Two years ago, Process Engineer Bill Roberts and his team at Minnesota-based Roberts Automatic Products, Inc., were looking to improve the company’s statistical process control (SPC) and its overall data collection processes.
As a contract machining company producing turned and mill metal and plastic parts for the military, aerospace and medical industries, Roberts Automatic Products needs to provide hyper-accurate quality control reports for its clients. And its hodge podge of different data collection systems and products was simply not getting the job done. That’s when Roberts turned to Zontec and its Synergy 2000 solution.
The company has a job that ships about 15,000 pieces a month.
“We need to supply SPC data for all dimensions [15 dimensions] for 189 pieces [2,835 measurements]” said Roberts.
With Synergy paired with its Zeiss O-Inspect, which does vision and probing, the company was able to successfully automate this process.
“We used to spend about three hours a day taking measurements and inputting data, now we spend about half-an-hour a day using Synergy,” said Roberts.
Roberts described another job that runs batches of about 400 pieces each, requiring SPC on every eighth part.
“So that is about 50 parts with 18 dimensions per part [900 measurements],” said Roberts. “This is also automated with Synergy and our CMM [coordinate measuring machine].”
Normal procedure for the company is to have the CMM measure all of the dimensions.
“Synergy just made it easier to collect the data,” said Roberts.
When asked why it chose the Zontec Synergy 2000, Roberts pointed to the systems ease of use, functionality, and competitive price.
One-click navigation and color-coding in the system top the list of ease of use. Whether automated or manually entered, data is instantly displayed in charts and reports that can be navigated with a click of the mouse, as well as notifications to any-and-all involved in the process, providing instant feedback, helping to solve problems and allowing for repeatability and reliability of the process.
“With the help of Zontec we got it all hooked up and everything is working as advertised,” said Roberts. And “as advertised” means the company’s quality personnel and operators are saving time and are guaranteed that all pertinent data is getting collected from manual entry to the connected gages, a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), or vision system. The system then prepares reports to be provided directly to customers.
Synergy 2000 reports can include performance metrics, profitability analysis, as well as Automated Certificate of Analysis, which shows that customer requirements and specs have been met. The reports are comprehensive and provide real-time data pulled from every aspect of the manufacturing process, gathering valuable intelligence about past performance as well as predicting future results.
And implementation was a breeze, according to Roberts. “It was similar to our old product except that we were able to update our hardware platforms,” said Roberts. “Both our computer operating systems and method of connecting gages to the hardware.”
When asked if there were any challenges to the implementation process, Roberts said what every implementer wants to hear—None. And when asked if he had advice for other companies facing similar challenges Roberts simply responded, “Buy Synergy.”
Roberts Automatic Products, Inc.
880 Lake Drive Chanhassen, MN 55317