Posts Tagged ‘quality management’
I caught up with Al Hufstetler, VP of Development for the Quality Planning and Production Validation Group after the quality sessions on Thursday. Al’s presentation covered our entire Quality Management solution suite but he singled out our latest development, closed loop quality to a PLM data model.
Most quality management solutions focus on detection to correction, a necessary business process for any manufacturer however it is a purely reactive process. What’s missing is a link to where quality begins; in design.
Listen as Al describes the buzz he created at PLM Connection when discussing the value of Dimensional Planning and Validation.
This is a guest post from my colleague Tim Egloff. He is the product marketing manager for our Quality Management solution.
When we talk about a manufacturer’s total cost of quality (TCQ), it’s generally referred to as a percentage of total revenue. The variables that make up this type of cost fall under two main categories; assurance costs and failure costs.
In most cases these costs and the activities that surround them are separate and distinct processes within the business environment effectively making it difficult to fully quantify TCQ and therefore truly improve or reduce TCQ. But imagine just a 3 or 4% decrease in TCQ. As a percent of revenue, that’s a pretty big impact to your bottom line.
In fact, in a recent Analyst Insight report from Aberdeen, they surveyed over 500 manufacturers and found that those who have defined interoperability between PLM and quality management can improve TCQ by 8%! Imagine an 8% impact to your bottom line… let that soak in for a bit.
Recently, Jim Brown of TechClarity posted a blog on Siemens PLM Software’s new Dimensional Planning & Validation (DPV), solution for quality. Jim wrote, “One of the main things that manufacturers can do to improve quality is to “close the loop” on quality by feeding actual results back into the manufacturing and design processes to improve quality.” He goes on to say, “One of the key elements that make this beneficial is the analytical engine behind it, similar to other trends to use business intelligence (BI) in PLM.”
This is exactly why Siemens has developed DPV. Capturing as-built quality data from the shop floor, e.g. from coordinate measurement machines or visual measurement systems, and integrating it directly to the PLM platform Teamcenter. This enables for continuous product and process improvement through product design, manufacturing planning and production. More importantly with DPV, the design and manufacturing engineers do not need to switch between different IT systems. The quality data is available in a single source, fully associated to product, process, resources and plant information.
What does this do?
First, it significantly lowers the cost of quality of the next product versions. The product’s quality is defined during the design process: dimensions, orientation or location tolerances, surface-finish quality and more. Bringing actual quality data back to design now allows you to identify issues and correct them where they were initiated. By not closing this loop, ,manufacturers have to deal with with quality issues in later stages of the production process where the cost of change is much higher.
As an example, a high performance turbo charger assembly is monitored. It is found that an end-cap has too much gap at the mating surface causing a drop in pressure output which increases rework on the assembly. To solve this issue it is determined that the torque on the five bolts in the assembly must be increased. The bolt torque design spec is modified and new inspection points identified to more accurately monitor this issue.
Second, by associating actual measurement results to 3D product data and process information, you now have the ability to find the root cause of product quality issues. How important is this? It allows you to reduce rework, repair, scrap and non-conformance processes which ultimately impact profitability.
One example is a milling cutter which can be used only for a certain amount of parts or hours. Eventually the edges become too dull to cut material within a specified tolerance or for a particular surface finish. At some point, the surface starts to deviate from the design spec. Of course experienced shop floor workers know that they should exchange the milling cutter after a specific amount of parts or cutting hours. But with DPV, they will know when tolerances or surfaces are reaching limits and can plan accordingly. But what if the cutter was recently changed and you still identify quality issues? It might be that the fixture holds the part much too strong on one side and forces the part to bend, which finally leads to the quality issues. Now with DPV’s integration to the PLM platform Teamcenter, all of the other potential contributors, e.g. tooling, fixture, machine set-up, etc. are available and can be used to identify the root cause of the issue.
Here’s a picture about different surface qualities.
The Siemens PLM Software solution gives you full flexibility to capture, store, manage and analyze critical quality data. Imagine multiple global plants running daily, capturing hundreds of thousands of data points. DPV is a unique solution to efficiently visualize this data, identify the critical areas and take appropriate actions.
