concentric
circles which enclose the graph and have minimum radial separation. This separation is then a
measure of the out of roundness. A slightly more sophisticated approach is the least squares
circle that fits to the data at equally spaced angles gives the estimates of P-R, the non
circularity, where R is the radius of the circle and P is the distance from the center of the
circle to the trace. Least squares analysis of the measurements enables the non circularity of
the spindle to be separated from the profile of the standard. Consider a polar graph given in
rectangular coordinate system. Let point 0 be the center of rotation of the spindle and yibe
thedistancefrom0topointPonthecurveattheangularposition i.Letpoint(a,b)bethe

centeroftheLeastSquaresCircle(LSC)andRbetheradiusofLSC.Let c2=a2+b2and

yi= [(R+i)2 c2 sin2(i)]1/2+ccos(i)
Wherei isthedeviationofpointPfromtheLSC.Sincecismanyordersofmagnitudeless
thanR(inawellcenteredtrace),thetermc2 sin2(i)canbeneglected,thus

yi =R+ccos(i)+i
Since a = c cos and b = c sin this expression can be expanded to give

yi =R+ccosicos+csinisin+i

yi =R+acosi+bsini+i
let{i,I=1,n}benequallyspacedangles.Thenthesumofsquaresofthedeviations R=

a=2/nyi cosi
b=2/nyi sini
thedeviationsini aregivenbyi =yi Racosibsini
amplifierrange)hasbeenrealized. The deflection of the probe is calibrated by the help of
gauge blocks, which is traceable from the gauge block interferometer. Some measurements of

roundness dont require a high level of precision, such as measurements on cylinder, sphere,
and ring gauges where roundness is not of prime importance. For this purpose a single trace
is made of the workpiece. High precision measurements of roundness are appropriate where
an object, such as a hemisphere, is intended to be used primarily as a roundness standard. The
measurement sequence involves making multiple traces of the roundness standard where the
standard is rotated between the traces.
technique. A high quality roundness standard with small surface roughness and a low
spindle error, whereas using a hemisphere, where the measurement is not taken in an
the object, the instruments column, the spindle and finally the probe with again some

adjustments.Forhighprecisionroundnessmeasurements,allthis isrequiredtobestable
software artificially close the beginning and the end of the measured profile taking into
start has a maximum effect on the closure error, whereas a drift perpendicular to that
direction cannot be seen as a closure error, but still considerably deform the roundness
profile, essentially to produce an elliptic shape. The eccentricity continuously during
influence quantities and the combination of the distribution functions to the resulting
points in the neighborhood of the profile. We shall hereafter estimate the uncertainty of

The machine is used to measure roundness, cylindricity, straightness, flatness,
concentricity, coaxiality, radial run-out, total radial run-out, axial run-out,
total axial run-out, parallelism, perpendicularity and angularity, while








performing circular or straight-line measurements, interruptions like

grooves and cross-holes are detected automatically, regardless of their
positions, and the corresponding profile interruptions are not evaluated.

Roughness Measuring Machine

A surface is the transition region between the bulk properties of one material and those of
another. The location of a surface depends on the means used to detect it; there is an
operational definition involved and there can be major or minor differences in interpretation
of the surface location. The surface roughness is defined as the fine structure observed on the
surface of the material. To study this fine structure of surface is possible only when large
magnification instruments are used to resolve vertical structures developed on the surface of
the material. It is necessary to define the scale of roughness to measure the surface roughness
otherwise there wont be any difference in the structure at atomic level or gross features
millimeters in size. There is a convention in nomenclature that is fairly universally accepted
that describes the topography as:
Form: It refers to the very long wavelength components of a surface

Waviness: It is the topography that can be constructed from intermediate wavelength

For completeness, flaws are also mentioned to make sure that their contribution to structure is
assessed in a consistent way. To able to measure a surface in quantitative terms the boundary
between roughness and waviness must be defined with sufficient precision to achieve the
uncertainty required in the measurements. This is done by specifying the characteristics of a
high pass filtering process which excludes the long spatial wavelength components in a
controlled manner. This filtering process is most important of the essentially arbitrary
conditions which have to be imposed to make surface roughness measurable.
Name of instrument
Range & Resolution

