Can You Trust Your Quality Control System?

Posted: 19th October 2017 10:08

Are you looking at metrology data that doesn’t all add up? Are different operators turning up wide variations in data from using the same device to measure the same line of components? If you have any doubts about your quality control system, it’s time to investigate any potential cause for error.
A Gage R&R study is one way you can test repeatability and reproducibility in your measurement system and identify any sources of error or variation. Repeatability is the difference in results from the same operator or machine taking measurements of the same part multiple times, and reproducibility is the difference in results gathered by different operators measuring the same part with the same device. If your system is working sufficiently, the biggest difference should be in part-to-part comparisons, but if your Gage R&R study is producing wide variation on the same component, it’s a sign that you can’t trust the data you’ve been gathering on parts. If you can’t trust your data, you can’t trust the quality of your products.

A Gage R&R study is designed to reveal a number of different problems, including improper staff training, a device with low repeatability, or even a device that’s worn-out or inadequate to handle the geometry of the part. Once you’ve identified the problem(s) facing your quality control department, you can talk to a metrology company about finding a solution.
Whether it’s a device or training, metrology companies like Canadian Measurement Metrology can help your company get your measurement system back up and running after you find deficiencies. They offer solutions ranging from new equipment, equipment fixes and retrofits, new software, and staff training for both operating metrology equipment and programming metrology software.
In some cases, the problems in your measurement system will come from a fault with the CMM machine. It may simply need to be recalibrated, but it may also have a part that’s worn out, though which part makes a big difference. You can find errors from a worn-out probe tip (often made of ruby it is, while durable, still vulnerable to abrasion). If the air bearings are worn out or there is an issue on one of the axes affecting its repeatability, it may need to be refurbished or replaced. In cases where you can’t identify the issue with a device, call a metrology expert like Canadian Measurement Metrology.
CMM repair can go a long way restoring your equipment and getting you back online, but a new or used CMM can completely revamp your measurement system. A gaging system like a Renishaw Equator can automate measurements you formerly required an operator and a gage to perform, while a CMM verifies the accuracy. Coordinate measuring machines can deliver more data points and require fewer labor hours. Metrology dealers like Canadian Measurement Metrology can help you find the machine your shop needs to meet accuracy, repeatability, and speed requirements. Your quality control department depends on the reliability of the data you collect. If operators or devices compromise the reliability of your data, it’s time for you to upgrade.