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Dial in Quality with Smart Manufacturing

Quality Management System (QMS), Production Management
April 11, 2023

Traditional manufacturing has always sought to build quality into the process. Initially, these systems focused on quality control which required manual data collection and analysis and lots of inspection done by people. As systems improved, companies sought to move beyond quality control and toward quality assurance to prevent defects.

Today, there are opportunities to make genuine quality assurance an achievable goal. As smart manufacturing continues transforming the manufacturing industry, one of its key benefits is empowering quality assurance at a level not possible with human intervention.

Real-Time Data Collection and Analysis

One of the primary benefits of smart manufacturing software is its ability to collect and analyze real-time production data. It can capture data throughout production by integrating with advanced IIoT devices like optical scanners or temperature and pressure sensors.

This capability provides manufacturers with valuable data, allowing them to identify quality issues as they arise and take corrective action immediately. If, for example, sensors detect temperature or pressure variances, the software can automatically alert the quality control team, enabling them to take corrective action before it affects the quality of the final product.

Automated Quality Control

Smart manufacturing software can also utilize automated testing and inspection at a speed and frequency that transcends human capability, and testing is customizable to the specifications of each product. Real-time results are available for analysis, so the machine can be stopped or employees can be alerted if human intervention is required.

In optical scanning, measurements or other tolerances can be done hundreds of times per second. Sensors can detect anomalies at a level the human eye cannot follow. The same applies to other inspection parameters like cracks, chips, and imperfections that can affect quality or safety.

Traceability and Compliance

Traceability and compliance are critical in the food and beverage, automotive, aerospace, and medical industries. Manual systems open manufacturers up to safety recalls resulting in lost product while exposing them to fines and liability depending on the industry.

Smart manufacturing software tracks products throughout production to provide manufacturers with complete visibility into their operations. It also includes features that enable companies to track raw materials from the moment they are received through production to the consumer. This functionality is especially critical to pharmaceutical and food and beverage companies which may be required to provide traceability on their products.

Continuous Improvement

Quality assurance seeks to move beyond manual inspection, rework, and remedial measures to “control” quality costs and losses. It is, therefore, a vital component of an overall process improvement effort.

Because smart manufacturing software provides manufacturers with detailed analytics and insights into their operations and real-time reporting on what is happening now, companies can identify trends and zero in on machines, processes, or errors to drive improvements.

Smart manufacturing software analyzes production data to help identify trouble spots where efficiency can be improved or waste reduced. These automated processes significantly reduce or eliminate the need for human inspection and achieve this at a speed and level of detail that humans cannot.

Build Quality into Your Smart Manufacturing System

A robust software solution can help you dial in quality as a part of your culture. The Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform offers real-time insights, quality process automation, and confidence in traceability and compliance across your operations.

With Plex, quality processes can be updated in real time and analyzed to empower change that eliminates future defects. Digital document control also lets you breathe easier as compliance, regulatory changes, and expiry information critical to production are updated in real time. This reduces cost and risk and ensures your employees operate on the most current data.

If you’re ready to dial in your quality with smarter manufacturing, learn more here.

About the Author

Plex Team