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Defined as the difference between the indicated
value and the true value of the measurand.
Errors are expressed either as
1. Absolute error
2. Relative Error (Error/True Value)
. Errors of measurement is the combined effect of
components errors affecting elements of
measurement system (SWIPE).
. To minimize the error a number of observations are
taken and their average is taken as the value of the

Types of Errors
1. Static Errors:
. Reading Errors
. Characteristic Errors
. Environmental Errors
2. Instrumental Loading Errors
3. Dynamic Errors

1. Static Errors
.These errors result from the physical nature of various components
of measuring system.

I.Reading error:
i.Parallax Error
ii.Interpolation Error
II.Characteristic Error:

.Defined as the deviation of the output of the measuring

system from nominal performance specifications or
theoretically predicted performance.
.Calibration error, repeatability, hysteresis are some
examples of characteristic error.
.Arises due to imperfections in the measuring

III. Environmental Errors

Caused due to effect of surrounding
temperature, humidity, and pressure on
measuring system.
External influences like magnetic or electric
fields, vibration or shock, etc. also lead to errors.
Environmental factors affect both, i.e. measuring
device and measurand and effects on the two
elements is independent.
Environmental factors affecting each component
of a measuring instrument make a contribution
to static errors.

2. Instrument Loading Error

Results from change in the measurand
itself when it is being measured.
Deformation of soft components under
contact pressure of measuring instruments
gives rise to loading error.
Loading error is the difference between the
value of the measurand before and after
Effects of instrument loading are
unavoidable and must be determined for
measuring instrument and measurand.
An instrument in which sensing element
minimizes instrument loading error must

3. Dynamic Errors
Errors caused by time variations in the
measurand and results from the inability of
the of the system to respond to time
varying measurement.
Caused by Inertia, damping friction or other
physical constraints.
Classification of Errors
For Statistical Study and the Study of
accumulation of errors, Errors are
categorized as:
i. Systematic or controllable errors
ii. Random Errors

1. Systematic Errors (Experimental

. Systematic errors are repetitive in nature
. Result from improper conditions or
procedures that are consistent In action.
. If properly analyzed can be determined and
. Can be controlled in magnitude as well as
Some of the sources of systematic errors
i. Calibration errors
ii. Ambient conditions

2. Random Errors
Occur randomly and specific causes of
such errors cannot be determined.
Random errors are non consistent
Possible sources of Random errors are:
i. Variation in setting standard and
ii. Operator error in scale reading
iii. Fluctuation in the friction of measuring

Difference between systematic errors and random errors

Errors likely to creep in Precision measurements

1) Effect of Environment- Temperature

Variations in temperature cause variations in
measurement output in metals significant enough to
affect accuracy.
Controlling Temperature through air conditioning is
Gauges, workpieces etc. must be kept in contact
with heat sinks to avoid temperature variations.
Internationally accepted temperature for
measurement is 20oC and instruments are calibrated
at this temperature.
Whenever workpieces and gauges are handled, eg.
Wringing of gauges, the same have to be left on a
table for a definite time so as to attain standard

2) Effects of Alignment
i. Abbes Principle: The axis or line of
measurement of the measured part should
coincide with the measuring scale or the axis
of measurement of the measuring instrument.
Cosine Error
. Occurs in measurement of length with a scale if
the measuring scale is inclined to the true
dimension being measured.
. As shown in the figure, length recorded is in
excess of the true length by l(1-Cos)

Cosine Error

Errors arising due to bent jaws of Vernier


ii. In a vernier caliper errors arise if the jaws are

not parallel for a measurement in the given
. In a vernier caliper measuring jaws are
extension of the scale markings on the
. In the figure shown l corresponds to the
displacement of the jaws from each other.
. In a bent scale as shown in figure the length
between the extreme of the jaws is l 1 which is
smaller than the length indicated on th scale

iii. Combined Sine and Cosine Error

. Combined Sine and Cosine error occur if the
instrument axis is not truly perpendicular to
the axis of the work piece.

. Eg. Combined Sine & Cosine Error in


D= True diameter of shaft

L=Apparent Length
d=Micrometer Anvil Diameter
D=Lcos) dSin
Error=L D = L (LCos dSin)
=L(1 Cos) + dSin
Errors of the above type can be
eliminated by using gauges with
spherical ends.

3. Contact Pressure
Variation in the contact pressure between
anvils of the instrument and workpiece
produce difference in reading.
Deformation depends on contact pressure
and shape of the contact surface.
Contact surfaces between instrument
anvils and work piece produce negligible
deformation while deformation in thecae
of point contacts is appreciable.

Development of correct feel is a skill to be

acquired by the inspector to reduce such an error.
Measuring instruments must be supplemented
with necessary mechanisms to ensure correct
contact pressure.
4. Errors due to vibration
Instrument anvils will not give consistent repititive
reading if subjected to vibration
Following precautions need to be taken to
eliminate errors due to vibration
i. Precision measurements to be carried out away
from shop floor.
ii. Slipping Cork rubber pads should be used under
the gauge.

5. Parallax Error
Parallax Error occurs when
i. Occurs when line of vision is not directly in line with the
measuring scale
ii. Scale and pointer are not in the same plane
With respect to figure
. d=Separation of scale
And Pointer
. D = Distance between
Poiter and eye of observer
. =Angle made by line
. of
Sight and normal

But NE = (d+D)*tan

In order to reduce parallax error

i. d should be minimum possible.
ii. should be reduced to zero by
placing mirror behind the pointer.