The Right Evaluation Method - an Enabler for Process Improvement
Paper in proceedings, 2013
This paper aims at describing the procedure where an alternative evaluation process was developed to support the improvement of both welding and weld quality evaluation. Welded structures are important when striving for reduced fuel consumption due to vehicle weight. Hence good control of the fabrication process is critical to keep welding performance on target, avoiding waste in terms of added weight and overproduction. The resulting distribution of weld weight has shown to be an important control parameter in the sense of keeping cost down.
To identify the causes for deviations between actual and theoretical weld weight, information about the weld was needed. The currently used evaluation method showed not to be capable of giving the information needed. It was necessary to know the throat size as well as weld geometry. The current evaluation method introduced more variation due to the measurement than the actual fabrication process itself, leading to drift of process target and overproduction.
To fulfil the need of information, that different functions within the company had, a PULL-approach was used. The information need, information presentation and sequence were outlined for each information receiver individually. An alternative measurement method was developed and named WIA – Weld Impression Analysis. The method consists of two parts; creating the replica and analysing the shape in an image analysis program.
The method was tested to see if it was capable of delivering accurate and precise measurements, satisfying repeatability and reproducibility requirements for this particular situation. A thorough measurement system analysis was carried out. The measurement system assigned 98.98% of the total variation to part-to-part variation corresponding to long-term process variation. The variation that stems from taking the impressions and preparing them was as well investigated, also showing satisfying results. Finally it was investigated if the impressions reflect the true shape of the welds accurately. The results showed a tendency of slightly higher cross sectional areas in the range of 0-3 %. This however indicated that the accuracy of the measurement system was sufficient for its purpose.
The PULL-approach generated a sufficient method which enabled the possibility to perform process improvement and gain large production cost savings.
measurement system analysis