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How the COVID-19 pandemic is improving quality in manufacturing

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is increasing pressures for automotive manufacturers globally. Expectations on production quality are higher than ever, resulting in OEMs holding their suppliers strictly to print standards. Here’s how Mapvision can help increase manufacturing quality and how we develop the solution together with our customers.

The pandemic increases expectations on production quality

Due to the pandemic, OEM’s are even more cost-conscious and investigate all possible savings. This has made them review production quality in more detail, resulting in part manufacturers receiving more complaints on defective parts, which might have gone unnoticed under normal circumstances. 

As a result, many of our customers are looking at extending the use of their Mapvision Quality Gate to further improve the production quality.

As we have delivered over 200 Mapvision Quality Gates and some of them have been in use for a long time already, there are also installations that are not completely up to our latest specifications. Lately, our customers have shown more interest in Mapvision Quality Gate features that they have not previously been using actively, especially retroactive inspection that helps them manage complaints. We are keen on learning from our customers to meet the highest OEM standards in manufacturing. 

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Here’s how we are helping our customers meet the increasing quality requirements

1. Stopping quality spills 

One of our customers, a Tier-1 car component manufacturer, has always used Mapvision to measure the parts in production, but recently they have also asked for upgrades to the system in an effort to stop quality spills. In wake of a new quality policy, they have for example requested functionality that would put a stop to production if the clamp air pressure drops below a specific PSI threshold. This is because clamp air pressure may influence the clamp force, which in turn may influence the measurement accuracy. This is actually a standard feature of Mapvision Quality Gate today, although our preferred solution for clamping is the virtual clamp.

2. Developing processes

Another customer in the automotive business has now realized they need to improve the quality control of the process they put in place at SOP (Start Of Production). They contacted us saying they cannot achieve the throughput needed in level with the quality standards of their customer. We are working with them with Mapvision Result Suite to confirm whether sub-assemblies are made correctly. This way, the manufacturer can make sure that adjustments are made at the correct welding line instead of just the final assembly welding.

3. Improving reporting 

Finally, we have been contacted by several customers who want to start using the Mapvision quality reports to fight quality rejections and warranty claims with Mapvision data. These customers are now asking Mapvision to provide the training needed to contest claims by using the Mapvision image database and inspection results. These reports can then be provided as proof for the OEMs that the parts were correct during the final inspection.

Advanced quality inspection changes manufacturing

To summarize, the pandemic has transformed automotive manufacturing by encouraging manufacturers to take advantage of advanced technologies for in-line inspection. These technologies help for example prevent quality spills, implement better processes for production and enhance reporting back to the OEMs. As a result, manufacturing quality and efficiency are improving across the industry. Working together with our customers and taking all Mapvision Quality Gate capabilities in full use, we can help detect even the slightest changes in the production conditions that can affect the quality of parts.

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