Author: Jim Hranica (firstname.lastname@example.org)| Sales Engineer
No matter if your business is producing 1,000 or 10,000 products a day, the risks attributed to poor quality management remain the same. Having appropriate protocols in place to consistently deliver reliable goods is essential to not just maintaining customer loyalty, but to sustaining a business’ costs & profits. After all, there are few things that can impact revenue as much as product quality.
As a business owner, you can invest in the best equipment and support it with talented staff, but if you cannot contain bad parts, you significantly risk increased material, labor & disposal costs, jeopardize order deadlines, and damage customer satisfaction & retention rates. All of which have heavy effects on your reputation and bottom line. So how does a business go about ensuring that at every stage of the manufacturing process, goods are efficiently monitored for defects – without disrupting the line.
Quality Control and its Impact to the Manufacturing Process
Quality Control is a procedure (or set of procedures) that a company uses to ensure that all end products meet predefined standards and requirements. The process allows businesses to identify product variations and in return rectify production line failures. While no one can absolutely guarantee the total elimination of errors, if a supplier can easily capture input and process flow data of individual parts, it can go a long way towards capturing the deficient parts before they are shipped.
Aligning the production process with industry standards comes with its own set of headaches. For medium to high volume production part suppliers, maintaining quality control of an individual part by keeping up with a line’s history of processes can be very labor intensive and slow. This holds especially true when multiple machines (sometimes on multiple stations) perform the same process. If one machine begins producing non-conformant parts, and then these flow down the line with good parts, the impacted quality suspect range of non-conformant parts increases exponentially. If the raw material is determined to be non-conformant, which in-process parts and finished goods are now impacted?
With so many inspection points and qualitative standards, how does one go about developing the best Quality Control system for their business? What real-time monitoring measures can employ prompt and rapid production corrections?
IIoT, Automation & Serialization Systems:
Getting the Most Out of Your QC Plan
An effective way to bolster a QC plan is to leverage IIoT integration with a machine’s load/unload automation system to communicate with a PC database and maintain part serialization records & real-time process history. This autonomous communication process/provides many levels of tracking and control; from simple part history recording, to confirming model types, critical part data storage, hold flags and more. Through a unique serialization numbering system such as a barcode or RFID tag (best applied where raw material is produced), the programmed process gives manufacturers better visibility, reliability, and response into their operations.
Giken successfully integrated this system, which received a US Patent 7809458B2 by Honda Motor Co Ltd in 2010, into several Honda plants by installing cameras at key locations on the machine’s automation line. Sensors gathered and analyzed data by identifying parts as they moved down the line. This real-time communication between the process control system and machine controllers was so successful at increasing day-to-day operating efficiency that the system has since been implemented at multiple Honda manufacturing plants using various methods of data capture and data storage and queries.
There are many products and technologies specifically geared towards improving a business’ QC practices. Recognizing each product’s strengths and understanding how they could fill the gaps to your production process can be daunting. At Focus Technologies, we take pride in offering our customers 30 years hands-on, real world factory experience. You name it, we’ve seen it, and we’re here to help. Give us a call today at 800-501-3445 or email us at email@example.com