What role will quality assurance play in the digital factory?
In future, we need to consider how we can take a step further from the digital factory to the smart factory, that is towards operating and optimising the factory in real time. A smart factory organises itself: the workpieces and machines communicate with each other and form a closed circuit. The measuring systems are therefore integrated in the production chain, which is the only way to detect and correct production errors in good time. A one hundred percent quality inspection of the workpieces is particularly important in medical technology and in aerospace engineering.
System-side traceability of production process data and quality data makes it possible to establish automated cause and effect analyses. In turn, the documented quality data can be used in product development. Using ZEISS PiWeb, analyses of our ACCTee software can be archived as dynamic measurement reports and statistical trend analyses, for example. This grants employees from measuring technology, production and quality management easy access to all measurement reports, at any time and from any location. A further example of how our long-standing cooperation with ZEISS enables us to offer our customers sustainable solutions.
On another note, data security will also have a greater role to play in the digital factory. Given the networking and the direct influence on the production process, it is imperative to protect the systems against hacker access.
Automation of the processes requires the highest degree of precision from the measuring systems. Relocating to production exposes measuring instruments to harsh environmental influences such as ground vibrations, dusty or oily air as well as high and changing temperatures. The influence of environmental factors must be absorbed on the system side, e.g. via specially developed vibration tables and a high degree of rigidity in the measuring system, as we use them in our SURFCOM NEX series.