Yesterday evening I had the chance to talk to Al Hufstetler about our brand new quality management solution called Dimensional Planning and Validation. This is the first time our customers are able to retrieve the quality data from the shop floor and bring it back to the manufacturing and quality planners. And all this with the same platform they are using for their daily planning work: Teamcenter. This allows our customers to run reports and compare the as-build to the as-planned data. Even more they can compare the quality data from different plants, identify trends and take the required actions.
This is the 25th year Rik Voets from Philips Applied Technologies (Eindoven, Netherlands) has attended PLM Connection Europe. I sat down with him to find out a little more about him and why he keeps returning.
While the event and our software has changed a lot in that time, Rik returns for the same reason. He supports his company’s CAD/PLM tools so he needs to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices.
This is an exciting PLM Connection. Not only listening to the European astronaut Hans Schlegel yesterday, as well our development leaders talking each day about new capabilities which help our customers to increase productivity. And more than that, we are getting interesting details about the different Tecnomatix solutions.
Al Hufstetler provided an overview about our Quality Management solution which starts with the design of a new product, covers the manufacturing planning phase and finally supports the shop floor.
Do any of you remember the old commercials, “Time to make the donuts”? One early morning I twittered “Time to make the CAD software” and it seemed like it might be a good topic. Most companies have development groups and marketing groups and sales groups but what really happens inside the development group of a “CAD company”?
I’ve been involved in the development of four different CAD/CAM/CAE systems; an in-house system, I-deas, NX and now Solid Edge. I’d bet the ones I have not worked on have similar organizations. CAD software development requires some special skills beyond typical software development. The mathematics and graphics can be much more intense. Our customers are engineers and FEA analysts who are often a step ahead of the typical software user. Our applications are large and push the limits of hardware, operating systems and networks.
You might think the development organization is just a bunch of code jocks writing C++ code. The problem is that with CAD software developers needing to develop some very specialized skills, it doesn’t always leave a lot of time to work with customer or even the CAD system. It’s not unlike the automotive engineer designing the latest sports car or NASA engineer designing the latest space shuttle. So, like everyplace else, CAD development specializes around certain key areas. Some focus more on writing code, some focus more on customer needs, while other focus on building quality product. Here are some of the key areas:
Software Development: These are the folks that write the software. Within this area, you will have additional specializations. Some folks might focus on geometric modeling (i.e. Parasolid). Some might focus on mathematical routines. Some will focus on part design, sheet metal design, assemblies, FEA, data management or any number of other areas. The people here can be engineers that know coding or software developers with varying levels of engineering experience.
Quality Assurance: When the developers are done, some people think they throw it over the wall to the “testers” who beat it into shape. As in the case of manufacturing, quality assurance has moved upstream in the process of creating a good product. Sure, QA people run the product looking for bugs, but work is also done to change the process to reduce the number of bugs and maximize visibility of the state of the product and process. In some ways, the folks in QA are like industrial engineers trying to optimize the factory. If you are a Deming fan, you’ll see many of the same ideas here with much of the same focus on metrics and quality control.
Education and Training: CAD systems are complex so people skilled at writing documentation or teaching how to use the product can be as important as the product itself. Their material must be developed while the product is in a state of flux. They also have to help ramp up sales and marketing organizations as new functionality or products are added.
Product Planning: These people take the customer needs and form plans which can be implemented by the developers. Input comes from MANY channels – customer visits, beta testing, customer support, user groups, salespeople, and marketing (and I’ve personally been paying attention to people starting to use various social media platforms). Planning also has to listen to technology trends that either occur in the industry (i.e Synchronous Technology) or in software development ( Windows 7, Web 2.0). As with other areas, planners may specialize around product areas like part, assembly or PDM, or areas like the use-interface and new types of hardware.
Of course many companies will structure differently around these areas. They might have different names or split into multiple groups but I think you get the overall picture. In my next post, I’ll try to drill down into my own organization for a more concrete example.
P.S. BTW, why were these donut commercials so successful? The ad man that wrote it “… believes many viewers related to Fred the baker’s plight: the idea of a worker who gets up at 3 in the morning every day because of his sense of responsibility.”