CASE STUDY: MANUFACTURING CERTIFICATION VIA IoT
Move quality inspection to the source: reducing you time and money; greatly improving first-pass yield
We give parts a digital identity and connect with IoT machine data to certify parts during the manufacturing process. Whether it be additive manufacturing or machining, the data generated during the manufacturing and quality inspection processes is stored against the 'Part Birth Certificate'. This is the start of the Logistical Digital Twin (LDT).
A small, but progressive aerospace manufacturer of high-tolerance machined parts wanted a way to digitize their quality and parts certification process and to be able to share that data with customers in real time.
The current process is time-consuming and involves printing, signing, scanning and shipping pages and pages of paper with each part. In fact, one part we jointly investigated generated over 250,000 pages of paperwork each year.
The customer had to wait until the parts were delivered in order to inspect and accept them into inventory. Sometimes this caused parts to be held up in quarantine while the checks were being carried out.
We discussed the idea of creating a digital identity for every part/batch/serial number that they manufactured and how to give the customer real time access to the process and avoid the need for any physical site inspection - a real valuable capability in COVID times.
We create a birth record for each part manufactured - even ones that are scrapped. That way, the supply chain has a record of all non-conforming parts as well as ones that pass quality.
We capture in-process manufacturing data and share that with the customer. This consists of the routing, BOM, qualitty certifications and each part yielded.
It all begins with the creation of the part batch/serial number's digital identity on the Enspan platform - creating the Part Birth Certificate. Thereafter, every event that happens to the part is created as a logistical event on a chronological timeline - the LDT. The part is now 'live' and it and its data can be accessed by authorized parties. This is the beginning of the sharing process with the end customer.
As the part is being manufactured, critical data from the machine is passed via IoT to Enspan's Manufacturing Event. The event is specifically set up to capture selected data from the machining or additive process. It could be a specific set of tolerances, tooling information or even ambient conditions, vibration, heat etc. All of these form part of the parts DNA and are recorded onto the Part Birth Certificate which can be accessed in real-time by interested parties that are authorized to do so.
The part is certified 'in-process' using actual live machine data combined with post-machining QA inspection results to prove that the part serial/batch number is indeed a quality part and is 100% certified to be used in its end item. This 'Part Birth Certificate' is an immutable, cloud-based record which proves and certifies from the manufacturer that the part was indeed manufactured to the engineering drawings and prescribed manufacturing conditions.
VIRTUAL SOURCE INSPECTION
Manufacturers can now offer virtual source inspection: the customer does not need to visit the site, the parts are inspected virtually and quality issues are resolved before the parts are shipped. This has the effect of moving the manufacturing and supply process from one of 'issue management' to 'risk management' - allowing greater time to resolve problems and reducing the risk of negative surprises.
It should come as no surprise that there are several benefits of this approach to using a Logistical Digital Twin in advanced manufacturing.