Reduced production costs and improved quality isn’t an oxymoron … really.
It’s only to be expected that engineering and process staff might have a rocky relationship with the big promise of Industry 4.0. Achieving the goal of the connected factory where every piece of equipment digitally connects with another and every unit in production is traceable can seem daunting.
Which it is, if you still rely on the wrong tools to do the job.
Should the focus of a discrete manufacturer be on overall yield/output, or on first time yield?
Before we address the question, let’s define the difference.
Overall yield is the total final output of a manufacturing line. It includes any units that had to be reworked in a repair bay due to defects or errors but did end up earning the stamp of approval.
First time yield (FTY), on the other hand, looks only at those units that made it all the way down the line and out the door without any defects or errors that required rework.
Most people in the manufacturing industry are acquainted with the idea of an inline repair process. Parts with problems get pulled from the assembly line, are diagnosed and repaired by technicians and then put back into the assembly process. This work is typically done in repair bays.
There is defect on your line you just can’t catch.
Maybe it’s showing up in a first-time yield rate that refuses to improve, or in the number of warranty repairs that are coming in.
Products are failing on your production line. Productivity is suffering as yields drop and the cost of scrap and rework climbs.
From auto parts to running shoes, manufacturers constantly battle one chronic quality issue when it comes to adhesive and sealant dispensing on a production line.
Finding the right limits for your in-process tests is crucial to achieve the highest production yields and minimize, as much as possible, the risks of defective parts slipping through.
Manufacturers have long had access to the smart tools they need to quickly optimize their test limits. And yet, many still rely on archaic methods of trial and error, wading through piles of spreadsheets to do manual calculations.
We visited one component company where it was taking weeks to find the correct test limits for an automotive sensor – it even took days for a simple calibration.