EffectiveTraining Inc., Westland  MI,  734.728.0909  
Volume 01: Issue 9

Known as the "Doctor of Dimensioning," Alex Krulikowski is a noted educator, author, and expert on Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). A design manager with one of the world's largest manufacturing corporations, he has more than 30 years of industrial experience putting GD&T to practical use on the shop floor. 

Web Highlights

Cost Effective Casting Design: What Every Component Designer Should Know
Viewing these six key factors as a system—while sketching geometries —provides a workable methodology for consistently good casting designs.

This article by Michael A. Gwyn of Pelton Casteel, Inc., Milwaukee, is from Engineered Casting Sources online magazine, Summer 2003 issue.

To read the article, Click here

Back to top

ETI Products

Monthly Web Special
ETI offers a special deal on a different product each month. Check out this month's Web Special.

Back to top


Learn GD&T Fundamentals: Choose from a variety of formats

Video Series Provides Convenient Training
Learn the fundamentals of geometric tolerancing from the design perspective with this step-by-step approach. This ten-tape set can be used as a complete training program or as a supplement to an existing program. A program guide gives facilitators' tips, shows you how to format your training sessions, and includes reproducible handouts to use during the video training.

To read more about it, Click here

Back to top

Video Workbook: Practice GD&T Skills
The video workbook contains diagrams, tips, charts, and key points from the videos. Practice problems and a mini-quiz are also included in each GD&T lesson. The workbook also serves as an excellent reference.

Back to top


GD&T Trainer Makes Learning Fun
ETI's GD&T Trainer is the perfect solution to your training needs. It's an entire interactive GD&T fundamentals course on one handy CD-ROM. It's convenient, portable, and fun.

To read more about it, Click here
To download a demo, Click here

Back to top


Learn GD&T At Your Own Pace
This illustrated, easy-to-use workbook will be valued by everyone who uses drawings in your firm. Experts can brush up on GD&T skills; novices can become proficient quickly. The workbook has innumerable tips, suggestions, and practical illustrations.

To read more about it, Click here

Back to top

Teach GD&T Fundamentals: Convenient digital kit puts course materials on CD-ROM


GD&T Instructor's Kit Goes Digital
ETI launches its new Digital Instructor's Kit—all the course materials an instructor needs to teach an entire GD&T course included on one handy CD-ROM.
To read more about it, Click here
To download a demo, Click here

Back to top

GD&T Advanced Concepts taught by the experts...

Advanced Concepts of GD&T Textbook
The textbook stresses the applications of GD&T in industry and takes an in-depth look at many GD&T topics. Position, profile, and datums are are covered in detail. It discusses several common industry tolerancing practices that are not documented in ASME Y14.5M-1994. This book is an indispensable on-the-job reference.
To read more about it, Click here

Back to top


Knowledge of Stacks separates the exceptional engineers from the rest

Learn Tolerance Stacks With On-The-Job Focus
The Stacks textbook stresses applications that are found on the job in real life industrial situations. Solve tolerance stack problems involving flatness, straightness, tolerance of position, runout, concentricity, and more. The practice stacks are from actual drawings that are provided in the Drawing Package.

To read more about it, Click here

Back to top

The "Ultimate" GD&T reference tool is only available thru ETI

Economical Tool You Can't Afford To Miss
Carry this pocket-sized reference with you on the job and have a resource to all your GD&T questions at your fingertips. Includes over 50 detailed drawings, GD&T symbols/modifiers, datum application examples, surface texture, composite tolerancing, conversion charts and more...

At only $5, you can order one for each member of your team!

To read more about it, Click here

Back to top

ETI Services

ETI offers convenient, customized, onsite training in fundamentals, advanced concepts and stacks.

Call 734-728-0909 to schedule your next workshop today.

For web-based training, see our new ETI Learning Center.

GD&T Web-Based Training Available
The new ETI Learning Center brings GD&T training to your doorstep.

