Performance Quality and Tolerance Sensitivity of Mechanisms

[+] Author and Article Information
Kwun-Lon Ting, Yufeng Long

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN 38505

J. Mech. Des 118(1), 144-150 (Mar 01, 1996) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2826846 History: Received December 01, 1994; Revised June 01, 1995; Online December 11, 2007


This paper presents a general theory to determine the sensitivity of tolerances to the performance quality of mechanisms and a technique to identify a robust design, which is the least sensitive to the tolerances. The method is demonstrated in position synthesis of linkages. The sensitivity Jacobian is first introduced to relate the performance tolerances and the dimensional tolerances. The Rayleigh quotient of the sensitivity Jacobian, which is equivalent to Taguchi’s signal to noise ratio, is then used to define the performance quality and a sensitivity index is introduced to measure the sensitivity of the performance quality to the dimensional tolerances for the whole system. The ideal tolerance distribution is obtained in closed form. It shows how the tolerance specification affects the performance quality and that the performance quality can be significantly improved by tightening a key tolerance while loosening the others. The theory is general and the technique can be adapted easily for other mechanical systems, including multiple-loop linkages.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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