The creation of quality inspection documents is necessary, but time consuming process for most manufacturers, since the process is still very manual for most quality departments. Using software to eliminate or reduce manual data entry, and accompanying errors, can significantly increase throughput and focus quality inspectors on what they do best—inspection—rather than spending time manually creating inspection documents. Quality departments are faced with a variety of inspection reporting requirements from AS9102 or EN9102 requirements aerospace, ISIR and PPAP reports for automotive, and a host of in-house or customerdeveloped report formats for providing quality inspection information. Typical inspection documents created or compiled manually include: • A hand-ballooned, or bubbled, inspection drawing using a stencil and pen or stamp. • An Inspection report in Excel or Word where inspection data and results are manually entered. • Other documents – certificates of conformance, customer specifications, process tests, etc. Further roadblock’s to quality inspector’s efficiency includes frequent revision changes to inspection drawings resulting in a need to completely re-create the ballooned drawing and inspection report at every change. Inspection report automation software can eliminate manual processes at each of these steps creating a time savings of 50 to 90% and significantly reducing the errors inherent in any manual data entry. AUTOMATE BALLOONING Software tools can automate the ballooning of drawings that are in PDF format or scanned drawing formats and even work with native CAD applications to balloon 2D drawing and 3D models. Ballooning in the native CAD application is particularly important in industries, such as aerospace, where 3D MBD (model-based definition) is becoming the norm. Software that runs in the native CAD application provides the greatest speed and accuracy. Whereas software that balloons TIFF or PDF files is the most flexible, allowing the inspector to work with any PDF or TIFF file and not requiring any CAD system. CREATE STANDARD OR CUSTOM INSPECTION REPORTS Advanced software tools use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and advanced logic to extract the inspection requirements on PDF or TIFF files into values—nominal, tolerances, quantity, and type—that can be easily edited. Bill of Materials and Specifications data (needed for AS9102 Forms 1 and 2) can also be extracted with OCR for inclusion in reports. Applications that run natively in a CAD program allow instant extraction of notes and dimensions from the drawing or annotated model. Once data is extracted, the software populates industry-standard reports (AS9102, PPAP) or custom reports unique to a specific company or customer. MANAGE INSPECTION RESULTS MORE EASILY Software tools can eliminate the hand-transcribing of results data in inspection reports by auto-matching CMM results data to inspection project data (based on balloon numbers, nominals, and tolerances programmed in the CMM routine), and results can be color-coded and shown in the project interface or in the published report showing in or out of tolerance conditions for easy visual verification. HANDLE DRAWING REVISIONS QUICKLY Rather than spending time manually comparing two drawing revision using a highlighter pen, inspection report automation software can provide a visual comparison of two drawing to show inspectors what has changed. The comparison can also be saved to PDF providing a valuable reference or design history document. Then after comparing, the new drawing can replace the old drawing so the inspector can use the software tool to pick up only the incremental changes in the revisions. ASSESSING ROI The return on investment for inspection report automation software is an important consideration. Fully loaded software costs can include the IT costs for installation and support. An “On-Demand” option accessible via web brower can reduce or eliminate the IT burden and provide a lower cost of entry, whereas installed versions provide long-term performance at a fixed price. The time savings provided by automating your inspection documentation often provide a 100% ROI in a few weeks or months. Thomas Instrument implemented software to create inspection documentation more efficiently, “With InspectionXpert for PDF, we can easily create five inspection packages per day on average, sometimes as many as ten packages. It takes five to thirty minutes to generate the documents whereas before InspectionXpert this process could take multiple hours for each blue print (depending on the complexity and clarity of drawing.) Entire First-Article packages that would easily take a week or more to create in the past now only take a day. We’ve seen a time savings of almost 90%.” InspectionXpert Corporation 800.379.0322 (phone) 800.379.0322 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org www.inspectionxpert.com
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