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Suppliers Achieving AIAG's Quality Measurement Data Certification

April 13, 2009
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SOUTHFIELD, MI-Organizations now can be assured that their quality measurement reporting tools and software are compliant with the Automotive Industry Action Group’s (AIAG) Quality Measurement Data (QMD) specification. AIAG says that the standard is agreed on by the statistical process control (SPC) industry, and puts an end to the cost, complexity and time required to extract and translate quality data from different gage, fixture and coordinate measuring machines (CMM) sources.

AIAG says that metrology equipment provider Mitutoyo America Corp. was the first organization to get QMD certified. The company’s MeasureLink 6 product received the QMD Certification status on March 27, 2009 as MeasureLink 6, Conformance Class 3 – SPC with Traceability, says AIAG.

“AIAG is grateful for the early supporters of the QMD project when it was still in the concept phase,” says Akram Yunas, program manger at AIAG. “Their support and technical contributions, from concept to validation to completion, were a key factor in the successful launch of the QMD Specification.”

QMD Specification Explained
QMD is a generic, nonproprietary standard for variable, attribute and binary quality measurement data from any source. Until now, no single standard existed to address quality measurement data integration issues, says AIAG. The lack of standardization created considerable waste and redundancy for gage and reporting solution providers that had to integrate their data to meet more than 1,500 disparate proprietary formats.

The QMD specification resolves this issue, and virtually eliminates the cost of converting data, saving customers and their suppliers millions of dollars annually.

John Horst, metrology interoperability project manager for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), says NIST and AIAG collaborated to create a user- friendly, Web-based conformance test utility that:

1. Helps suppliers test the compliance of their QMD implementation prior to submission for certification; and

2. Allows AIAG to perform formal QMD certification on these products.

“All of this can give end-users of QMD-based products confidence that quality measurement software products are sufficient to solve their data needs and will enable interoperability between products from different suppliers,” says Horst. “Costly use of proprietary formats can now become a thing of the past.”

Why Become Certified?
With QMD certification, AIAG says that customers will have seamless data communication with total interoperability. It verifies that an organization adheres to XML best practices for data interoperability and provides validation that its quality measurement reporting tools are in compliance with the QMD specification, says AIAG.

The online QMD certification process is self-paced and completed directly from the AIAG Web site. Certification benefits include:

  • Global recognition of QMD certification in the AIAG online directory of certified companies.

  • More resources allocated to new development instead of system integration.

  • Gages that communicate with more reporting tools, making them more versatile.

  • Customer assurance of data from a QMD-compliant source.

  • Maps to any legacy database schema.

  • Standard identifiable tags that allow customers to retain old, familiar names.

  • Elimination of gage dependencies and proprietary schemas that require separate technical support.

  • One legible data format that can be read by any machine providing 100% data integrity.

    Advantages for the certified supplier’s customers include:

  • Elimination of wasted resource, money and time from data integration tasks.

  • More resources dedicated to focusing on core business.

  • Continuation of familiar identifiable tag names.

  • Confidence that trading partner quality measurement data will integrate seamlessly with current systems.

    AIAG says customers will now benefit from systems that can read trading partner information-no matter the format being used-eliminating the risk of errors and waste and helping to reduce redundancy.

    Applying for Certification
    The certification process is completed electronically through a test harness accessed from the AIAG Web site. Software will be certified to one or more of the following conformance classes:

  • Basic Measurement: Characteristic ID, Measured Value, Part ID, Date/Time

  • Basic SPC: Nominal Value, Observation ID. Lower Tolerance Limit, Subgroup ID, Upper Tolerance Limit, Sample ID, Subgroup Size

  • SPC with Traceability: Gage ID, Unit, Operator, Reason for Test, Free Text, Machine ID, Characteristic Class

  • Enhanced Reporting/Attributes/Booleans: Characteristic Type, Defect, Event

  • Attachments and Language: File Attachment, Language

    Suppliers can submit QMD-compliant data files to AIAG along with the process description and the level of QMD specification for which they are seeking certification. AIAG will review the submitted information and start the certification process.

    To apply for QMD certification, visit www.aiag.org/sci. For more information, call (248) 358-3003 or contact Akram Yunas.
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