National Physical Laboratory

Dimensional Good Practice Guides


Measurement needs

Please tell us about your dimensional measurement good practice and training needs.

NPL is looking into future requirements for dimensional good practice and training courses, and would like your views.

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NPL produces a range of Good Practice Guides.

The following Good Practice Guides in Dimensional Metrology and related areas are now available. Follow the links in the table below for more details, a free download, or to purchase a printed copy.

Printed copies of new Good Practice Guides may be obtained for free from several Local Distribution Centres (see below), by personal application. It is hoped, in the future, to expand the range of guides available from these Centres.

Printed copies of guides 079 and 080 are available for free from David Flack, or follow the links in the table below for more details or a free download.

Title

Link to publications database for free download

A beginner's guide to uncertainty in measurement

GPG 011

The measurement of surface texture using stylus instruments (Issue 2)

GPG 037

Dimensional measurement using vision systems (Issue 2)

GPG 039

Callipers and micrometers (Issue 2)

GPG 040

CMM measurement strategies (Issue 2)

GPG 041

CMM verification (Issue 2)

GPG 042

CMM probing (Issue 2)

GPG 043

Fundamental good practice guide in the design and interpretation of engineering drawings for measurement processes

GPG 079

Fundamental good practice in dimensional metrology (Issue 2)

GPG 080

Guide to the measurement of smooth surface topography using coherence scanning interferometry

GPG 108

The measurement of rough surface topography using coherence scanning interferometry

GPG 116

Calibration of the metrological characteristics of Coherence Scanning Interferometers (CSI) and Phase Shifting Interferometers (PSI)

GPG 127

Calibration of the metrological characteristics of Imaging Confocal Microscopes (ICMs)

GPG 128

Calibration of the metrological characteristics of contact stylus instruments

GPG 129

Co-ordinate measuring machine task-specific measurement uncertainties

GPG 130

Care and use of gauge blocks

GPG 149


Abstracts

A beginner's guide to uncertainty in measurement
Guide No 011 (41 pages)
A gentle and short introduction to uncertainty of measurement for beginners, including laboratories preparing for UKAS accreditation. The guide explains the concept and importance of measurement uncertainty, using examples from everyday life. It illustrates how to estimate uncertainty in real measurement situations, showing a detailed uncertainty calculation step by step.

The Measurement of Surface Texture using Stylus Instruments
Guide No 37 (112 pages)
This guide covers the measurement of surface texture using a stylus instrument. It describes the current international standards, introduces the terminology associated with surface texture measurement, and describes how to make measurements and how to interpret the results. The guide also covers the calibration of surface texture measuring instruments and informs the user of such instruments how to calculate measurement uncertainties.

Dimensional Measurement using Vision Systems
Guide No 39 (97 pages)
This guide provides information on the components that make up vision systems used for microscopic and macroscopic dimensional measurements. It also includes generalized measurement good practice and describes the various processes and techniques required to perform accurate and traceable dimensional measurements using these systems.

Callipers and Micrometers
Guide No 40 (99 pages)
This guide covers the use of callipers and micrometers for internal, external and depth measurements. The issues covered include use and general care, support and handling of micrometers and callipers; guidance on choosing the most appropriate equipment type for the measurement; advice on calibration and verification methods and how to generate an uncertainty budget for a measurement; use of electronic instruments; and standard calibration methods and reporting of results.

CMM Measurement Strategies
Guide No 41 (119 pages)
This guide covers the selection of the number of measurement points when using CMMs and gives advice on the compromise between accuracy and speed. It provides guidance on sampling criteria for standard features and advice on measurements that involve projections of features over long distances. It also contains information on basic measurement principles, CMM software functionality in relation to drawing requirements and good metrology practice when using CMMs with CAD data to inspect parts.

CMM Verification
Guide No 42 (102 pages)
Originally written in 2001, this guide has been extensively updated to reflect the latest edition of ISO 10360. The guide covers performance assessment of CMM accuracy, use of everyday artefacts for regular CMM checking, methods of monitoring machine performance between formal verification intervals, and traceablilty. Information is also provided on the acceptance test of the CMM probing system and assessment and reverification tests for CMMs with the axis of a rotary table as the fourth axis.

CMM Probing
Guide No 43 (71 pages)
This is a general guide on CMM probes and probing. It covers probing practice; types of touch probes, their advantages and disadvantages and how they work. It also covers the advantages and disadvantages of various stylus configurations; choosing the appropriate probing sphere size; and the use of non-contact sensors on CMMs.

Interpretation of engineering drawings for measurement
Guide No 79 (99 pages)
This good practice guide is written for engineers, designers and metrology technicians who wish to understand the basics of the interpretation of engineering drawings in relation to the measurement process. After reading this guide designers should have a better understanding of the measurement process and metrology technicians should be in a better position to interpret the aims of the designer.