Register now for the GM Addendum, an in-depth look at the major areas of impact the GM Global Dimensioning and Tolerancing Addendum has on drawings that use the ASME Y14.5M-1994 interpretation of dimensioning and tolerancing.

Coming soon: GD&T fundamentals and a GD&T overview.

To find out more about the ETI Learning Center,
Click here

ETI Offers On-Site Training 
Effective Training brings the most up-to-date, easiest to understand GD&T instruction in the industry right into your location. Either Alex or one of his personally trained instructors will come to your site to conduct a series of three workshops that add up to a total GD&T education. Workshops can be customized to include your drawings and parts.

To find out more about what ETI has to offer your organization.
Click here

Back to top


ETI's Discussion Board: Talk about GD&T issues with other peers and professionals.

ETI'S Discussion Board

ETI's website has an interactive forum that's easy to access and may give you a broader knowledge of GD&T-related topics. Drop by the Interact section of our website and take a look at the Discussion Board. Click on any subject title and you can browse through GD&T topics, where you may find ideas to spark your own questions.

To visit the board, click here.

Back to top


ETI's Employment Opportunities Board
ETI provides a free forum that enables job seekers and employers to meet. If you're looking for employment in a GD&T-related industry or you're a company who needs someone with GD&T knowledge, post your needs here. Click here

Back to top

Tech Calendar

Stay up to date on the latest industry news with the ETI Tech Calendar. Click here

Back to top

Quality Quote

Control is correcting the cause, not treating the effect.

--Shigero Mizuno, from Company-Wide Total Quality Control. (Tokyo: Asian Productivity Org., 1992)

Back to top

ETI Staff

Alex Krulikowski

Product Development
Jamy Krulikowski

Cindi Rowe

Kathy Darfler

Nancy Davis
James Myers

Website/Internet Svcs.
Brandon Billings

Graphic Artist
Matthew Pride

Network Administrator
Chris Wioskowski

Katherine Palmer

Financial Administrator
Tina White

Order Processing

Gary Walls

Lindsay Carlington


ETImail is a regular online publication devoted to Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing. Each edition features a host of GD&T resources and links, as well as dimensioning tips by noted GD&T author and ETI founder, Alex Krulikowski. We also invite you to visit our website, etinews.com. To view past issues of ETImail, see the archives.

ETImail is now available in PDF format. To read the PDF file, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

In This Issue
Here are this issue's highlights. Click on any link to jump directly to a feature:

Featured Article: The Tao of Tolerancing, Part V: The 21 Tao Tolerancing Principles
Standards in the News: Alliance to form standards for mobile chips
ETI Mailbag: Rule # 1 and title block (angular) tolerances
TechTip: Newly discovered benefits of web-based training
Feedback: Comments from readers about prior issues

In the sidebar:
Web Highlights: Cost Effective Casting Design: What Every Component Designer Should Know
ETI Products: Fundamentals, Advanced Concepts and Stacks products
ETI Services: Onsite and Online Training; Employment Opportunities Board; Discussion Board
Other Features: Tech Calendar; Quality Quote of the month


The Tao of Tolerancing
Part V: The 21 Tao Tolerancing Principles

Alex Krulikowski 

This five-part article covers my experiences, thoughts, and beliefs on tolerancing. It is based on observing how many organizations around the world currently handle tolerancing and how I believe tolerancing can be handled in a far more successful way in industry. I believe that using the tolerancing methods discussed in this article can save as much as 30% of part costs.

The first part of this article covered nominal thinking. Part 2 discussed how to specify datums and dimensional relationships for all part features. Part 3 explained how to establish meaningful tolerance values for each dimensional relationship on a part. Part 4 outlined a plan on how to lift your organization from Tolerancing Hell to Tolerancing Heaven.

In this issue of ETImail, the fifth and final part of this article provides a review and summarization of all of the Tao Tolerancing Principles covered in Parts One through Four, with an additional closing principle.

