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Why use a Renishaw QC20-W ballbar?

Even with the best machinery and operators, machine derived defects can occur and producing bad parts costs you time, money and even customers.

Using a QC20 ballbar offers you a proven solution

Nobody sets out to produce defective parts! Component dimensional and finish defects may result from bad tooling, worn spindles or workpiece clamping, but the major causes of defects can usually be attributed to positioning errors in the machine tool itself; the result of geometric, dynamic and play errors within the machine.

Many errors can often be fixed in minutes, if only you knew where and what they were. It doesn't matter if your machine is new or old; all can have errors. The secret of reject free production is to know just how good your machines really are; helping to plan production and make adjustments when required.

In the past this may have been achieved by machining test or "master" parts and then inspecting them. However, this was time consuming and gave limited confidence when machining parts with geometries different to the master part.

QC20 ballbar testing provides a quick and powerful assessment of a machine's performance to identify areas where remedial action may be required.

Ballbar testing explained

QC20 ballbar volumetric test

Everyone benefits


  • Understand your machines' true capabilities, choosing the right machine for each job.
  • Achieve manufacturing tolerances, reducing or avoiding scrap, rework and time-consuming set up and inspection processes.
  • Evaluate new machines prior to purchase.
  • Evaluate after installation, before final sign-off.


  • Identify problems quickly; no need to strip down machines just to see if something is wrong.
  • Evaluate repair strategies and their results before you start.
  • Implement predictive maintenance programs by regularly tracking a machine's performance.
  • Minimise specialist “call outs” and check that contractors have fixed the problem before they leave.

Field service

  • All the benefits as for “Maintenance” plus ..
  • Reduced warranty costs due to improved diagnosis.
  • Increased service team productivity due to reduced time on site (due to quicker diagnosis).
  • Increased customer satisfaction, test reports provide tangible proof of service.


  • Comply with standards for quality management (eg ISO 9000).
  • Equipment calibrations traceable to national standards.
  • Ensure equipment meets recognised standards before shipment (machine tool OEMs).
  • Incorporate QC20 ballbar tests into your QA system.

Simple to implement and cost effective

QC20 ballbar test with small circle adaptor

A simple test, with 3 different operation modes to suit your needs and level of operator skills or authorisation, and auto-diagnosis software means you get useful information not just data!

The comprehensive user manual is designed to maximise what you get out of using the QC20 ballbar. We can provide training courses both in-house at our high quality training facilities or at your site.

Everything you need to start testing is included in a single robust carrying case, all you need is a PC to start running tests and saving money.

It's probably one of the most cost effective investments you can make if you are operating or servicing CNC machine tools. Not only is it a low cost system to buy but low training, implementation and ongoing costs mean that your benefits aren't eaten into.

Discover QC20 ballbar

Find out about training courses

Proven in use and globally recognised

Recognised in major international standards, a ballbar test can be used as part of overall QA compliance procedures in a manufacturing process and as an objective test for the CNC machine tool itself.

QC20 ballbars are in use with thousands of businesses throughout the world including machine tool manufacturers, maintenance & repair contractors and end users in aerospace, automotive and general engineering sectors. All companies, big or small, have one thing in common: a recognition that knowing and controlling their machine tool's capabilities improves their business and profitability.

Customer testimonials

Find out how our customers are using QC20 ballbar to improve their measurement process.

Knowing the machine's capability before it cuts parts allows us to minimise scrap and machine downtime. That gives us high part-quality and productivity while keeping manufacturing cost down. It's what Lean Manufacturing is all about – greater customer value.

Nemcomed (USA)

With the help of Renishaw ballbar diagnostics, a dormant CNC machine tool has been brought back to life, and BAE Systems has benefitted from significant improvements in workshop productivity and QA compliance.

BAE systems (UK)

Product information