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Departments: Quality Applications
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Delcam PowerMILL CAM software

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ASI DataMyte Quantum SPC/DC and Importer data-collection software

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Realization Technologies Concerto software

Striving for Continuous Improvement
ASI DataMyte Quantum SPC/DC and Importer data-collection software

From the components in the kitchen cabinet drawers and door locks in your home, to those in the turn signals and air bags of your car, Trans-Matic products are all around you. Headquartered in Holland, Michigan, the company specializes in deep-drawn metal stampings, creating high-quality precision metal components.

Given the company's diverse product mix and volumes that reach into the millions of units, meeting customers' expectations is a serious long-term challenge. Trans-Matic traditionally ensured customer satisfaction by collecting and recording data manually. With more than 600 active parts, however, this method was too complicated.

"With today's economic pressures, it was obvious to us that we needed to change our thinking on how we collected and recorded data," says Ed Brown, Trans-Matic director of operations. "Increasing production requirements were resulting in an increased demand for manual inspection labor. Automation was necessary to keep labor down while allowing production demands to grow."

"Previously, a quality technician manually mapped a point only to have it possibly go unnoticed by the toolmaker," says Cal Folker, Trans-Matic information technology manager. "If it was noticed, the reaction was often, 'I trust my work a lot more than the points on a piece of paper.' The bottom line is folks didn't always trust the data. Also, the data was not easily attainable and was put into file cabinets in case it was needed later. It was difficult to recall data for later use."

To counter this issue and better serve customer and internal production needs, Trans-Matic began using automated inspection equipment from several different vendors. This approach improved data integrity but created separate data silos for each inspection system, which included CMMs, vision inspection systems, surface-roughness measurement, profile analysis and various hand gages. What the company needed was a single solution to interpret data from all of the data-gathering systems.

This need was fulfilled with Quantum SPC/DC and Importer, solutions from ASI DataMyte Inc. These systems allow data to be gathered from a variety of inspection devices while providing a common database for storing and retrieving data. This centralization eliminates the separate information silos typically associated with multivendor, multifunction inspection equipment.

Using the ASI DataMyte analysis and reporting package, production personnel are able to view data for a particular job independently from the method used to collect the data. The data are accessed via laptop computers that have wireless connections to the central database. The laptops are mounted to mobile carts so that they can be positioned as needed.

The central database allows data extraction at the click of a button, and data can be dispatched in the most desirable format. The system supports cut-and-paste functions, allowing data to be copied from display screens to a wide variety of software, and it allows reports and charts to be published in HTML formats. Data can also be exported to various file formats.

"We run precontrol charts on all of our critical characteristics, and individual and moving-range charts on our noncritical characteristics," says Bob Mulder, Trans-Matic administrator for the ASI DataMyte system. "The data is used by our production staff throughout the job run. Once the job is completed, the information can be e-mailed to customers or simply retained awaiting a specific customer request."

As Trans-Matic increases its use of the system, scrap rates continue to decline. It is making dimensional control more visible, which has resulted in quicker reactions.

Trans-Matic has also seen a major reduction in the time needed to complete first-piece layouts. Each time a job is placed into production, every dimension on the part is inspected and a capability study is completed on each of its critical dimensions.

Data mining has also been greatly enhanced. If a customer needs data retrieved, it's a simple matter of defining the specific lot, dimensions and time period. Previously, this information would have had to be manually extracted from in-process inspection reports that were filed away.

Trans-Matic expects to build on the system's success this year as implementation expands at its Holland facility. It will also be introduced to the Sanford, North Carolina, and Mesa, Arizona, facilities later this year.

 

ASI DataMyte Quantum SPC/DC and Importer data-collection software

Benefits:

  • Using a central database for data extraction and storage has reduced scrap rates significantly.
  • The system makes dimensional control more visible, which has produced quicker operator reaction rates.
  • ASI DataMyte's centralized system has made it easy for Trans-Matic to identify and track manufacturing trends, which has significantly simplified business forecasting.

www.asidatamyte.com