Lead Time reduction 3D Measuring Machines (Quality Control Manager)
The company, where I work for, is specialized in the serial manufacturing of high quality complex metal and plastic precision parts, on the basis of machining techniques (milling, turning and grinding). In order to offer its customers as consistent quality as possible, the company invests continuously in new production techniques and machines. The company philosophy aims at lowering production costs by means of improvement in efficiency and at the same time achieving optimum control of logistics and quality.
As part of improvement in efficiency we started a Six Sigma project in our Measuring Department. This Measuring Department uses four 3D Measuring machines to support the production facility. In many cases the production of the precision parts has to wait for a measuring result from a measuring machine. It is therefore very important to make this process as “Lean” as possible. Nobody likes to wait, and certainly not if waiting for a measurement results in production time losses. Because of poor efficiency in this process, we focused on a considerable reduction of the Lead times of the measuring machines. Target was a reduction of at least 25% lead Time.
Calibration and cleaning of styli:
During the Six Sigma project we discovered that precious time was lost to the calibration and cleaning (by hand) of the taster styli. We’re currently using 12 taster styli per measuring machine. Because the stylus gets contaminated by coolant, chips and other dirt during measurements, we had to frequently clean and calibrate all the styli by hand. Sometimes this is a very time consuming task.
The StyliCleaner turned out to be a solution for our problem. Because this innovative tool can clean the styli automatically. We now are able to clean and calibrate the styli at night or in the weekend (not during production hours).
This automatic process was analyzed during the Six Sigma project and we discovered the following benefits:
- An average lead time reduction of at least 10% comparing to the old situation.
- • A significant improvement of the Repeatability and Reproducibility of a measurement. This improvement is mainly caused by cleaning the styli (combination of cleaning fluid and pressed air).
In other words:
We didn’t only reduce lead time with the StyliCleaner, but we also improved the reliability of the measurements.
This result we measured by a Gage R&R study. In the old situation (without the StyliCleaner) we had a Gage R&R of 7-8%. Now with an automatic cleaning and calibration process, the Gage R&R significantly improved to 4%.
We’re now using the StyliCleaner on all our measuring machines. Calibration and cleaning of the styli (12 pcs per Measuring Machine) is now performed automatically (outside production hours). We no longer lose precious capacity of our 3D measuring machines and lead times are significantly improved. In addition, the process of calibration is much better in control, because the styli calibration and cleaning is performed (automatically) by the measuring machine itself.