As manufacturers transition towards Industry 4.0, they must automate quality control efforts, too.

Many of leaders are turning toward in-line and at-line metrology solutions, or what some call “next generation 3D measurement solutions” to fully realize the benefits of complete factory automation. These solutions are resistant harsh production environments. They also boost accuracy and productivity and are easy to use. Operators of any skill level can use them, and training is simple.

Manufacturers seeking to automate their quality control efforts as they modernize their production plants should try using in-line and at-line dimensional inspection systems, which are

speedier, more adaptable, and more robust than conventional coordinate measurement machines (CMMs) and measurement arms. These solutions can help manufacturers evolve toward automated quality control, advance quality, fast-track production cycles, and reduce quality control costs.

Many leaders are embracing these in-line and at-line metrology solutions, which include 3D scanners, to automate their inspections and quality controls. Solutions including robot-mounted 3D scanners and automated 3D scanning CMMs enable in-process inspections of parts and tooling, in-line and at-line first article inspection (FAI), examinations of supplier parts pre-production, and digitalizing quality control records.

With more operators being able to operate these in-line and at-line metrology solutions, manufacturers can:

  • Improve 3D measurement accuracy, even when measurement takes place on the production floor and, regardless of size, complexity, material, and surface.
  • Deliver insights on costs and waste.
  • Measure more parts per hour (while sticking to the number of dimensions)
  • Boost the number of parts measured per hour
  • Reveal previously undetected errors
  • Collect more information during part measurement, which leads to improved traceability

Why traditional measurement systems fall short

Many manufacturers have not yet taken the in-line automated quality leap. They still execute

FAIs in siloed metrology labs with CMMs. Bottlenecks are rampant due to the volume of inspections to be conducted. Time is wasted, bottlenecks crop up because organizations lack the staff to maintain their CMMS, and quality control workflow is inefficient.

Some organizations try to automate quality control with measurement arms on their shop floors, which are ultimately too fragile. They also still require skilled operators to use them, which cost time and money.

Ultimately, traditional inspection systems keep organizations behind the curve, making it difficult for them to maintain cycle times, expand product output and reduce quality control costs. They also delay the transition to fully automated factories.

Manufacturers who want to completely automate quality control must rethink how to conduct quality in the manufacturing environment. Leaders who want to improve product quality, modernize their facilities and lower quality control costs should try using in-line and at-line dimensional inspection systems.