Software: Visualize manufacturing process flow data graphically

New software simplifies product quality management and tracking process via user-intuitive, simple-to-read, graphical views of supply chain and manufacturing data.

12/11/2008


SigmaQuest, makers of on-demand solutions for product quality management, have announced a new platform that it says will help manufacturers reduce resources and time spent sorting through supply chain, quality, and test data to ensure product and process quality. With the new SigmaQuest Process Flow Visualization (PFV) software, users can track all phases of product development via intuitive, graphical data displays. By interacting with the software, the company says users can determine if their process flows are performing as intended. This helps get to the root cause of any potential product-quality issues, product recalls, or other issues that could result in dissatisfied end customers.


SigmaQuest Process Flow Visualization software presents information via graphical charts that have drill down analytic capabilities.

PFV presents information via graphical charts that have drill down analytic capabilities. This means users no longer need to read through spreadsheet data and other static databases. With this approach, SigmaQuest reports that military, aerospace, computing, consumer electronics, medical device, and other product manufacturers can tell if the documented process flow is followed and when and where their supply chain process isn’t working. Also, they can determine if products have been built to spec, have gone through appropriate tests, if tests were skipped, if products failed in the test process, and how many times tests were repeated. Ultimately users get yield indicators at each stage of product development. The software can interpret data that comes from the manufacturers’ and/or suppliers’ test floor and points out the flows in the manufacturing process that warrant further inspection or refinement. The software also identifies faulty test stations and unusual operator actions that can point to potentially defective or aberrant end products.

“Our customers tell us that quality is their number one imperative,” says Nader Fathi, president and CEO of SigmaQuest. “They cannot afford to have bad publicity, negative reviews, or product recalls that affect their bottom line. PFV gives our customers a bird’s-eye view of their global product quality and helps them determine if there are any process violations.”

Fathi adds that with PFV, companies can more readily conform to varying compliance and quality initiatives. For example, medical device manufacturers can begin showing compliance with the upcoming Sentinel Initiative, whereby the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking to monitor the performance of medical device products, sold in the U.S., throughout lifecycles. Similarly, by law, any military, aerospace or FDA manufactured product that has failed in the test process more than three times must be scrapped. PFV tracks these failure cycles. On top of this, the software tracks the digital signatures used for signoff at the completion of a test, providing contract manufacturers with accessible proof that a product has passed testing in accordance with the OEM’s specific directions.

Chris Rodriguez, global test engineering strategic planning manager at Power-One says, “PFV is a visual tracking tool for each product we build as it moves through the entire factory floor, from subassembly to finished goods. We can see abnormalities that are otherwise undetectable with static data representation. PFV is essential to assuring process flow integrity.”

– Edited by Peter Welander, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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