CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart


Reference work entry



Measured quantity value minus a reference quantity value

  1. NOTE 1
    The concept of “measurement error” can be used both:
    1. (a)

      When there is a single reference quantity value to refer to, which occurs if a calibration is made by means of a measurement standard with a measured quantity value having a negligible measurement uncertainty or if a conventional quantity value is given, in which case the measurement error is known.

    2. (b)

      If a measurand is supposed to be represented by a unique true quantity value or a set of true quantity values of negligible range, in which case the measurement error is not known.

  2. NOTE 2

    Measurement error should not be confused with production error or mistake.

    (ISO Guide 99 2007, Definition 2.16)


Theory and Application

Let us start discussing the term “error” with the well-accepted definition of (ISO 99 2007), the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM), see definition.

In NOTE 1, we recognize...
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  1. ISO 230-1 (2012) Test code for machine tools - part 1: geometric accuracy of machines operating under no-load or finishing conditions. ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  2. ISO 5725 (1994-2005) Accuracy (trueness and precision) of measurement methods and results, part 1-6. ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  3. ISO 10360-2 (2009) Geometrical product specifications (GPS): acceptance and reverification tests for coordinate measuring machines (CMM) - Part 2: CMMs used for measuring linear dimensions. ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  4. ISO 14253-1 (1998) Geometrical product specifications (GPS): inspection by measurement of workpieces and measuring equipment - Part 1: decision rules for proving conformance or non-conformance with specifications. ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  5. ISO/IEC Guide 98-1 (2009) Uncertainty of measurement - Part 1: introduction to the expression of uncertainty in measurement. ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  6. ISO/IEC Guide 99 (2007) International vocabulary of metrology: basic and general concepts and associated terms (VIM). ISO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  7. Ruhm, KH (2005a) Error bounds. Internet portal “Measurement Science and Technology”. Retrieved from
  8. Ruhm, KH (2005b) Properties of the measurement error. Internet portal “Measurement Science and Technology”. Retrieved from
  9. Ruhm, KH (2011) Nonideal measurement process. Internet portal “Measurement Science and Technology”. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IWF, ETH ZurichHead MetrologySchleitheimSwitzerland