ASME Y14.5 overview

Geometric measurement and tolerancing (GD&T) is a universal practice for communicating the design, function and engineering intent of a part. ASME Y14.5 is a standard developed as a guideline and direction for the language of GD&T. ASME Y14.5 GD&T is used commonly across automotive, aerospace, electronics and manufacturing industries.

What is the purpose of ASME Y14.5?

ASME Y14.5 establishes the requirements, use and understanding of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. The purpose of this standard is to identify the current industry needs and provide a means of communicating drawing objective of project specifications.

Application of this standard within GD&T allows for precise communication during the manufacturing process in order to improve quality and ensure consistency. Distinct symbols, terminology and application of each are highlighted and detailed throughout the standard.The ASME Y14.5 is similar in detailing dimensional requirements as the ISO 1101(e) -2004 series, which is more prevalent in Europe.

Evolution of ASME Y14.5

The revision of ASME Y14.5M-1994 has been conducted to reflect new technologically advanced methods of manufacturing and present day applications. The most recent updated version of the standard is known as ASME Y14.5-2009. The “M” in ASME Y14.5M-1994 was dropped as its purpose was to account for the “metric compatibility” of the standard which is no longer relevant. Although the fundamental concepts of dimensioning have not altered, the updated standard is easier to understand. The following is a brief overview of changes in the updates of the standard:

  • Concept feature of size
  • Datum reference and degrees of freedom
  • Composite position tolerances
  • Non-Uniform zone profile
  • Surface boundaries & axis method of interpretation
  • Profile tolerances
  • Symbols & modifier tools
  • Structural changes (formatting for better visual interpretation and readability)
  • Terminology/Definition changes

Advantages of utilizing the ASME Y14.5 standard

Implementing a universal standard to communicate dimensional requirements unifies different organizations and industries, assisting in understanding and comprehending engineering intent of a project. ASME Y14.5 defines different terminology and uses symbols to lead a concise and accurate form of communication. For example, ASME Y14.5 can assist in communicating specified dimensions or “datums” on a part project. Ultimately, if ASME Y14.5 GD&T standard is applied correctly, it will allow a company to improve communication, save on manufacturing costs and make the quality control process easier by simplifying inspection.


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