A Method for Optimal Tolerance Selection

[+] Author and Article Information
P. F. Ostwald

College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.

J. Huang

Coors Porcelain Company, Golden, Colo.

J. Eng. Ind 99(3), 558-565 (Aug 01, 1977) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3439279 History: Received August 06, 1976; Online July 15, 2010


This paper introduces and formalizes a method for specifying independent functional tolerances in an optimal least-cost manner. Previous methods have been thwarted by formulation and computational difficulties presented by nontrivial designs. This method is versatile, submits to a diversity of mechanical problems, and relates the production process and cost to process tolerance in the optimization. This tolerance-specification scheme follows Balas’ zero-one algorithm. Generality and efficiency of the method are discussed. Effects of tolerance relaxation on costs are given. Small and large design problems, constructed to satisfy the requirements of the algorithm, show the practical ramifications. The problem is treated with limit, sensitivity, and probability analysis. Widespread adoption of the method throughout industry is encouraged.

Copyright © 1977 by ASME
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