Precision measurement of cylinder straightness using a scanning multi-probe system

Wei Gao, Jun Yokoyama, Hidetoshi Kojima, Satoshi Kiyono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a scanning multi-probe system for measuring straightness profiles of cylinder workpieces. The system consists of two probe-units, each having three displacement probes. The two probe-units, which are placed on the two sides of the test cylinder, are moved by a scanning stage to scan the two opposed straightness profiles of the cylinder simultaneously. A differential output calculated from the probe outputs in each probe-unit cancels the influence of error motions of the scanning stage, and a double integration of the differential output gives the straightness profile. It is verified that the difference between the unknown zero-values of the probes in each probe-unit (zero-difference) will introduce a parabolic error term in the profile evaluation result, which is the largest error source for straightness measurement of long cylinders. To make zero-adjustment accurately, the cylinder is rotated 180° and scanned by the probe-units again after the first scanning. The zero-differences of the probe-units, as well as the straightness profiles of the cylinder, can be accurately evaluated from the output data of the two measurements. The effectiveness of this method is confirmed by theoretical analysis and experimental results. An improved method, which can measure the variation of the zero-difference during the scanning, is also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalPrecision Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jul


  • Cylinder
  • Dimensional measurement
  • Multi-probe method
  • Straightness
  • Three-probe method
  • Zero-adjustment


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