Responding to the needs of automakers and their suppliers, manufacturers of instruments that measure color are introducing new technologies to help control the quality of metallic flake, pearlescent, and other special-effect paints that have confounded optical instruments throughout the past 60 years.
When Gabe Draguicevich was asked to help fabricate a titanium hip implant based on CT (computed tomography, also known as CAT) scan data, he had to coordinate numerous technologies to complete the project. Because the CT data consisted of 2-D cross-sections, Draguicevich had to stack and align the individual scans to create a 3-D model, which he used to create a polygonal mesh in the form of a stereolithography (STL) file. After creating a prototype, he had to verify it against the original scan data, which was no mean feat considering that software capable of providing deviation analysis of the model surface to the STL file did not exist. Finally, Draguicevich created a wireframe model from the STL mesh to machine the final product. The entire process took approximately two weeks to complete.
That was 20 years ago. According to Draguicevich, “If I had the tools that are available today, I could have simply taken the CT scan data and created the STL mesh in one step, and then machined directly from the mesh. The data-processing capabilities of modern software have made the entire process painless compared to years past. Furthermore, I could have taken the finished piece and inspected it for accuracy using the original scan data as the reference. Any deviations could have been addressed by modifying the finished part in coordination with the inspection process.”
Food safety standards have been well accepted in Europe for quite some time. But as international food trade expanded, it was apparent that the existing private and public food-safety policies could not stave off the food recalls that were occurring worldwide. A representation of common ground between food safety schemes was needed to enhance food safety, ensure consumer protection, and to strengthen consumer confidence.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series looking at how companies can share best practices such as Six Sigma across the supply chain. The second part of this series, focusing on PACCAR supplier Cummins Engine Co., will appear in an upcoming issue of Quality Digest .
By Christopher J. Campbell, Robert Kaehler, and Anne Greco
Manufacturing organizations that depend upon high levels of sophisticated equipment can benefit dramatically from a fully integrated value-based equipment management system. By understanding and capitalizing on several significant trends in equipment management, organizations can reduce overhead costs, reduce maintenance costs, and optimize equipment use.