A ballbar testing system is essentially designed to run around in circles. Recording the data from these circular moves, and then comparing them to a perfect circle reveals much about the condition of the machine tool that the ballbar is testing.
Silfex, a company that produces high-quality silicon components for the semiconductor industry, relies on ballbar testing to maintain the capabilities of its vertical machining centers, which operate under unusually harsh conditions. One reason ballbar testing is so useful to this company is that the ballbar test is rather easy to set up and conduct. For a short explanation of how a ballbar works, click here. For the full story of how Silfex makes superb use of ballbar testing data, click here.