An explanation of the title of this article: Tao (pronounced "dou" or "tou") means "the path" or "the way." Tao is an ancient Chinese religious belief and contains a philosophical aspect that can be applied to how we specify tolerances in industry. A tolerance is simply "the allowable variation for a part feature," so this article is an enlightenment of a philosophical approach to assigning tolerances to part features.

In parts one through four of this article, we discussed the tolerancing problems that face many organizations. These problems have been around for decades and are common throughout industry. Each article gave insights on how to improve the process of assigning tolerances, and suggested the basic tolerancing principles that are needed to lift an organization from Tolerancing Hell to Tolerancing Heaven.

The common message in many of the tolerancing principles is that tolerances are important, and that the system approach to component design is related to the bottom line. This leads to the final Tao Tolerancing Principle:

It is better to solve problems on paper than with hardware. Solving problems on paper uses engineering skills; solving them with hardware uses development skills. Using engineering skills is far less expensive, and is becoming more and more critical with today's competitive market.

I'll close by summing up all of the 21 Tao Tolerancing Principles. I hope these principles help you to feel more comfortable working with tolerances on the job. My wishes are for all of you to reach Tolerancing Heaven.

The 21 Tao Tolerancing Principles

TTP #1 - Nominal thinking will always result in Tolerancing Hell.

Nominal thinking is a simplistic way of looking at a design; it excludes the effect of the tolerances. Nominal thinking increases the risk of problems for the customer and in production. Nominal thinking is often embraced as a timesaving measure or as a convenience when using CAD models.

TTP #2 - You can ignore the effects of tolerances, but you cannot avoid the effects of tolerances.
Tolerance will exist in the produced product even if you don't acknowledge it in the design stage. If you want the part to function as intended, the effects of part tolerances should be analyzed in the design stage.

TTP #3 - Tolerances protect part function and allow for economical production.
Tolerances should protect the function of the product and represent the maximum amount of allowable variation permissible. Specifying the largest tolerance provides manufacturing with the maximum flexibility for selecting and maintaining processes.

TTP #4 - A common tolerance specification method will benefit the entire organization.
It takes time and effort. It isn't easy, but it can be done, and will result in huge cost savings. Without a common method for specifying tolerances, Tolerancing Hell will exist in the organization.

TTP # 5 - Tolerances should be optimized, not compromised.
When something is compromised, a middle way between two extremes is chosen. This is not necessarily a better way, just a way for both sides to get some of what they want. Using the SACD method doesn't compromise tolerancing; it optimizes tolerancing.

TTP # 6 - When you compromise the customer goals, the customer never wins.
Compromises often do not result in the best solution; they keep a level of peace among the participants, but don't do anything to change the core beliefs and often sub-optimize the component design. Also, engineers involved often compromise items critical to the function of the design and the customer pays.

TTP # 7 - You must understand the role of a component in the system before you can tolerance its features.
The SACD method has two parts: system analysis and component tolerancing. The system analysis must be done before the component analysis, because before you can tolerance a component, you must understand its role in the system.

TTP # 8 - The component tolerancing is where the functional relationships of a component should be communicated.
Identify the component features or features of size involved in performing the function
and specify the dimensional relationships (controls for location, orientation, form) necessary to protect the function for each product/system essential/critical path function that is related to the component.

TTP # 9 - What is best for the system, is best for the components.
In the SACD method, the main focus is on ensuring that each product function is protected through tolerance specifications. Applying the SACD method requires the user to be proficient in geometric tolerancing, because the language of GD&T allows the ability to express functional relationships. The SACD method defines what is best for the system in order to determine what is required for each component.

TTP #10 - The amount of tolerance on a part directly affects the costs to produce the part.
A loose (large) tolerance is less expensive to produce than a tight (small) tolerance. The optimum part tolerance is the tolerance that is not too tight or too loose. The optimum tolerance is the tolerance that protects the part function without unnecessarily restricting the manufacturing process.

TTP # 11 - If part tolerances are too loose or too tight, your company will fail.
Products that have a low cost to manufacture, but do not function well may be profitable, but the customers will not be satisfied with the product, so sales will diminish to the point of failure for the company. If the products have a high cost to manufacture, but do not function well the amount of customers will diminish because they won't pay a higher cost for a poor product. The company will struggle in Tolerancing Hell and eventually fail.

