Why do we measure?
To obtain knowledge and information, to provide confidence to both internal and external customers, to allow manufacturing processes to be monitored, to conform to strict critical safety standards; whatever the reason the end result is the generation of data.
Data, once written down by hand, migrated into electronic spread-sheets either manually populated, or linked directly to measuring equipment, before migrating further into SPC and analysis charts. The advent of automatic adaptive adjustments to manufacturing processes, ensuring the production of ‘perfect parts’, uses data generated from measurement processes with metrology becomes ever more centric to manufacturing process integrity. While in reality no part is perfect – that’s the reason manufacturing enjoys manufacturing tolerances. As industry migrates into the new era of smart manufacturing – Quality 4.0 – encompassing measurement, data and design tolerances, metrology has an ever more critical role to play in ensuring effective, near real-time, process control with data at the heart of all processes.
Data latency – how quick actionable measurement data is put into the hands of a decision maker, who can act on the data, whether human or machine, is becoming more critical. The days of putting a part into a laboratory and receiving the measured results back some hours (or even days) later becomes no longer acceptable in the new manufacturing era. Measuring either in-line or near line is becoming the norm. Pacing production in close proximity, with minimum data latency, the new goal in the digital transformation of manufacturing.
As data becomes more strategic in next generation manufacturing it comes as no surprise that several acquisitions were announced this month in the area of Quality Management Systems, as the large groups continue to build out their strategic offerings. “With digitization, manufacturers can better tackle today’s challenges while unlocking massive value through convergence of the physical and digital worlds. A critical piece of that puzzle is bringing digitization and connectivity to the shop floor, with data at the center” stated the press release announcing the acquisition of Prodsmart by Autodesk. The Hexagon press release, announcing its acquisition of ETQ stated, “Integrating data from our metrology systems with ETQ Reliance leads to increasing levels of autonomy that improve a customer’s ability to put quality and process data to work”.
Measurement to control manufacturing processes represents the real future for measurement technologies.
This month the editorial focus of Metrology News has been Production Measurement and Big Data. Although a short month over 80 articles were published in February again demonstrating just how vibrant the sector has become. In addition we reported on the financial results of numerous companies operating in the sector – all showed positive business growth and a return to pre-pandemic business levels.
We feature in the February magazine a selection of published stories including ‘Future of Manufacturing – Digital Factory and Connected Data’, ‘How Big Data Makes Production Precise and Sustainable’, ‘Data Homogenization in The Age of Industry 4.0’, ‘Optimizing Production Efficiency Through Data-Driven Manufacturing Strategies’, ‘Model-Based Definition – The Essential Backbone of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing. The complete library of February articles can be accessed by clicking here.
As usual I welcome your comments, news and views along with guest articles – my inbox is always open.
Keith Mills – Publishing Editor
Industry 4.0 has taken manufacturing to the next level, handing processes over to technology, smart machines, and AI. These transformations often happen in isolation, creating siloed environments that miss the bigger purpose of digitalization. But when a company connects data among people, programs, and processes, the sum creates a digital factory … read more
ZEISS measuring machines are known around the world for their quality and precision. With many industries undergoing digital transformation, the software that controls ZEISS measuring machines is becoming increasingly important. Due to the rise of Model-Based Definitions (MBD), ZEISS was increasingly confronted with the question of how CAD models must … read more
Faster, more flexible, and more efficient: these characteristics are the automotive industry’s main demands when it comes to developing its own production systems. To achieve this, today’s manufacturing operations need to be put on a new technological footing. This is exactly what the participants in the SDM4FZI research project Software-DefinedManufacturing … read more
In a recent interview article conducted by organizers of the CONTROL exhibition with Holger Wirth, vice president of product management for smart factory automation at ISRA VISION GmbH, he informs that machine vision is very well established, and that it would be hard to imagine industrial production without it … read more
What is the recipe for an efficient production, from all points of view? Measuring every single vehicle body and a careful analysis of enormous amounts of data – this is the strategy developed by the Audi Production Lab for the body shop in Ingolstadt. For every Audi that leaves the production line, the vehicle body gap dimensions are perfectly uniform … read more
Imagine a fully digital quality inspection process where you can inspect parts even after they have left the factory. The emergence of new technology has made this possible using a product digital twin for manufacturing quality control. Virtual sorting can eliminate physical sorting activities completely by performing quality inspection in a software environment … read more
Large components require a large measuring machine: At FORMA Maschinenbau in Borken, Germany a particularly large and precise measuring machine has recently been installed – a WENZEL LH2617. “Think big, but please be accurate to the thousandth.” This is how the philosophy of FORMA Maschinenbau can be summarized … read more
The maintenance of wind turbines, and whole wind farms, is a challenge. Normally wind turbines are designed to operate for 20 years. During these 20 years they are subjected to all kinds of weather conditions and heavy loads, but thanks to modern acquisition technology and advanced numerical models, such conditions can be addressed … read more
