The Science of Metrology to improve the production process
How can I make profit with metrology?
Metrology, considered as the science of measurements, is a fundamental tool.
To improve anything you need metrology, since it can help you to understand what to improve and how to do it.
The best way to briefly explain the complexity of metrology is the citation: “It is much easier to make measurements than to know exactly what you are measuring” [Attributed to J. W. N. Sullivan in Robert L. Weber, More Random Walks in Science 1982].
But how can IPU help with this?
A company (name is confidential) wanted to improve the acceptance/rejection number of a product in a production line installed with an automatic measurement system.
To improve the system and to have a proper baseline of the system, a calibration of the inline measuring system was performed and a measurement uncertainty budget as baseline was established. This first estimation led to the following tasks:
- Optimization, improved design and rebuild of the inline measurement system
- Component drawings were updated
- Calibration and adjustment procedure were established
- Calibration standards were designed, produced and introduced
After the improvements, a new improved measurement uncertainty budget was calculated and components of the budget were tested. This new budget was implemented to adjust the new improved acceptance/rejection limits with success.
IPU contributed with calculations of the measurement uncertainty budgets, the test work, calibration procedure and with establishing the new calibration standards. IPU also assisted with implementing the new procedure and calibration of the inline system.
The success factor of this project was a broad knowledge about the physical system and the components, and a great cooperation with the highly skilled employees of the company.
Are my drawings unambiguous?
For measuring and understanding the components in the right way, Geometrical Product Specifications, GPS (also known as GD&T, Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing) are needed. The key elements of GPS are illustrated by the use of a symbolic drawing language that enables the designer to explain the design and tolerances in a global way. The use of GPS is defined in a number of ISO standards.
Only with the correct use of GPS, the designer can explain the desired function of a part in an unambiguous way and, in most cases, how the part must be measured too.
Do you rely on metrology in your daily life?
Yes, we think you do. Decisions based on metrology are taken every day.
You do trust the weight indication on your fishing line? The use of metrology gives you trust in the lines capacity.
You certainly trust your medical equipment when an overdose can have life threatening implications and an underdose does not have any effect. With metrology you can trust the dose.
Are my measurements correct in my development or production?
When using measurement equipment either in a production line, or in a QC environment, measurement uncertainty is also in scope (measurement uncertainty budgets). These measurement uncertainty budgets can often lead to optimization of the process. Equipment or process in scope could be e.g. optical vision systems, geometrical measurement equipment, or other physical instruments.
Example: micro part to be measured on a tactile coordinate measuring machine at IPU.
“I am not sure how to measure and what to measure” – In which cases can IPU help me?
IPU can also assist with development of measurement methods. We can support the user’s specific requirements and purchase phases of both simple and advanced measurement equipment.
If you are in doubt about which parameters to measure, to give right response for development or production corrections, IPU can help you and guide you to do things the right way.
The fingerprint of the manufacturing process can be derived with the correct use of metrology. At IPU we combine metrology with the knowledge of the process and the function to optimize the measurement process.
At IPU we work intelligently with measurements in many different cases. R&D projects, failure analysis, reverse engineering and to support product- or process improvements just to mention some. IPU can assist you in choosing the right strategy based on your specific needs.
IPU uses a wide range of measurements instruments. From simple calipers and micrometers to the most advanced CT-Scanners, 3-Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), optical multi focus microscopes for 3D surface metrology or e.g. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).