Roughness Measuring Machine

Perthen S6P
Mahr perthen
50m & 0.01m
6 percent
Model Make
Serial No. Range &



50m &

6 percent


The surface roughness-measuring machine works on the principle of profilometers. The

contact profiling instruments have a fine stylus attached to a displacement transducer to trace
profiles of a surface. As the stylus is drawn across and in contact with surface, an electrical
analog of the surface is generated. This analog is usually recorded graphically and processed
electronically or digitally to give the surface parameters. The stylus instrument gives
roughness in terms of arithmetic mean deviation of the profile from a reference line. It also
produces a graphical record.
The are two main reasons for surface roughness measurements are
a. To provide quantitative data to explain functional behavior.

b. As a means of process control.

The state of roughness of a surface influences a wide variety of materials physical properties
like friction and wear, electrical and thermal contact resistance, corrosion resistance, sterile
properties, and radiation absorption properties. Its important for some industries to have
surfaces with roughness within the specified limits and is of certain type. Profiling
instruments use a sharp stylus attached to a transducer to trace profiles of a surface are by far
the most common instrument. Magnification in commercial instruments goes as high as
200,000 and there are low magnification instruments also. In their simplest form, stylus
instruments give a measure of roughness in terms of arithmetic mean deviation of the profile
from a reference line. They may also have provision for producing a graphical record of the
surface. There is a class of stylus instruments which can be used to obtain profiles with very
high vertical resolutions. With these high magnifications is obtainable giving a better
resolution than 2 nanometer. They have specialized uses such as the measurement of optical
finish and can also be used for measuring the thickness of the films. To ensure reproducibility
of results and consistency, it is necessary to standardize a number of features of instruments
in an arbitrary way.
Profilometers are essentially displacement measuring devices and require calibration at
regular intervals to maintain their accuracy. The two functions profile recording and
parameter measurement are often calibrated separately even though both derive their signal
from the stylus transducer. The instrument transducer may be calibrated by using gauge
blocks at the low magnifications or block gauges and a lever arm at higher magnifications.
The roughness standard has been examined at the national measurement laboratory and the
following is the result obtained.
The roughness standard and the two sets of grooves were examined using a microscope with
a magnification of 160. This examination revealed one small defect at the centre of the

standard groove marked 2.46m. The arithmetical mean deviation at 0.8mm cut off has been
determined, by reference to a master standard, at 25 locations distributed evenly over the
outlined area using a calibrated Talysurf 5 profile instrument with a nominal stylus radius of
2.5m. At 10 additional locations, 4096 ordinates were recorded by a numerical process at a
spacing of 1m and the Ra value calculated after numerically applying a filter with a standard
instrument cut off of 0.8mm. The analyzed profiles were taken in the direction of the arrows
on the outlined area.
From the recorded data, the following results were obtained:
Marked Ra value
Mean measured Ra value
Standard deviation
Range of measured Ra values

0.782m 0.794m

The value quoted above for the mean measured Ra value has an estimated uncertainty of
Groove depths: Using the Talysurf instrument described above, determinations were made
of the total height of the central of each of the two sets of three grooves. Profiles of these
grooves were recorded at 5 locations and the depths calculated from the recorded profile
ordinates. From these values the following results were obtained:
Marked groove depth
Mean measured groove depth
Range of measured groove depth

2.40 2.48m

Marked groove depth

Mean measured groove depth
Range of measured groove depth

0.333 0.343m

The values quoted above for the mean depth of grooves have an estimated uncertainty of 3
percent. Profile graphs of the Ra standard were taken normal to the lay at a horizontal

magnification of 100 and a vertical magnification of 5000. The profile graphs showed no


Angular measurements are necessary to determine the precise shape or form of an object in
addition to linear measurements. For precise length measurements, it is essential to have
traceability to a primary standard. But in the case of angular measurements, no corresponding
primary standard is required, since any angle can be established by appropriate sub-division
of a circle. However, for practical purposes, the reference and working standards of angle are
available in the form of end standards such as angle gauges and polygons with the angle
defined between their adjacent faces, or in the form of line standards such as uniformly
divided circles with lines engraved at regular intervals. The unit for angle measurement used
is RADIAN. It is defined as the angle between two radii of a circle, which cut off on the
circumference an arc equal to the radius of a circle. The various angle measuring instruments
are discussed below.


