MoldMaking Technology

DEC 2018

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Inspection/Measurement 14 MoldMaking Technology —— DECEMBER 2018 Data collection and real-time statistical process control (SPC) software makes it possible for manufacturers to collect and manage measurement data to increase the accuracy of their products while reducing rework and scrap. As shops are moving to collect process data from machine tools and manufacturing operations, SPC programs ensure that the vital measurement data is not left behind. From dimensional data that calipers collect and coordinate measuring machines to surface-finish data that profilometers collect, real-time software can guide operators through inspections while reacting to trends and data shifts in real-time. By Jeremy P. Banks MAXIMIZING INTELLIGENT MANUFACTURING S hops continue to adopt intelligent manufacturing principles that require connection and communi- cation of data across all machine-tool, sensor and human resources. This data creates a virtual model that tests scenarios to improve uptime and throughput and to predict and better manage production capacity and esti- mated delivery times. The user also can plan and check con- tinuous improvement activities against this model, which results in more efficient and profitable shops without costly trial and error. The more data that is collected, the more robust the virtual model. Many moldmakers are already investing in intelligent manufacturing because the promise of improved product accuracy with less re-work and scrap is hard to ignore. Plus, Collecting and using measurement data ensures that mold components can meet customer specifications and reduces scrap and rework. better use of resources results in more on-time delivery and fewer overtime costs. As shops continue to invest in the infrastructure to sup- port this initiative, they usually focus on process data, such as machine uptime, tool life, cycle time and machine utiliza- tion. This information is extremely important to collect, but often other vital information is overlooked. For example, the length of time it takes to machine a mold component is important, but does that mold component meet the cus- tomer's specifications? To put it another way—making more parts faster and cheaper is great, but it does not matter if the parts are out of print. Collecting and using measurement data is just as important as process data. Not only does this ensure that

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