Statistical tolerance allocation for tab-slot assemblies utilizing tolerance-maps

Gaurav Ameta, Joseph K. Davidson, Jami J. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A new mathematical model for representing the geometric variations of tabs/slots is extended to include probabilistic representations of 1D clearance. The 1D clearance can be determined from multidimensional variations of the medial-plane for a slot or a tab, and from variations of both medial-planes in a tab-slot assembly. The model is compatible with the ASME/ANSI/ISO Standards for geometric tolerances. Central to the new model is a Tolerance-Map (Patent No. 6963824) (T-Map), a hypothetical volume of points that models the range of 3D variations in location and orientation for a segment of a plane (the medial-plane), which can arise from tolerances on size, position, orientation, and form. Here it is extended to model the increases in yield that occur when the optional maximum material condition (MMC) is specified and when tolerances are assigned statistically rather than on a worst-case basis. The frequency distribution of 1D clearance is decomposed into manufacturing bias, i.e., toward certain regions of a Tolerance-Map, and into a geometric bias that can be computed from the geometry of multidimensional T-Maps. Although the probabilistic representation in this paper is built from geometric bias, and it is presumed that manufacturing bias is uniform, the method is robust enough to include manufacturing bias in the future. Geometric bias alone shows a greater likelihood of small clearances than large clearances between an assembled tab and slot. A comparison is made between the effects of specifying the optional MMC and not specifying it with the tolerance that determines the allowable variations in position of a tab, a slot, or of both in a tab-slot assembly. Statistical tolerance assignment for the tab-slot assembly is computed based on initial worst-case tolerances and for (a) constant size of tab and slot at maximum material condition, and (b) constant virtual-condition size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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