TTP # 12 - It is the ultimate goal of all companies to make a profit.
This is accomplished by manufacturing products that function as intended and are a good value to the customer (meaning that the product functions as intended and is competitively priced). Most companies strive to make products that are a good value and generate a profit as well.

TTP # 13 - The optimum tolerance is the tolerance that protects the part function without unnecessarily restricting the manufacturing process.
If a tolerance is too restrictive, manufacturing and gaging costs will be unnecessarily high. If a tolerance is too liberal, part function will be in jeopardy.

TTP #14- If a company bases tolerances on the functional requirements of the product, it can produce products that are a good customer value.
The customer wants a good functioning product at the lowest possible cost. Basing tolerances on functional requirements is the best way to insure this.

TTP #15 - Rewarding the wrong behavior (or not rewarding the right behavior) encourages the wrong behavior.
The industrial culture rewards getting a job done fast over getting a job done right. The employees who can get a job out quickly are rewarded, even though the job is peppered with illegal or inane specifications. In some organizations, even when training is provided, the drawings contain many errors. Training can deal with educational gaps, but management is responsible for attitude and lack of direction issues.

TTP # 16 - The core tolerancing beliefs should guide your daily decisions regarding tolerancing matters.
Tolerancing a part (component) is like a religion; it is a result of ones beliefs. Our beliefs guide our daily decisions.

TTP # 17 - For any skill, practice and feedback are essential to becoming or staying proficient.
For any skill, practice and feedback are essential to becoming or staying proficient. If you play golf, bowl, or play a musical instrument, you know that to have a high skill level, it takes continued practice with feedback to improve. GD&T is not any different. Your skill level is proportional to your effort.

TTP # 18 - Documenting GD&T business cases is critical to demonstrating the importance of GD&T to the organization.
The costs associated with manufacturing problems needs to be documented. There are many ways business cases can be built for proper tolerancing. The right business case will gain rapid support for the topic. The important message is that we need to document the examples to demonstrate the importance of GD&T.

TTP # 19 -. Before employees can embrace a dimensioning philosophy, they must have the skills and appreciation for using tolerances properly.
In the case of tolerancing, managers should reward employees that possess and apply the desired tolerancing skills, rather the employees who finish jobs quickly, but that are poorly done. When tolerancing skills are encouraged, they will grow.

TTP #20 - The organization that can harness the power of proper tolerancing will be the global leader.
Tolerancing has a significant impact on the profitability of an organization. The organization that learns to optimize tolerances will have a distinct advantage over all of its competitors.

TTP #21 - It is better to solve problems on paper than with hardware.
Solving problems on paper uses engineering skills; solving them with hardware uses development skills.
Using engineering skills is far less expensive, and is becoming more and more critical with today's competitive market.

We would like to thank Evan Janeshewski, Dale McPherson, Dan Meyers, and Mike Murphy for their assistance with this article. Their input and suggestions were invaluable.

Download and print a free Tao Tolerancing Principles chart.
Effective Training would like you to have a free copy of our 21 Tao of Tolerancing Principles chart. The chart is 8.5" x 11" and is in pdf format. For a free copy of the chart, click here.

We welcome your feedback. Send comments about this article to ETImailbag.
Your opinions will be posted in the next issue.

This article may be reprinted free for use by your organization if our Reprint Policy is followed.

Back to top



Standards in the News

ETImail's Standards in the News takes a look at real-life issues involving standards. This month: The need for standards in Web-based applications and services.

Excerpts from the InfoWorld Website 

Mobile Industry Processor Interface Alliance could help companies create new types of devices
Chip designer Arm Ltd. and mobile phone giant Nokia Corp. have teamed with semiconductor manufacturers STMicroelectronics NV and Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) to form an alliance that could help vendors bring new types of mobile devices to market more quickly.

The Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Alliance,
aims to complement existing standards bodies, such as the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the founding members said. While OMA focuses on services and 3GPP on air interfaces, MIPI will concentrate on microprocessors, peripherals and software interfaces, according to the statement. Full story
Excerpted from the article, "New Alliance Promotes Standards for Mobile Chips," by John Blau, IDG News Service in the July 29, 2003 InfoWorld. More Info

Back to top


The ETI Mailbag

I seem to remember your saying that title block (angular) tolerances should be larger than what is usually specified. Is this since we want Rule 1 to control the form of the part rather than the title block (angular) tolerances?

Don Sutphin

Yes, I often believe that title block (angular) tolerances on drawings are too tightly specified. If I were king of tolerancing, I wouldn't allow title block angular tolerances. I would require the designer to think about each angular relationship and specify the appropriate tolerance. This way, where the tolerances could be very loose, on for instance a chamfer or other nonfunctional relationship, larger tolerances could be specified.

Rule 1 does control the form, regardless of how tight the title block tolerance is. However, Rule 1 does not control the inner relationship between features of size; the title block (angular) tolerance does. (If not controlled by other geometric tolerances on the drawing.)

This concept is explained in my Fundamentals of GD&T book, on pages 50 and 51, under the section, "Rule #1 Limitation." I have copied the pages here.



Pages 50 and 51 from The Fundamentals of GD&T by Alex Krulikowski.
Click on page graphics for larger size.

ETI appreciates your questions and comments.
Send your GD&T questions to: ETImailbag.
Back to top


Alex's Tech Tip

From teaching ideas to new products that will assist you in training or on the job, the ETImail Tech Tip will keep you informed about new technology and training trends. This month's Tech Tip: More benefits of web-based training

Web-based training, e-learning, distance learning, online training--despite the different terminologies, just about everyone is familiar with this new training format. Since its onset, we have come to think of it as a convenient and affordable way to train; however, the June 2003 article, "The Realities of Web-Based Training," in T.H.E. Journal Online, illuminates some interesting benefits that have not been as widely touted.

We all know online training allows flexibility, but according to Jennifer Minotti, Ed.M., and Paul Giguere, Ed.D., there are other, more esoteric ways for students to benefit from web-based training, like access to colleagues and experts who might otherwise not be available, or its emphasis on a learner-centered approach. Here is the full list of the benefits they cite in the online article.

The major benefits of WBT are listed below (Hall 2000; Horton 2000; Gold 1997; and Ligle and Madey 1997).

Flexibility and time

  • Training may occur anytime, anyplace that there is Internet access.
  • Individuals can learn at their own pace and around their own schedules within a given training time frame.
  • Individuals gain access to colleagues and experts from geographic locations with whom they would ordinarily not have the opportunity to communicate.
  • Individuals are able to take advantage of lifelong learning without relocating or quitting their jobs.

Learning and understanding

  • Individuals must think, respond, problem solve, use critical reasoning, interact and be creative to fully participate in WBT.
  • Individuals may feel more in control of their own learning, thus possibly taking on more responsibility.
  • Individuals gain access to real-world examples, databases, experts and additional sources of information online.
  • Individuals are able to reflect in greater depth on responses to questions or activities posed in training before making their answers and opinions public to other participants.
  • WBT emphasizes a learner-centered approach to training versus simply logging the number of hours spent in training.

Cross-platform and varied software

  • Individuals may be positively challenged by actively navigating the online environment and learning new technologies.
  • Training may be accessed on several computer platforms, including Windows, Macintosh and UNIX.
  • Training may be accessed using many of the common Web browsers, including Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, America Online, Lynx and other free proprietary software.


  • Overall training costs are often cheaper for participants due to eliminating travel and facilities fees.
  • WBT is less expensive when considering the districtwide and worldwide distribution of training, in relation to the limited number of participants in a traditional classroom environment.
  • WBT can be easily updated and "recycled" for additional training at a nominal fee.

