Derivation of a cost model to aid management of CNC machine tool accuracy maintenance

Abubaker Shagluf, Andrew Longstaff, Simon Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Manufacturing industries strive to produce improved component accuracy while not reducing machine tool availability or production throughput. The accuracy of CNC production machines is one of the critical factors in determining the quality of these components. Maintaining the capability of the machine to produce in-tolerance parts can be approached in one of two ways: run to failure or periodic calibration and monitoring. The problem is analogous to general machine tool maintenance, but with the clear distinction that the failure mode of general machine tool components results in a loss of production, whereas that of accuracy allows parts to be produced, which are only later detected as non-conforming as part of the quality control processes. This distinction creates problems of cost-justification, since at this point in the manufacturing chain, any responsibility of the machine is not directly evident. Studies in the field of maintenance have resulted in cost calculations for the downtime associated with machine failure. This paper addresses the analogous, unanswered problem of maintaining the accuracy of CNC machine tools. A mathematical cost function is derived that can form the basis of a strategy for either running until non-conforming parts are detected or scheduling predictive CNC machine tool calibrations. This is sufficiently generic that it can consider that this decision will be based upon different scales of production, different values of components etc. Therefore, the model is broken down to a level where these variables for the different inputs can be tailored to the individual manufacturer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-43
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Machine Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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