Application Additions to the Long Range Ball Bar for Multi-axis Machine Capability Analysis

Period of Performance: 02/05/2009 - 02/05/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

332 Canonchet RoadPO Box 70
Rockville, RI 02873
Principal Investigator


Testing of machine tools has been evolving for nearly 100 years. The advent of low cost computer data analysis, control and communication has allowed the design, manufacture and inspection of complex contoured surfaces. The need to ever decrease the tolerances has led to the development of machine tools which can no longer be tested with these old methods. These machines must be evaluated within their whole work volume, not just along single axes. A further development has been the rapidly growing use of e-commerce. New terms such as NCM (Network Centric Manufacturing) and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) have been coined to describe the methods being used to produce products using the Global Economy . Current practice limits the assessment of vendor machine performance and capability until after the first delivery of new product. These facts have produced a need to develop lower cost equipment and methods to rapidly assess the capability of new and old machine tools within their work volume. Independent Quality Labs, Inc. (IQL) has developed and built a Long Range Ball Bar capable of capturing machine position data within the work volume.These mechanical developments need to be accompanied by software Application Additions to keep pace with these advancements.