Accessibility and equal opportunity for all

  • The standardized nature of WBT equalizes delivery of the materials for all individuals.
  • Opportunities to attend training are created for individuals with disabilities and others who may be excluded due to time, geography or mobility.
  • Multimedia such as graphics, video and audio can enhance learning and understanding, as well as be adapted to individuals with various learning styles.
  • Individual characteristics such as physical disabilities remain anonymous to other participants, thus eliminating judgments and stigmas often associated with particular disabilities.

As with any format, e-learning has its problems, but many of them affect the course development. Creating a well-developed, self-study course can be more work for the instructor, school, or trainer, but, overall, most of the reports on e-learning praise its student benefits. The article quotes Moore and Kearly from their book, Distance Education: A Systems View (New York: Wadsworth, 1996): "...what makes any course good or poor is a consequence of how well it is designed, delivered and conducted, not whether the students are face-to-face or at a distance."

The GM Addendum: Web-based training now available at the ETI Learning Center

Effective Training knows that web-based training has become a viable, affordable, and convenient training option. In order to fill the need for another GD&T training option, we have created the ETI Learning Center (http://etilearn.com) where we offer GD&T and ASME Standard-related courses.

Our first e-learning course is the GM Addendum. Students can sign up today for this new course, which includes a description of the GM Global Dimensioning and Tolerancing Addendum used in the auto industry. It gives an in-depth look at the major areas of impact the Addendum has on drawings that use the ASME Y14.5M-1994 interpretation of dimensioning and tolerancing. The course also points out differences between the GM, Ford, and Chrysler GD&T addendums.

As with all of our training books, software and other products, the training was developed by Alex Krulikowski. Alex knows that providing GD&T training in a variety of formats means a better chance that designers and engineers will have the opportunity to learn it and use it correctly.

"Students can take the course online at home or at work through a series of interactive lessons," said Alex. "Web-based training allows ETI to offer another convenient GD&T training method to our customers, whether individual students or large corporations." Alex is excited about the new online training and says that it fills a need for an affordable training alternative in these tough economic times. Over the next year, ETI will offer two more classes: GD&T Fundamentals and a GD&T overview.

All of the ETI Learning Center classes are interactive, providing feedback through each lesson and quiz. One of the most important aspects of successful online learning is extra support to help the students keep on track with their lessons Effective Training offers a variety of student support options. Our discussion board allows each student to interact with peers who are in the same course, or with professionals who have utilized the course materials on the job. There are also a variety of tech papers, and the many other resources at our website: http://www.etinews.com. And, with email support, students' questions are answered quickly and help from an instructor is only an email away.

For more information about online training and our GM Addendum course,
visit the ETI Learning Center. If your company is interested in online training for a group of students, call 734-728-0909 and ask for the sales dept.


E-learning benefits list excerpted from the article, "The Realities of Web-Based Training," by Jennifer Minotti, Ed.M., and Paul Giguere, Ed.D. in the June 2003 T.H.E. Journal Online. To read the complete article, click here.


If you know about a new tech tool or an innovative idea that would aid 
our readers, please write us: ETImailbag.

Back to top

ETImail Feedback

Have comments about anything you've read in ETImail? ETI will post your comments here and provide a forum for more discussion about GD&T topics.

A Passion for GD&T:
I was sent a link for Volume 01: Issue 8 of your newsletter and I have both enjoyed reading the content and learning more about a field I am becoming passionate about ... tolerancing and GD&T principles. Please send me more!

Diane Onan
Tenneco Automotive

ETI would like to hear from you. If you have an opinion about any ETImail article or feature, please write to our ETImailbag.

We would appreciate it if you'd keep us in mind when you need GD&T training, consulting, or GD&T products. Feel free to contact us by email or by phone at 734-728-0909 or 800-886-0909.

To subscribe to ETImail, click here.
To contact us with questions, comments, or story ideas, click here

To unsubscribe from ETImail, click here.

The contents of this newsletter may be reproduced if our Reprint Policy is followed.

Copyright © 2002 Effective Training Inc. All rights reserved.