The number of components that produce data and applications that consume it is steadily growing in the manufacturing environment. More and more frequently the stream of data does not stop at plant boundaries: IIoT software developers and machine manufacturers are just as interested in production data as machine operators on site … read more
Whilst Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been adopted with increasing speed over the past few years by multiple industries eager to drive growth and digital transformation, the manufacturing field has not been as quick to utilize this technology. Nick Boyer, Director, Strategic Consulting, PROS, speaks about why the manufacturing industry must get on-board with AI … read more
Many readers will be unfamiliar with seeing fields of industrial robots, in automotive assembly plants, producing vehicle structures with smart tools such as spot-welding guns and riveting systems. A UK start-up, True Position Robotics (TPR) has a vision to transform aero-structure manufacturing by developing smart robot drilling and inspection tools … read more
API recently participated in the machining of a 7m diameter turbine wheel casing. This operation was not easy to achieve in view of the large dimensions involved. The API customers, energy company EDF and TACQUET INDUSTRIE, in France selected API for the adjustment of the machine in relation to the rotation axis of the wheel casing … read more
Norway’s premier supplier of defense and aerospace-related systems and solutions, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, changed its industrial X-ray inspection from film to digital radiology with the help of VCxray by VisiConsult. The client was surprised by VisiConsult’s velocity during production and installation of a digital X-ray system … read more
APRIM, founded in 1965, is a high precision machined component manufacturer, located near Madrid, Spain. Although at first, they were specialized in the automotive sector, nowadays APRIM’s production is widely diversified: automotive, medical, services, railroad, defense and agriculture. They are certified in the automotive sector according to IATF16949 … read more
Capvidia, a CAD software provider in model-based definition workflows, has reported another record year in 2021. With a 5-Year CAGR of 26.1%, Capvidia expects rapid growth as more manufacturing conglomerates utilize digital technology to speed up their digital transformation plans. In Industry 4.0, the goal is to apply AI, IoT, and Big Data … read more
Although diverse data capturing technologies exist, manufacturers still struggle to use them. It’s due to this major challenge that the goal of data-driven manufacturing seems all the more unachievable. However, there are a few data driven approaches you can take when optimizing production efficiency. These approaches include making use of Industrial IoT … read more
Artificial intelligence (AI) processes are gaining a foothold on the factory floor. As is also the case with any other tool, a decision has to be made as to whether or not and when it makes sense to use AI – says Professor Marco Huber from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation IPA … read more
“The aerospace metrologist knew what he was up against: a one-thousandths of an inch clearance on the deployment of the solar power array. An undeployed solar array would mean, of course, mission failure”. The question came down to whether this metrologist could trust the accuracy of his laser tracker … read more
The automotive industry is one of innovation. Though the first electric car was developed in the late 19th century, its move towards mass production some 100 years later has revolutionized the future of road travel. Today, many consumers are looking to adopt renewable and electric powered vehicles as they lookto reduce their carbon footprint … read more
Manufacturing accounts for more than half of the world’s total gross world product (GWP) at $40 trillion, but 20% of every dollar spent goes to waste, according to manufacturing optimization company Instrumental. This represents a problem worth $8 trillion, or 10% of the GWP. Founded in 2015 by former Apple engineers … read more
Deep learning technology is revolutionizing the world. Businesses of all sizes are starting to realize the potential that this technology has to offer. One sector, in particular, that is seeing great benefits from deep learning is the industrial sector. In particular, deep learning is being used for defect detection applications in quality control … read more
2022 is shaping up to be a year of opportunity for manufacturers in spite of ongoing concerns regarding business resiliency, supply chain instability, manpower shortages and economic uncertainty from the Omicron variant. Manufacturers experiencing strong and consistent growth have one thing in common – they were early adopters of digital technologies … read more
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has announced the introduction of full IP54 protection for its latest range of Absolute Arm models, together with other usability improvements and compatibility with the HxGN SFx | Asset Management service. From ultra-high-accuracy probing with the Absolute Arm Compact to high-productivity 3D laser scanning with the Absolute Arm 7-Axis and Absolute Scanner AS1 … read more
Highly precise and reliable part inspection is crucial for product quality and reliability in the industrial and manufacturing sector. In the course, if digitalization, metrology 3D scanning technology has proven an excellent tool, facilitating workflows while significantly shortening them at the same time. With the increasing invaluable and affordable metrology … read more
Hexagon AB has announced the acquisition of ETQ, a leading provider of SaaS-based QMS (quality management system), EHS (environment, health and safety) and compliance management software. Customers have long relied on ETQ’s future-ready, truly multi-tenant QMS solution, ETQ Reliance … read more
Prodsmart has announced recently that it has been acquired by Autodesk. Since its founding, Prodsmart has delivered value to manufacturers by automating and digitizing manufacturing processes in real time, optimizing those businesses from the shop floor upwards. The company stated that teaming up with Autodesk will allow it to pursue its mission with renewed vigor … read more
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