Known as the "Doctor of Dimensioning," Alex Krulikowski is a noted educator, author, and expert on Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). He has more than 30 years of industrial experience putting GD&T to practical use on the shop floor.
Alex has taught GD&T
to tens of thousands through his workshops and seminars, and to countless
others through his books, self-study courses, videos, and computer-based
Digest is a monthly publication that presents all facets of quality,
including metrology, Six Sigma, TQM, inspection, testing, SPC, software
and international standards.
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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,
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Last fall, I was teaching a GD&T fundamentals course to a group of designers, engineers, and quality employees at a well-known company in the United States. I was hired to teach geometric tolerancing because they were having difficulty with drawing quality and wanted to ensure that their employees understood GD&T on the drawings. I was exciting about teaching the class, because I knew that I could help this company.
could help this company in two ways: first, by reducing the number of
drawing errors made in engineering, which is the least expensive place
to fix the errors. The second benefit of GD&T training is that it
would help reduce drawing interpretation errors when the drawing is released
from engineering, which is where an interpretation error costs the most.
Figure one shows how much impact these drawing errors have on an organization.
The management seemed excited about the impact GD&T training would have on their organization. However, on the day I began teaching the class, I found that several of the students hadn't even known that they were attending the class until the day before it began. (This is not the first time I've experienced this.) I passed out the materials and we started the activities.
It was a three-day class, and the class format included a pretest before the instruction and a post-test afterwards. This pretest class average was 19.5, which was unusually low. The average pretest score is often around 30-35% for companies using GD&T. Although the average results were low, there were a few students that were in the 30-50% range.
The second day of the class was pretty typical. Some of the students were trying hard to learn as much as they could, while other students were attending but not working very hard to learn.
On the third day, most of the students seemed to be enjoying the hands-on practice. Some of the students were grasping the GD&T concepts well. However, some of the students didn't grasp the importance of GD&T and standards and didn't take the opportunity to learn as much as they could. Other students were nonchalant about the need to learn GD&T.
One student in particular seemed far ahead of the pack. He was a young engineer that had been with the company for about a year. I'll call him Mark. Mark scored the highest in the class on the pretest, with a score that was over double the class average. Mark also made many insightful comments during the class. His questions demonstrated that he understood the material and was trying to figure out how to apply the new concepts on the projects he was involved in. Because of his high pretest score and class participation, I thought Mark might be one of those exceptional students who would score in the high 90's in his post-test.
Midmorning, another employee came into the room and talked quietly to Mark. Mark then left the room with him. I assumed there was some question that Mark was needed to answer relative to his job and that he would return shortly. Sometime in the late afternoon I became curious about Mark. His class materials were still on the table in front of his empty chair and he had not returned. I also sensed that the students seemed a little distracted.
Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I asked the class, "Has anyone seen Mark? We're getting close to the end of the class, and I'm just wondering if Mark will be back in time for the post-test?"
One student hesitantly remarked, "There was a work force reduction today, and Mark was laid off."
I didn't say anything. What could I say? I just kept thinking that this wasn't right. How could the employee with the most advanced GD&T skills-this young engineer with the highest quiz scores, who had mastered concepts easily, and who seemed to be the most promising in the group-be one of the employees being laid off by the company? It was frustrating to witness this obviously talented employee lose his place in the organization.
Many thoughts were racing though my head, one I recall is that they just laid off the person who could help them the most. I don't know what criteria they used for the head count reduction, but, Mark had the skills (or potential to gain them) that were sorely lacking in this company.
It appeared to me that employee skills were not highly regarded in that company or by many of the employees, and this problem is far too common in many companies I visit. Based on my experiences this is representative of the U.S. industrial culture. Many companies do not reward those who learn the skills needed to do a good job, and many employees only care to learn enough to get by. I don't mean to say that all students in my classes are not giving their best effort, but a significant number of them - enough to notice - only want to learn enough to get by.
The company also benefited
because they produced better designs for their customers which translates
into more business. By encouraging the skills, the company became more
capable and competitive and was able to prosper.
the value placed on learning skills in these cases
Organizations in the United States strive to save money and cut costs. One of the ways they attempt to do this is through reducing head count. In my opinion, reducing the employee payroll in the manner I witnessed is a simplistic measure that won't save in the long run, especially when the most skilled employees are part of the cut.
