Quality measurement has been an essential part of process validation and control for manufacturing for centuries. Engineering a product design with critical dimensions needs to be validated by quality measurements during the production cycle.
In the early 20th century, statistical analysis of quality was introduced into the quality process of validating manufactured goods and adopted in a number of industries. Automobile production embraced statistical analysis as a result of W Edwards Deming’s influence as the founding president of the American Society for Quality Control.
Today in many industries, a mix of static (one time) and dynamic measurements are used to validate process measurement. In the Wire Process Industry there are a number of measurement tools used which include pull testers, crimp height micrometers and dynamic validation tools such as crimp force monitors. In Wire Processing, dynamic measurement tools are being adopted, aided by the inclusion of them in new processing equipment. But in some respects, a general awareness of the critical nature of dynamic always on quality measurement tools is lacking.
For example, crimp height measurement. Some companies still use the crimp height as a static first off quality measurement and then not measure another part through the balance of the production run.
Or Press Calibration. Calibrating a crimp press with a shut height gauge to the proper shut height without measuring shut height or press force repeat-ability.
These are mistakes. A single part only assures you that that part (or process) is within production tolerances. And does not take into account variation from all input elements in a crimp process.
Dynamic measurement tools provide a piece by piece indication of process capability and detection of crimp errors. Dynamic capability studies of press shut height and crimp force provide valuable information on a press’ ability to supply repeatable crimp force.
Here is a clip from our seminar at the 2016 Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo. This clip illustrates the value of dynamic press analysis.
Static measurements such as crimp height and pull test are not obsolete in today’s production environment. In fact they are valuable first off process validation tools but need to be supported by dynamic measurement from crimp force monitors and crimp camera systems.
So what are the implications of not dynamically measuring crimp elements in real time?
- Rework cost from defective product
- Related costs and penalties from customers
- Lower customer confidence
- Maintenance and Quality resources not deployed on priority issues because objective information is not available.
Flip these around and you can see the benefit to your organization. So you say these problems have not occurred to our company? Perhaps not in the past but there is always a real risk of these problems coming up in the future. And without objective analysis, you just don’t know.