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Problem statement and motivation

In the last decade, the GDP due to manufacturing grew in Europe less than the accumulated inflation (11.7 % vs. 15.7 %), with a net contraction of the European manufacturing. The key to staying competitive with low-wage developing countries is advanced manufacturing of high-quality products. This is impossible without high standards for intermediate and final inspections, primarily on dimensional and geometrical quantities (GPS – Geometrical Product Specification). It is noted that even a tiny improvement in this area would result in a very large economic impact due to the large GDP fraction of manufacturing in Europe.
Inspections provide factual evidence for decision-making. Standardised rules exist (EN ISO 14253-1, ISO/TR 14253-6) to decide upon part conformity or nonconformity with specifications (tolerances) taking account of the inevitable uncertainty incurred in measurement. Unfortunately, the evaluation of the uncertainty in coordinate measurement is technically very difficult, little guidance is available in international standards, and industry often overlooks it.
New viable and standardised methods for evaluating the uncertainty in coordinate measurement would make inspections in manufacturing more reliable, ensure better quality of products, and help maintaining and possibly strengthening the EU competitiveness on the global market.