As part of a PLM solution, 3DCS and QDM combine to create a Closed Loop Quality process that offers feedback loops for continuous quality improvement. The process promoted by DCS follows industry best practices and may look familiar, as it is used in one form or another by many manufacturers.
A closed-loop variation analysis process enables engineers to correlate the theoretical tolerance analysis results produced during simulation to the actual as-built results determined at other stages of the quality process. Based on correlations, the as-designed simulation parameters can be validated, or the as-designed simulation parameters can be adjusted to more closely align to production process capabilities.
Additionally, a closed-loop process enables best practices to be validated, captured and reused on future programs, for both engineering simulation and manufacturing. Leading OEMs are beginning to use closed loop systems to improve their program efficiency as they continually face tighter and tighter development cycles and budgets. The intelligence they gather through this system helps them discover ways to reuse existing and proven manufacturing process elements and modularized tooling on new and re-design programs – saving time and cost.
Those OEMs that use a closed-loop variation analysis as a critical part of their quality program are truly able to experience the benefits of an “ounce of prevention.”
Breaking Down a Closed Loop Quality Process
Simulation - Tolerance Analysis, GD&T Optimization, Fixture and DATUM Design
The DCS solution set aligns well with the Closed Loop approach starting with dimensional analysis using 3DCS tolerance simulation early in the product lifecycle. The purpose of this analysis is:
1. GD&T Optimization - determine the best case GD&T by tightening only key quality areas, and loosening less important areas, allowing less expensive manufacturing processes and better fit and finish. This fits a Design for Manufacture and Assembly process (DFMA).
2. Tolerance Analysis - Analyze the variation to find non-conformance and build issues early in the product lifecycle where design changes are fast and inexpensive. Find the key tolerances and features that are integral to your assembly.
3. Validate Fixture Design and Datums - Test your fixtures and Datums to verify their design and placement. Find out how your fixtures affect your assembly process.
Learn more about 3DCS Variation Analyst, the industry leading tolerance analysis software
Measurement Plan Authoring - Correlate CAD and Manufacturing
The simulation provides the Critical Characteristics which must be identified and monitored into production through the delivery of a QDM measurement plan.
This measurement plan can be generated right from the CAD data, and allows correlation of inspection data and CAD points. The data can then be brought back into the CAD platform for validation, additional analysis, root cause analysis and design updates.
Learn more about QDM Inspection Planner to automate inspection plan creation and the QDM System to deliver and standardize inspection data
Quality Inspection - Real Time Monitoring with Company Visibility Enable Continuous Improvement
Following the gauging process, measurement data is collected and stored in a QDM quality database for inspection reporting and analysis.
Real-Time Monitoring - The QDM System constantly monitors your data and sends alerts based on given limits. This real-time monitoring lets stakeholders know when measurements begin to trend out of spec, giving you time to find and resolve the issue before parts are made out-of-specification and need to be scrapped or reworked.
Manufacturing Visibility with Dashboards and Reports - By incorporating a QDM System, professionals in your organization can view up-to-the-minute reports and dashboards with quality metrics and SPC information. This gives visibility into the manufacturing process across the enterprise.
Learn more about the QDM System for real-time monitoring and SPC analysis
Root Cause Analysis and Problem Solving - Finding and Fixing Issues Before They Become Problems
The quality data is accessible to process engineers through QDM and to all stakeholders across the enterprise. Finally, the quality data can be correlated back to analysis predictions within 3DCS tolerance analysis software for root-cause and problem resolution during production.
Real-Time Alerts Tell You When Something Starts to Go Wrong - Real-time alerts let all stakeholders know when measurements begin to trend toward a specification limit or hit quality criteria.
Advanced Analysis Finds the Problem - Using QDM PDA and QDM Analyst, quality professionals can quickly mine the data to find the source of the problem.
Tolerance Analysis Gives Answers and Solutions - With correlated measurement plans, inspection data can be easily output from QDM and brought into 3DCS Software to analyze and test solutions.
QDM Delivers the Solution Throughout the Company - A QDM System offers instant access to the reports and solutions through a secure web browser.
Learn more about the QDM System and 3DCS tolerance analysis software