Controlling tolerance stacks for efficient manufacturing

G. Thimm, G. A. Britton, F. S. Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Datum-hierarchy (rooted) trees provide a highly efficient and sound basis for tolerance analysis and automated process planning. This paper builds on the previous work by the authors and shows that it is possible to optimise the structure a datum-hierarchy trees automatically. A process planner specifies an initial tree, which is improved upon by using an evolutionary algorithm and is checked against manufacturing and design constraints. A cost function that takes into account machine changes, datum changes and the sum of tolerance stacks drives the mutation process to generate "minimum cost" trees. Experiments were conducted on four industrial parts to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach. The results demonstrate that the method can reduce machine and datum changes and the sum of tolerance stacks. They also show that the order of priority of the cost criteria has a significant effect on the final shape of the trees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Datum-hierarchy tree
  • Minimising tolerance stack-ups
  • Optimising process planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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