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Departments: Quality Applications

Simulation Modeling Helps Bring Pain Reliever to Market


Data Analysis Software Integrates with Shop-Floor CMM



Data Analysis Software Integrates with Shop-Floor CMM

Steelcase Inc., an international work-effectiveness company, produces interior architectural products, including furniture systems, technology products, seating, lighting, storage and related services to individuals and organizations around the world. The company currently implements lean manufacturing, and Steelcase engineers and quality professionals are charged with designing and maintaining processes with the objective of producing consistently conforming equipment that meets customer requirements while minimizing associated costs.

Realizing that variations were apparent in the inspection process, a team was created to improve process control for automatic die presses and manual press brakes in the Steelcase basic division.

Because of the noted success in its other manufacturing facilities, Steelcase decided to use StatSoft’s STATISTICA Enterprise-wide SPC System Interactive Quality Control Charts to monitor inspection results. SEWSS helped to quickly identify that measurement error was a key source of variation.

STATISTICA is a comprehensive, integrated data analysis, graphics, database management and custom-application development system featuring a wide selection of basic and advanced analytic procedures for business, data mining, science and engineering applications. “The enterprisewide nature of SEWSS makes it easy to share data for collaborative problem solving,” says Mike Linde, quality engineer at Steelcase. “Current data is available for review almost anywhere. Real-time charts and reports can be reviewed on the shop floor, at an engineer’s desk or at a team meeting.”

The Steelcase team chose to modify the inspection method from calipers and checking fixtures to inspection with a shop-floor coordinate measuring machine. Technical support from StatSoft worked with Steelcase and the CMM manufacturer to integrate the software with the CMM. This gave the product-quality team the ability to output the data collected directly into the SEWSS database so the latest data could be available for quick analysis with any of the SEWSS modules. Machine operators using the shop-floor CMM for inspection receive immediate feedback on the quality of key part features, and engineers have real-time access to the CMM inspection data for solving problems, making continuous improvements and verifying ongoing capability. Short-term capability improved 100 percent for some part characteristics and corrective action requests from downstream operations were reduced by more than 80 percent.



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