Improve profitability by balancing product quality with manufacturing cost
People often associate higher quality products with higher costs and, conversely, cheaper quality products being lower-cost items. It is also important to understand that there is a cost to poor quality. Poor quality can tarnish a reputation and often requires a company spend money to repair or replace products that don’t work or cause harm. The cost of quality is a function of the time and effort that goes into manufacturing and inspecting each individual part of that product, as well as the product as a whole. Because of this, you can see why it is important for a company to understand how to balance both quality and cost.
When it comes to mass produced products, mechanical variation is a reality, and can cause problems down the line if not managed properly. Traditionally, companies would respond reactively once parts are produced, but Sigmetrix helps companies that strive to improve their methods of managing the impact of mechanical variation on their products in several key areas. We can help your company:
- Make designs more robust to manufacturing variation
- Quickly iterate to find dimensional controls for desired quality
- Make cost-effective process decisions
- Determine impact and action for “out of spec” parts
- Assist with sustaining engineering and cost reduction efforts
- Provide consistency of data and understanding throughout the process
Make designs more robust to manufacturing variation
Dimensional controls within a model are critical to the management of variation. Without them manufacturing has no Industry leaders consider how parts fit together early in the design phase by looking at variation sensitivities. Traditional CAD tools do not provide insight into how the parts will interact once assembled, limiting their ability to understand the impact of variation. Sigmetrix solutions highlight the sensitivity that critical product characteristics have to variation of individual design characteristics of the parts. This insight allows engineers and designers to make better design decisions that can improve the design’s robustness. These decisions early in the process prevent costly rework trying to meet requirements that are difficult to change late in the process.
Quickly iterate to find dimensional controls for desired quality
Although many companies recognize the usefulness of using GD&T to better manage variation, it can still be difficult During the design and development process engineers and designers are making decisions on how to control features on a design to achieve a certain product quality. The challenge is that without simulation software, the feedback needed to make the best trade-offs is not obtained until after prototyping and production starts. Sigmetrix solutions provide this feedback early in the design process, allowing more design alternatives to be considered. Your team will be able to model dimensioning schemes, easily edit tolerance values, and obtain results with easy-to-use tools linked to an environment they are familiar with and use in their everyday workflow.
Make cost-effective process decisions
Variation is a reality of the manufacturing and assembly process. Most companies understand this, but the approach taken to deal with that reality can vary significantly. Some companies conduct multiple prototype and test cycles to get a better understanding of the impact of this variation. Some companies invest in in-process inspection and take corrective action real-time to keep quality under control. Others try to predict and analyze that upfront by doing tolerance analysis. Often companies will do a combination of these approaches. Each of these approaches has a very different cost associated with it. The first two approaches require significant investment in tools and material before final process decisions can be made. Sigmetrix gives you the tools to effectively begin managing mechanical variation early in the design process while continuing to effectively manage it through the rest of the manufacturing and assembly process. Ultimately, this allows you to get ahead of variation problems instead of reacting, usually under pressure, to correct them.
Determine impact and action for “out of spec” parts
Once a product is in production it is not uncommon to receive a batch of costly parts that are out of the tolerance limits originally specified in the drawing package. The cost of reworking or scrapping these parts could cost a company millions of dollars or more a year. At this stage, Sigmetrix solutions can give designers and engineers the ability to determine if it is possible to accept these ‘out-of-spec’ parts, or if reworking or other corrective action needs to be taken. Actual data from these ‘out-of-spec’ parts can be used in the previously created tolerance models to determine impact and choose a cost-effective corrective action.
Assist with sustaining engineering and cost reduction
Promoting consistent knowledge between contributors and consumers of mechanical variation information is another integral piece of the puzzle. Without consistent knowledge, mistakes can be made and time lost because the model is misunderstood. Sigmetrix solutions provide a consistent approach to the training and application of mechanical variation controls. Sigmetrix has a comprehensive set of instructor-led and computer-based training offerings to facilitate training. These training courses deal not only with the subject matter but also discuss the practical application of the concepts within the appropriate tools. Sigmetrix software solutions also reinforce this training by providing context specific in-tool guidance throughout the process. Even after a product is successfully in production, assembly issues still arise. It is often costly and time-consuming for a company to figure out which part or process is the cause of the problem. Engineers working with Sigmetrix solutions can quickly determine the issue and resolve it. Many common issues such as part wear, or a mishandled assembly fixture, can be simulated with our solutions to better determine corrective action.
In addition, companies may want to explore the effects of changing a supplier or manufacturing process. With our solutions, you’ll be able to see the effect these changes could have on the final product quality and cost. These solutions also enable you to explore the impact of loosening overly tight tolerances that can lead to high scrap rates as well as expensive manufacturing and inspection processes.
Provide consistency of data and understanding throughout the process
The most successful companies are able to provide consistent data and understanding throughout the product lifecycle at various levels of authority. We assist in assessing the maturity of your organization’s mechanical variation management so you can see how you compare to other companies in your industry, while developing a roadmap of how to improve and move forward.
Sigmetrix also provides a consistent approach and language in training, knowledge resources, and tools across the organization. For example, in our training we may describe a geometrical dimensioning callout in a specific manner. That same manner will be used throughout the software tools, including the help content and video tutorials. Context specific in-tool guidance serves to augment training and refresh the knowledge of periodic users of the software to give them added confidence. Standardized data and reporting formats improve the communication and integrity of the digital thread. Sigmetrix is committed to the flow of data throughout your organization, allowing you to get the most benefit from it at various stages and across multiple departments.
By partnering with Sigmetrix for all your mechanical variation management needs you will be able to improve profitability by balancing product quality with manufacturing cost.