2023-12-14 | Use Case

[Case Study] Implementing Quality Control in Multi-Product Small-Batch Production through the Utilization of DATA CAMP’s ‘RECIPE’ feature

1. Challenge

Managing Varied Quality Standards for Each Model without a Centralized History View

The latest trend in manufacturing revolves around the “low-volume production of various products” to cater to the diversification of consumer preferences. The diverse range of products requires individualized quality control measures for each product at the manufacturing site.

Dealing with this need using tools like vision controllers, often used to check surface flaws in products at current manufacturing sites, turns out to be more difficult than expected. Vision controllers usually follow set rules, which makes it hard to adjust to various products on the production line. When the line makes different items, it requires stopping the line and changing the rules on the installed vision controller, leading to complexity and decreased production efficiency. If there is no staff with programming knowledge at the production site, they have to bring in programmers to tweak the equipment settings.

Making things more complicated, traditional vision controllers don’t have a history lookup feature; they only check items based on specific rules for each case. This lack of a record makes it difficult to refer back to past rules when making similar models in the future. Additionally, if a mistake by an operator causes an issue with a finished product later on, it’s hard to figure out the main reason.

2. Objective

(1) Handle multiple inspection rules (2) Transmit rework signals

Company B, specializing in welding pins onto motor coils, aimed to utilize 3D image inspection equipment to verify proper welds automatically. They faced two significant challenges.

Firstly, they sought the ability to easily modify inspection rules to align with the trend of producing various items and to efficiently manage historical data.

Secondly, the system needed to establish communication with machine control, enabling the transmission of rejects for rework back to the welding process.

The existing vision controller lacked these capabilities and required a new integrated solution.

3. Solution

Utilizing DATA CAMP’s Recipe feature to achieve zero downtime

Company B utilized the ‘Recipe’ feature of DATA CAMP, AHHA Labs’ data collection management solution, to achieve both of its goals at once. DATA CAMP’s Recipe feature allows you to configure various conditions for data collection, preprocessing, analysis, monitoring, and transmission flexibly to suit your business. Our verified programmers listen and understand your pain points and requirements, and create a customized recipe.

Company B’s recipe included the following. Recipes #1 through #10 had different defect judgment criteria for different varieties, such as recipe #1 for producing motors for electric vehicle model A, recipe #2 for producing motors for model B, and so on. In each recipe, the judgment criteria can be flexibly changed via a user-friendly UI screen. With an on-off toggle switch, you can decide to include certain conditions or not easily in the judgment criteria.

The results of the assessments were neatly organized by recipe, making it simple to find them later when issues arose or needed to refer to past recipes. Another useful feature included in the recipes was signal transmission. This involved sending a signal to the welder’s controller to redo the welding for a part that fell between “OK” and “NG” in the judgment.

With DATA CAMP, Company B achieved two goals that their previous vision controller couldn’t handle. As a result, they effectively eliminated the potential downtime associated with quality control for multiple products, reducing it to zero.

Looking ahead, DATA CAMP’s recipe configuration capabilities continue to advance. In the future, you’ll have the ability to effortlessly set up a data pipeline (covering collection, preprocessing, analysis, monitoring, transmission, etc.) tailored to your manufacturing process. This will be achievable through a No-Code user interface, a concept that allows you to build applications using pre-designed templates. Take control of your data, the cornerstone of manufacturing digital transformation, with AHHA Labs’ DATA CAMP.