Measuring systems for manufacturing quality control can offer combinations of sensor technologies so those systems can do more thorough measurements of even the most complex parts. Selecting the sensor to use for a particular measurement must be based on its capabilities and the characteristics of actual parts to be measured.
Machine vision has evolved to become a fast and reliable tool for quality inspection. In many cases, a machine vision optical inspection system can perform quality inspections more quickly and accurately than humans and at a lower cost. However, can a machine “see” in color? And does introducing color into the equation help with quality inspection?
The main goal of quality improvement is improved profitability. Greater quality reduces manufacturing costs due to lower scrap levels, less rework and reduced raw material costs. It also increases customer satisfaction because of the quality level itself and faster deliveries, thereby increasing demand for the company’s products. For these reasons, high quality can provide a competitive advantage.
Often inexperienced coordinate measuring machine (CMM) operators will perform dimensional measurements without correctly establishing a part alignment. Manual and computer numerical control (CNC) CMM operators sometimes try to use the CMM as a 2-D or 1-D height gage.
Recently an American-based German manufacturer was awarded a contract to produce some parts for a Japanese company. According to the contract, critical surface areas of the parts were to meet roughness criteria as defined by the Rz parameter. This appeared to be no problem. However, it turned out that the Rz specified was not the current ISO or U.S. standard version they were used to, but a much older Japanese domestic standard dating from 1982.
Traditional measurement of surface texture using 2-D profilometers has major limitations. It gives satisfactory results for isotropic surfaces that present identical features regardless of the direction of measurement. The method also can be applied to some anisotropic surfaces in accordance with ISO 4288, such as turned surfaces with representative profiles that are perpendicular to tool marks. But it does not provide a general solution.
Must quality engineers and product managers always be at odds? The former seeks perfection while the latter pushes for greater throughput. With the latest improvements in leak detection devices, both agendas can be served, as the best examples of this testing equipment help speed the quality control process without sacrificing accuracy.
Acceptable product performance is the ultimate goal of any manufacturer. This requires not only well-controlled material input and process control for making acceptable products, but also a way to ensure that, when products are used where failure could be dangerous or expensive, a screening method ensures the rejection of unacceptable products. Performance-based screening using NDT is an approach to guarantee that high-performance, quality parts are shipped to the customer.
Infrared thermography is the science of detecting and measuring variations in heat emitted by an object and transforming them into visible images. It is a rapidly developing technology for nondestructive testing (NDT) in many applications. Recent advances in imaging equipment allow for more rapid data acquisition and higher spatial resolution, thus opening up new areas of application.
Problems can arise in factories that use 3 by 5 cards to keep track of gages. In fact, calibration problems are one of the top sources of nonconformances during ISO 9000 audits. Commercial software is available for managing a calibration program, but for small shops an Excel spreadsheet may do just as well. Learn how to program a spreadsheet to remind personnel when calibrations are due.