The world’s leading manufacturer of heart valves needed to expand production but was concerned about maintaining quality at higher volumes. They wanted a solution that would provide the best data-based process monitoring possible. With each unit worth in excess of $20,000, managing the assembly stations to avoid defects was a key goal.
Though they looked at other solutions, nothing matched Sciemetric’s signature analysis. They liked the continuous measurement – having a full view of each process – and the ability to collect and analyze that data.
The manufacturer is using Sciemetric EDGE modules for data acquisition, Sciemetric Studio for analytics and QualityWorX as the database. All the data from each module and, in some cases, from the machines, are fed into the database.
Sciemetric Integrated Services Division (ISD) is handling the upgrades of the retooled line, adding sensors and intelligence to each machine.
Here are some examples of stations:
· UV curing is the use of UV light to set a bond between parts. These stations use three to five Sciemetric EDGE 421 modules to monitor the UV intensity at the part and the output intensity of the controller.
· Thermal bonding to bond the flex tip to the flex shaft assembly. Five Sciemetric EDGE 421s measure the temperature of the part, and the temperature of two front and rear dies.
· Laser weld to weld plastic components together. The part temperature at the weld spot is captured by a single EDGE 421, and data from the weld machine – laser power, rotation axis, product axis, etc. – is sent to QualityWorX directly from the welder.
· At the pleat and fold station, the balloon that will be used to administer the valve is first pleated in a two-stage process and then folded. Part pressure, fold part force, pleat and fold die temperatures data are collected using seven EDGE 421s and two EDGE 431s are used to measure the fold and pleat diameter.
In addition to conducting regular in-depth analysis of the data to understand the variations that can occur on the line, the customer wanted real-time statistical feedback. Sciemetric has fast-tracked a release of SPC (Statistical Process Control) for them in Sciemetric Studio so that they will be alerted when certain conditions occur at each station. (This feature will be available commercially at the end of the year.)
Line Launches in August
Sciemetric is expected to be implemented on other lines and is competing to be specified as the manufacturing database and analytics tools in all their factories. This project is a great example of how sigPOD or Sciemetric EDGE can be used for data acquisition and to create better quality data with signatures.
Call us for more information on improving production in your facility or find out more on our website https://www.sciemetric.com/
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