An adaptive sphere-fitting method for sequential tolerance control

T. M. Cavalier, E. A. Lehtihet, E. Del Castillo, R. G. McGarvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The machining of complex parts typically involves a logical and chronological sequence of n operations on m machine tools. Because manufacturing datums cannot always match design constraints, some of the design specifications imposed on the part are usually satisfied by distinct subsets of the n operations prescribed in the process plan. Conventional tolerance control specifies a fixed set point for each operation and a permissible variation about this set point to insure compliance with the specifications, whereas sequential tolerance control (STC) uses real-time measurement information at the completion of one stage to reposition the set point for subsequent operations. However, it has been shown that earlier sphere-fitting methods for STC can lead to inferior solutions when the process distributions are skewed. This paper introduces an extension of STC that uses an adaptive sphere-fitting method that significantly improves the yield in the presence of skewed distributions as well as significantly reducing the computational effort required by earlier probabilistic search methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2757-2767
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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