Fundamental Good Practice in Dimensional Metrology
Guide No 80 (227 pages)
This good practice guide is written for those who need to make dimensional measurements but are not necessarily trained metrologists. On reading this guide you should have gained a basic knowledge of fundamental good practice when making dimensional measurements. An introduction to length units and key issues such as traceability and uncertainty is followed by some examples of typical sources of error in length measurement. Checking to specification, accreditation and measurement techniques are also covered along with an introduction to optical measurement techniques.

Guide to the measurement of smooth surface topography using coherence scanning interferometry
Guide No 108 (68 pages)
This guide describes good practice for the measurement and characterisation of smooth surface topography using coherence scanning interferometry (commonly referred to as vertical scanning white light interferometry). The guide is based on the measurement of the topography of semiconductors, epitaxial wafers and optical thin film coatings. However, the general guidelines described here can be applied to many flat, smooth surface topography measurements. For the purpose of this guide, the definition of a smooth surface is one that has an approximately random distribution of heights with a roughness (Sz) of less than 50 nm.

The measurement of rough surface topography using coherence scanning interferometry
Guide No 116 (131 pages)
This guide describes good practice for the measurement and characterisation of rough surface topography using coherence scanning interferometry (commonly referred to as vertical scanning white light interferometry). It is aimed at users of coherence scanning interferometry for the optical measurement of surface texture within production and research environments. The general guidelines described herein can be applied to the measurement of rough surfaces exhibiting different types of surface topography. For the purpose of this guide, the definition of a rough surface is one that has features with heights ranging from approximately 10 nm to less than 100 μm.

Calibration of the metrological characteristics of Coherence Scanning Interferometers (CSI) and Phase Shifting Interferometers (PSI)
Guide No 127 (72 pages)
This document is a guide to the calibration of Coherence Scanning Interferometers (CSI) and Phase Shifting Interferometers (PSI). Methods for determining the measurement noise, flatness deviation, amplification coefficient, linearity and perpendicularity of the axes and resolution of areal surface topography measuring instruments are presented.

Calibration of the metrological characteristics of Imaging Confocal Microscopes (ICMs)
Guide No 128 (76 pages)
This document is a guide to the calibration of Inaging confocal Microscope (ICM). Methods for determining the measurement noise, flatness deviation, amplification coefficient, linearity and perpendicularity of the axes and resolution of areal surface topography measuring instruments are presented. The methods are compliant with draft international specification standards on areal surface texture.

Calibration of the metrological characteristics of contact stylus instruments
Guide No 129 (58 pages)
This document is a guide to the calibration of contact stylus instruments. Methods for determining the measurement noise, flatness deviation, amplification coefficient, linearity and perpendicularity of the axes of areal surface topography measuring instruments are presented. The methods are compliant with draft international specification standards on areal surface texture.

Co-ordinate measuring machine task-specific measurement uncertainties
Guide No 130 (83 pages)
This guide covers methods to ascertain the measurement uncertainty associated with measurements made on a co-ordinate measuring machine. It describes the need to take in to account measurement uncertainty when making measurements on co-ordinate measuring machines. Methods for determining task-specific measurement uncertainties are covered with particular reference to ISO 15530.

Care and use of gauge blocks
Guide No 149
Although they are relatively robust, obtaining the best accuracy from gauge blocks requires proper handling. Written for those new to using gauge blocks, or for more experienced users who would like to refresh their knowledge, this guide outlines some of the best practices for handling, inspecting, cleaning and storing gauge blocks. Readers will also learn how to determine which gauge blocks to use, how to wring them and some basics of gauge block calibration.


Good Practice Guides - Sub Distribution Centres

Several organisations have kindly agreed to act as local distribution centres for new NPL Good Practice Guides.

At the moment, this service is limited to guides GPG079 and GPG080, though it is hoped to expand the range available from these Centres in the future.

Below is a list of distribution centres where printed copies of Good Practice Guides can be collected by prior appointment in person:

Location
Leeds
Contact
Ronnie Magee or Roy Mackin
Address
Manufacturing Metrology Centre, Leeds College of Technology, South Leeds Centre, Westland Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS11 5SB
Contact details
Tel : 0113 297 9426 or 0113 297 9407 (direct lines)
Fax: 0113 297 9401
E-mail: r.magee@lct.ac.uk

 

Location
Coventry
Contact
Derek Hall
Address
Coventry University Enterprises, The Techno Centre, Puma Way, Coventry CV1 2TT
Contact details
Tel: 024 7623 6843
Fax: 024 7623 6388
E-mail: d.hall@cad.coventry.ac.uk

 

Location
Leicester
Contact
Hetal Patel
Address
The Precise Group Ltd, 4 Vulcan Court, Hermitage Industrial Estate, Coalville, Leicester LE67 3FW
Contact details
Tel: 01530 519356
Fax: 01530 839631
E-mail: hetal.patel@theprecisegroup.com

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Last Updated: 4 Jul 2017
Created: 26 Jan 2011

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