Real cost-savings result when a product is produced economically and efficiently. Designing a quality product requires skilled workers and the consistent use of standards.
should reinforce and reward the efforts of employees who excel in company-sponsored
training programs and who display skills that will enhance job performance.
your management value employee skills?
Figure 2 shows a list of questions that will help reveal if your management values employee training and skills.
you preparing yourself to be the best you can be?
Whenever you attend training of any nature, answer the questions in the chart in Figure 3. This will help you to understand the value of the training and help to apply the training to your job.
rest of the story...
Standards in the News takes a look at real-life issues involving standards.
This month: lack of standards slow up technological advancements.
Excerpt from the infoworld.com website
OF STANDARDS HINDERS ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
The health care industry needs to use IT better, but many doctors and hospitals are concerned about implementing technology such as electronic health records without interoperability standards in place, members of a new U.S. government task force focusing on health IT said Monday.
While some large hospitals and medical practices have moved to electronic health records, many other hospitals and doctors fear that electronic health record software they buy now might not work with standards eventually adopted by the health care industry or the government, said Dr. Mark Leavitt, medical director of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. Without widespread adoption, the cost of electronic health record technology remains high, and smaller hospitals and practices are hesitant to use the technology until the cost goes down and the industry has interoperability standards, he added.
We have been having some discussion at my company about reporting GD&T readings related to profile of a surface. The feature is bilateral, so we understand the concept of an evenly spaced tolerance band across the surface of the part. Readings are being taken in the following scenario: profile of a surface should be .02 (bilateral), so .01 on each side of nominal, readings are taken with varied results from +.008 to -.005. Here is the question: should the results be reported as .016 (doubling the largest reading and keeping the band bilateral), or should it be reported as .013 the maximum range?
To check a surface toleranced with profile, I recommend using a measurement plan. One aspect of the measurement plan is to document a set of points to be measured for the profile specification. The number of points will vary based on the area and importance of the surface. This way each inspector (at any location) will be measuring and reporting on the same surface points. The inspection report should document two parameters of the profile specification.
The variation from
the true profile for each point should be reported (i.e. Point xx= +.008,
Point xx = -.005, etc.) and final designation should be made on part acceptance
based on the fact that the maximum variation of any point cannot exceed
the profile tolerance zone. Then anyone from engineering, manufacturing,
etc. will be able to understand and interpret the data.
have a query about inspection of total runout of any shaft.--- [Can you
explain] how to inspect total runout on OD of a shaft? Which instrument
is to be used? We can use a dial & bench center for circular runout,
but [please explain] how to inspect total runout and how to move a dial
simultaneously along the shaft. Please guide me.
First of all, total runout is a very difficult and expensive control to inspect. It should not be specified very often on drawings. With that being said, here are some suggestions on how to inspect total runout.
Often, a special gage is built that has three elements:
1. a set of gage
features to hold the part to establish a datum axis
As far as checking total runout with open inspection tools and methods, I believe it is very difficult (maybe impossible) to do a credible job. A setup could be created with various inspection equipment, but I am not familiar with how this would be accomplished. Perhaps one of the readers of this newsletter has some expertise they can share with us. If so, I will publish the information in a future issue.
I am under the impression that a CMM could be used to inspect total runout, but I am not familiar with the methods used. Again, if a reader has some information, please write to ETImailbag and I will publish the techniques in a future issue.
I wish I had more
insights to offer, but total runout is not a very common specification,
and I have not had a lot of exposure to the inspection methods other seeing
dedicated gages built for specific applications.
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ETI Mailbag feedback:
In your last news letter volume 1, issue 12 you responded to Joe Jackson's question in answer 3 by referring to figure 4-11 and 4-13 as examples for a centerline plane. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't figure 4-11 refer to a datum axis, which represents a centerline and its true counterpart is cylindrical instead of two planes.
you are correct. Figure 4-11 is a figure involving a diameter and an
axis. I should have stated figure 4-13 & figure 4-14.
to ETImail for spreading knowledge of GD&T and opening our eyes.
just receive a course about GD&T with Alex and I was very impressed
about the subject. I would like to receive articles about it.
for your work, GD&T should be required training for all DRE's.
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