Manufacturing life-cycle solution finds defects before it's too late—or too costly

A flawless inspection process is essential to building a 20-foot power boat that costs $50,000 to $90,000. Production defects can result in astronomical scrap and rework costs. Correct Craft, with an 83-year history in boat manufacture, plans to prevent such costly defects with a new quality execution system from AIMS Co.


A flawless inspection process is essential to building a 20-foot power boat that costs $50,000 to $90,000. Production defects can result in astronomical scrap and rework costs.

Correct Craft , with an 83-year history in boat manufacture, plans to prevent such costly defects with a new quality execution system from AIMS Co. that assists the Orlando-based company with inspection management and real-time alert notification in a wireless environment.

“Each boat must go through eight inspection gates before final assembly,” says Matt McGinnis, quality manager. “We have a station-to-station alert process where unsigned issues are highlighted on the screen. If a defect isn't signed off or there is a back-ordered part, then that notice continually pops up until it's resolved.”

Inspectors carry tablet PCs with grid overlays that list defect codes and illustrations to pinpoint exactly where problems occur.

According to AIMS President Perry Smith, most manufacturing users of the AIMS system deploy it for improving track & trace scenarios and minimizing recalls. “Almost 90 percent of our install base uses the system for shop-floor processes, while 25 percent use it for the other modules,” he says.

The purchasing and supply functions, which also include a supplier portal and supplier scorecards, work in tandem with the order side.

“By inputting a serial number, for instance, a transaction can be pushed to another person via email or pager,” says Smith. “Users can outline thresholds or set certain criteria for different stages in the inspection process so that inspections are done at each station instead of waiting to correct all defects at the end.”

Additionally, an analytics module with reporting functionality enables real-time status alerts and production data delivery from equipment to drive operational efficiencies.

Quality management—or “MES light”—systems may function independently or integrate with larger manufacturing execution systems, product life-cycle management, ERP, or aftermarket services systems. The challenge is maintaining a centralized database, says Simon Jacobson, a director with Boston-based AMR Research . “In many cases, multiple inspection plans sit in multiple databases with no dedicated hub to manage data dissemination.”

Without a centralized database, it's difficult to perform root-cause analysis and trace the event back to the source.

Being able to close the feedback loop is one way to address this challenge, says Jacobson. “Smaller niche players may need to partner with larger companies to stop the downstream issues. But there still is a need for specialty players like AIMS since not all ERP systems have the same depth of functionality.”

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.