Leak testing is often an art as much as it is a science. Manufacturing quality engineers and...

The Savings of Commonality

By Joe Ventimiglio, Sciemetric

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If you look across any given plant floor you’ll see a large array of different test and monitoring and data acquisitions systems at work. The challenge in implementing, using and maintaining such a disparate set of hardware and software to monitor the line causes a lot of headaches for manufacturing and quality engineers. That’s why I preach about the savings of commonality.

Commonality equals what I refer to as the “5 Cs”: common hardware, common software, common look and feel, common learning curve and common spare parts. It means using one type of test system across the assembly line for evaluating quality at different processes, using the same standard, universal hardware and software interface. There is a tendency to think about the line in terms of individual processes – force-distance monitoring, leak testing, torque testing, etc. – rather than as a whole. What I’m talking about is using one platform for doing it all.

 

Here is how the commonality approach in quality testing saves manufacturers money

Reduce implementation time & fix problems fast

Time to market is important for any successful manufacturer and so getting the line working and keeping it up is your priority. You don’t have to take the time to learn how to use, set up or apply a new system. If there’s a problem with the system on the line you are able to swap it out easily with another standard box – it’s that easy.

Save costs and reduce inventory on spares

You don’t need to maintain a vast inventory of spares for all kinds of systems. In a commonality approach, one hardware box can be used for many applications on the line.

Consistent information to help you make decisions

There’s the old line about comparing apples to oranges. Test and monitoring systems often act as data acquisition modules – but they all have their own way of doing it. The data collected is not the same so if one, for examples, provides signatures and the other doesn’t, it makes it difficult to correlate downstream failures to an upstream process. Going with a standard platform means consistency. And that will help you solve problems much more quickly.

Who has time for a learning curve?

In my experience, the engineers working on the floor are busy: busy trying to put out fires or getting new lines up. Commonality means no learning curve: all the hardware is the same and all the software looks and feels the same, though it is adapted for the application. It also means operators can move from one station to another without extensive training.

Commonality: is it possible? Yes. Right out of the box Sciemetric’s sigPOD platform delivers on the 5Cs and related savings. It not only simplifies management of the line but provides the best test and quality monitoring in the business. Just remember that a commonality strategy requires a consistent approach but the practice itself breeds high quality, cost savings and the possibility of defect avoidance. If you are looking at improving the efficiency of your line, consider the 5Cs of commonality.

 

For more information contact Joe Ventimiglio, Director of sales, automotive/industrial at Sciemetric. He can be reached at joev@sciemetric.com