Tilting Table
with Drum




Autocollimators are optical instruments capable of measuring small angles of tilt of a
reflecting face. There is no restriction on direction but many autocollimators are constructed
for measurement in planes close to the horizontal and/or vertical. Some autocollimators are
visual types incorporating a micrometer eyepiece. Others are photoelectric types either with
null setting of an electrical meter by means of a micrometer drum or with direct analogue or
digital readout. Autocollimators are typically used as reading devices in the calibration of
precision polygons and angle gauges.

Name of instrument
Serial no.
Range & Resolution

1050 arc seconds & 0.01 seconds
0.03 seconds
Range &




measuring head
Evaluation unit




1000 seconds &
0.05 seconds


The measuring principle is based on auto collimation. The image of an illuminated object,
located in the posterior focal plane of the collimator lens, is projected to infinity and reflected
via mirror. A light-sensitive receiver picks up the image. A slight alteration of the angle
between the optical axis of the autocollimator and the mirror causes a deviation, which can be
determined very precisely.
Deviation, = y/ (2*f)
The electronic autocollimator provides measurement of smallest deviation of direction and
inclination in fractions of arc seconds. It can simultaneously measure height and width. The
measurements are performed without physical contact and in the visual spectral range. The
receiver is a CCD line sensor. The completely digital signal reception and processing
guarantees exact linear behavior in the entire measuring range. The integrated
microelectronics provides precise evaluation and presentation of the measuring signals very
reliably. Data processing is controlled by an integrated microprocessor.
Each autocollimator is calibrated and contains one calibrated X-axis and one calibrated Yaxis. A computer interface is also available in the evaluation head for data transfer of the
measuring values to the computer.

Autocollimators are typically used to align components and measure deflections in optical or
mechanical systems. The electronic autocollimator is a complete measuring station for high
precision angle measurement. It is used for
a. Quality assurance for machine tools (straightness, parallelism, rectangularity, position
uncertainty (rotational), flatness)
b. Automatic angle adjustment
c. Optics (angle measurement)
d. Monitoring of positions (angles)

Angle Gauges
A practical form of angle standards was devised by G. A. Tomlinson at the NPL, UK, in
1941. Sets of these standards, known as combination angle blocks, are nowadays widely used
in industry. These comprise hardened steel blocks, having two highly finished faces mutually
inclined so as to form included angles of selected nominal sizes. These faces are flat to within
a few hundredths of a micrometer, posses a wringing property similar to that of slip gauges
and, in addition, have a high degree of reflectivity which enables them to be used with an
autocollimator. The set consists of thirteen blocks by means of which any required angle,
between 0 to 360 degree in steps of 3 seconds of arc, can be quickly built up, as with a set of
slip gauges.
Name of instrument
Range & Resolution

Angle Gauges
3 arc second

Combinations of blocks are formed by wringing them together; advantage being that a block
may be wrung to another block so as to increase or decrease the angular size of the

combination depending in which sense it is wrung. The nominal values of the blocks are as






Plus one square block.

Temporal Stability of Angle Blocks: In order to provide basis in this context, a survey was
made of the long-term stability of several sets of angle blocks over a ten year period by Ralph
C. Veale and Charles P. Reeve. Their conclusion is that a significant long-term variation in
the measurement system does not exist, but the long-term slope of the blocks which were
surveyed is not significantly different from zero. None of the blocks exhibited a significant
change in value over a ten year period, so it was concluded that the angle blocks were stable
over long periods of time.

Indexing Table
Indexing table is an important instrument to be used in angle measurement. Indexing table
has a rotatory indexing device constructed with two matched sets of equally spaced radial
face teeth (serregations) arranged in a circle mounted in the fixed base and the upper rotable
Name of instrument
Range & Resolution

Indexing Table
A A Moore ,USA
15 arc minute
0.1 arc second

The indexing device is based on the principle of circle divider. Two faces gears are generated,
each identical in diameter, shape and number of teeth. When the two opposite faces of the
gears are brought in contact face to face, that is root to crest, they lock together and prevent

any rotation or side movement, unless they are disengaged, rotated and brought in contact
again. The angular displacement corresponds to the number of teeth through which the table
has been indexed. Indexing plate is used along with autocollimator for calibration of
Tilting Table with Drum Micrometer
Tilting table along with the drum micrometer is used for the calibration of electronic levels,
which are further used in industries to find out the tilt or perpendicularity of any material
Name of instrument
Range & Resolution

