Precision Makes Machining Perfect!

Maintaining Right, Machining Right Part II

We started this series ‘Maintaining Right for Machining Right’ where we are focusing on precision measuring instruments that are inevitable for maintaining machine conditions at optimum level and reducing breakdown incidents. In the first part of the series, we discussed about Belt Tension Measurement, Spindle Mandrel, Clamp force gauges, Ball Bar instruments and Laser Interferometer. In this part, we are focusing on Precision Block Level, Dial Indicators, Master Cylinder and Master Square Granite, Multimeter.

Master Cylinder and Master Square Granite

These instruments are used mainly for gauging, inspection, squareness testing and for checking three axis geometric accuracies of machine tools. Master Cylinders, Squares provide most reliable reference standards for checking of squareness of vertical axis with reference to horizontal axis. Cylindrical Squares are made of quality steels. Granite Squares provide one of the most reliable squareness inspection references. Work is positioned against the square and sighted for checking squareness of components by comparison method. Granite Squares are also used for checking squareness of measuring axis in Co-ordinate Measuring Machines and geometrical alignment of machine tools. Granite block master (square) is very stable and rigid, providing the ultimate in squareness references. Granite block master (square) are made from selected black granite stone.

Dial Indicators

This is the basic instrument used in every machine shop. The axis backlash, repeatability and spindle sweep can be measured on periodic basis with these instruments. The readings from the instrument are used to accurately measure small distances and angles, and amplify them to make them more obvious.


A Multimeter or Volt-Ohm meter, is a device used to measure voltage, current and resistance. Multimeter might be analog type Multimeter or digital Multimeter, depending on the type of circuit being used. Normally, these hand-held devices are very useful to detect faults or provide field measurements at a high degree of accuracy.

Precision Block Level

This instrument is used to ensure that the machine base is not distorted. The bed is levelled by observing bubble in instrument of accuracy 0.020mm/meter. It is important as the transmission element ball screw and bearing also can be affected over a period of time if bed is not levelled properly. The machine squareness is not correct if bed is not leveled within tolerance limits.
In the next series of ‘Maintaining Right for Machining Right Part III’ we will bring you information about more such precision measurement instruments such as Megger, Laser Thermometer, Vibration Analyzer, Torque Wrench.
PHILLIPS Machine Tools Technical Centers and regional locations throughout India have one or multiple sets of these tools/instruments. The qualification of machine condition can be assured by a specific protocol and quantification of parameters for machine condition analysis during a preventive check.

It is always advisable to qualify the machines from the certified agency/ engineer. A record file of periodic check results should be maintained for every machine. The analysis of these records will provide wear pattern of the components and helps in predictive spare parts planning. The unpredictable machine breakdowns can be reduced considerably with this check as well as it helps to control the spare parts inventory cost.

The author Shardul Itkalkar heads the Engineered Products Division of Phillips Machine Tools India Private Limited. With more than two decades of industry experience he advocates right maintenance for your machines. He can be reached at

Related Articles

Hybrid Additive Manufacturing: Shaping the Future of Production

In the ever-evolving world of aerospace manufacturing, staying at the forefront of technology is
paramount. Aerospace fabrication shops and aerospace engineering shops worldwide are
constantly seeking ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of
aerospace components.

Read More »

Elevating Aerospace Manufacturing with Innovative Technologies

To overcome the traditional manufacturing limitations, additive manufacturing, or more commonly known as 3D printing, was brought into picture, transforming the production landscape. However, despite its numerous advantages, traditional additive manufacturing has certain limitations.

Read More »