Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Design-in data capture from the start

Your machine vision inspection systems are an excellent source of data about your products and processes. Yes, you can track dimensional shifts, but what about changes in color or texture? What about cavity numbers?

Those can all be tracked and used to generate data about the variation within your processes. Logging cavity numbers for instance is a great way to find out where your molding scrap comes from. And as you know, continuous improvement thrives on data.

The problem is, adding these capabilities to an inspection system can be difficult. We’ve all had someone from Quality ask, “Can the vision system tell me xyz?” And the answer usually goes along the lines of, “If you’d asked me that when I was developing the application, yes. Adding it now is expensive.”

Of course, defining requirements is just good project management. I’m just urging you to add data collection to your list before you start designing and developing.

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