The combination of complex features, high mix and relatively low volume drives the need for rigorous in process inspection. At Swiss-Tech we employ several different tools, methodologies, and equipment to monitor our processes.
When we get a new part a cross functional team meets and creates the manufacturing and inspection plan. We review the plan with our customers to confirm that critical features and tolerances have been identified. This step is crucial in reducing waste and communicating to the customer the impact of variability on cost.
The initial qualifying run is used to validate the plans and make changes, as necessary. We rely heavily on SPC to confirm the output is within specified parameters and validate the selected inspection methods translate to the final product tolerances. Both the manufacturing plan and the inspection plan need to be confirmed before the parts can move to full production.
Once released to production, quality at the source is an excellent process to shift the inspection to the operator level. Inspecting for variable data and applying statistical process control (SPC) helps identify trends before the process goes out of control. Operators are working in real-time to verify parts rather than sorting after the parts have been made. Continuous improvement projects often spring from the SPC data that is collected and monitored. To help remove operator error and increase efficiency we use several automated coordinate measuring machines (CMM), digital comparators and vision systems in temperature-controlled rooms.