Drum micrometer
Steel scale

Tilting table
NPL workshop
Length 850mm & 0.002mm
Range &



0-10mm &


100cm & 1cm




The drum micrometer is attached on the one end of the 850mm long tilting table apparatus.
The object to be calibrated is kept fixed on the tilting table. The laser interferometer and the
drum micrometer together with tilting table are used in calibration of electronic levels. The
drum micrometer offers circular motion in both clockwise and anticlockwise direction. The
rotation leads to tilting of the table in either direction. On moving the drum micrometer, the
table is tilted by some arc seconds, which is displayed in millimeter units by the object
(electronic level), kept on the tilting table. The laser source and the two optics are set in a
straight line on the tilting table. The two interference optics are placed such that one is fixed
near drum micrometer and the other is kept on tilting table. The other reading, which is in arc
seconds, is given by the computer attached to the laser interferometer. When the table is

parallel to the ground, the interference pattern shows zero arc seconds but when the table is
tilted the position of one of the reflector changes with respect to other and a different position
shows a value in arc seconds. The computer shows the reading in arc seconds. For different
drum micrometer reading different amount of tilting is there and for these different tilts the
object to be calibrated shows different values. The readings are noted down and further
calculations are done to find out the uncertainty and the error. The difference in the readings
of laser interferometer and the electronic level is known as deviation.


Polygons and angle blocks are the most important transfer standards in the field of angle
metrology. Polygons are used by National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) as transfer standards
to industry, where they are used in conjunction with autocollimators to calibrate index tables,
rotary tables and other forms of angle measuring instruments. Polygons and angle blocks are
also the most common angle standards in comparisons of angle measurements between NMIs
and accredited laboratories.
Autocollimators, the main instruments used in the measurement of angle, are calibrated with
small angle generators, using laser interferometers. A vast amount of time is invested in their
calibration. Index tables are usually calibrated using another index table and an
autocollimator with a mirror. To measure the angle differences between the tables all the steps
(i.e. every 30o) are measured. Research has shown that it is possible to calibrate both
autocollimators and index tables very accurately.


1. Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T)

2. International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM)

3. Gauge Block Interferometer-300 (GBI-300)

4. Charge- Coupled Device (CCD)
5. Gauge Block (GB)
6. Universal Measuring Machine (UMM)
7. Laser Interferometer (LI)
8. Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT)
9. Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)
10. Direct Computer Control (DCC)
11. LeastSquaresCircle(LSC)
12. nanometer (nm)
13. millimeter (mm)
14. meter (m)
15. micrometer (m)
16. Pascal (Pa)
17. meter/second (m/s)
18. Decibel (db)
19. Percentage (%)
20. Kelvin (K)

1. P.C. Jain, Weights, Measures and Dimensional Metrology, Pragati Prakashan Meerut.
2. Operating Manual AUTOCOLLIMATOR ELCOMAT 2000
3. Operating Manual ELECTRONICS LEVEL
4. Indian Journal of Pure & Applied Physics, Vol. 43, May 2005, pp. 319-328

5. Jeniffer E. Decker, James R. Pekelsky, Uncertainty of Gauge Block Calibration by

Mechanical Comparison, Case 1, 16 May 1996
6. A. Godina, et al., Measurement , Vol. 40, 2007, pp. 607-614
7. Recent Developments in Traceable Dimensional Measurement III, Proceedings SPIE,
Vol. 5879 (2005)
8. Charles P. Reeve, The Calibration of a Roundness Standard, NBSIR 79-1758, June
9. Self-Calibratable Rotary Encoder, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 13 (2005),
pp. 240-245
10. Rio de Janeiro, High accuracy angle indexing table, Metrology for a sustainable
development, 17-22 September 2006
11. Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Vol. 109,
number 3, May-June 2004, pp. 319-333.
12. O. A. Kruger, Metrologia, Vol. 37, 2000, pp. 101-105
16. dimensioning and tolerance