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What is a Custom Precision Injection-Molded Products Manufacturer

Manufacturer Turns to DataMyte Quantum SPC Software to Gain ISO-9000 Registration

A manufacturer of custom, precision injection-molded products for health care, electronics-telecommunications, and consumer-industrial markets was committed to manufacturing products with the highest practical quality. It had been using Shewhart-based SPC, along with sophisticated benchmarking and CPK2 quality standards to register all of its plants as ISO 9000. To meet its goal of continually improving product quality, the manufacturer had established a strategy to integrate its QC data network for all its plants and major customers.

Problem

The manufacturer’s DOS-based SPC program supplier went out of business. The company was no longer able to get online support or upgrades. The manufacturer had to find a data collection and analysis system that could grow with it as it moved toward its goal. 

Solution

After an in-depth investigation of available products, the manufacturer selected DataMyte Quantum SPC software. The company installed the Quantum SPC system at its plant in Clinton—as well as one in Burlington, N.C.—early in 1996. DataMyte provided on-site service to minimize installation time, as well as to make sure the system operated to the manufacturer’s complete satisfaction.

Data collection stations—comprised of personal computers with the power to perform data collection measurements and analysis—were located in quality labs and on the production floor. This gave employees immediate access to the information they needed to own the injection molding processes.

Inspectors at workstations input data either through keyboard entry or with standard bench gages, such as micrometers, drop indicators, tensile testers, and optical comparators. They also used custom test and measurement systems to gauge “process sensitive” part characteristics. Typically, length, width, inside and outside diameters, flatness, and total indicator runout attributes were checked.

In the past, data for each cavity was in a separate software file, and operators needed about half an hour to complete an inspection of a full shot of parts. With the Quantum SPC system, data for multiple cavities and features were located in a single file, allowing operators to inspect the equivalent number of parts in less than half the time.

Data was fed from auto-gaging stations with one or more gages into personal computers running Quantum SPC quality analysis software. The Quantum SPC system then performed real-time SPC charting and analysis. The manufacturer used the data to track the status of processes, indicating through charts and alarms when process adjustments were required. The installation of Quantum software removed a great deal of subjectivity in adjusting process variables, resulting in more consistent quality.

The company also used the Quantum software to format data in histograms, control charts, or summary statistics to meet specific customer requirements and accompany product shipments. Data was also stored for future reference, which was an important requirement for health care and automotive customers.

As customers’ demand for greater amounts of process information increased, Quantum SPC software provided the manufacturer with a cost-effective means of satisfying them. The company even created data links with some of its key customers, so it could transmit quality information directly to them.

The installation of Quantum SPC software gave the manufacturer total access to answers on quality issues. It has been able to achieve a level of quality within the plastics community that is second to none.

With the DataMyte Quantum SPC system now fully integrated into its Clinton and Burlington operations, the manufacturer has completed the first step in creating a global network for quality control among its plants and key customers—giving it an exceptional competitive advantage in the markets it serves.

An operator sorts injection molded pen barrels prior to a dimensional check.

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