Quality Control System (QCS) is a software solution developed by Mikrosam that is used for quality control of the products created on Mikrosam’s machines.
During the machine production process, this software monitors and records all important process parameters, which can later be used for production historical overview and analysis. All recorded data is kept in a local database and can be used to recall historical part production data at any time
The QCS is connected to the machine’s control system and records the important process data, machine state data and data from any hardware unit (machine axis, sensor, load cell, etc.) that is installed on the machine. For any process parameter, the following sampling rates are available:
- Cyclic up to 2ms
- On value change
- On value change within tolerance
- On Trigger
The sampling rate of any process parameter is adaptive to the current machine state to avoid unnecessary recording and storage usage.
Monitoring of program data and break/stop time information.
The QCS records every loaded part program (NC Program) in its database so it can provide an overview of all part programs used in the production process.
For every usage of a part program, the active and stop time are recorded, enabling later analysis how much time was needed for the execution of each program and all programs in total. Every production stop event also is recorded.
Raw material tracking
The QCS provides the machine operator with a possibility for material data input. This enables the operator to provide serial number and any other important data for each used material in the machine production process.
The data can be provided using a barcode scanner or manual input.
Monitoring of Production Alarms
QCS is recording all errors or warnings reported from the machine and stores them in the database. For each error or warning can be recorded any number of arguments that later can help to determine the cause of the error.
Raw Data Processing
All raw data that is collected with the DAQ process, is processed to provide meaningful and easy-to-read output. Once the raw data is processed, data segments are created so the raw data can be accessed using smaller and more meaningful segments.
For example, the data for AFP/ATL machines, data segments are created and can be displayed per ply or per course.
Another example is for Filament Winding machines where the data can be displayed per winding segment or per winding cycle.
Because the data can be displayed for more meaningful data segments, a more detailed analysis of the production process is possible.
Assigning a Serial Number to the machine’s final product
All collected data can be linked to a product with a unique serial number. The operator can assign a serial number for each product manufactured on the machine.
The assigning serial number can be done in-process while the machine is currently in production or can assigned later using tools for easy access to previously recorded data.
Because all raw and generated data is linked to a serial number, it is possible to search for any data using the assigned serial number.
Data analysis with reports
The raw and generated data can be displayed or exported from the database for further analysis. The following type of reports are available:
- Raw Data report – The user can view a graphical representation of the raw data by selecting one or more process parameters recorded in a specific time frame.
- Interactive report for created data segment – The user can select a created data segment and see all the available data for that segment.
The raw data or the data segments can be searched using time range or a production serial number. When searching by serial number, all the data linked to that serial number will be displayed.
Any recorded data can be exported in the standard file formats or specific file format based on customer request.
Operator Login History
The QCS monitor and record the operator login history on the machine control system and then it can provide historical overview of the operator activity on the machine.
Historical video recording
The machine can be equipped with a video camera for recording of critical sections the production process. All camera recordings are stored in a dedicated storage unit and can be viewed for detailed analysis of the production process.
Using a label printer, the QCS can print a custom label that can be applied on the machine’s final product. The label contains the serial number of the product, the most important properties of the product and a barcode that can be scanned. The design of the label, what data to be displayed and the type of barcode can be adjusted based on the customer needs.
Inspection and Calibration data
Since various machine components requires regular maintenance, inspection, or calibration, the QCS provides a possibility for tracking all these activities. Using the QCS, the operator can log any of these activities and later a machine supervisor can check this log for any irregularities.
Integration with customer’s existing systems
Since the QCS is entirely developed by Mikrosam, it’s possible to create custom QCS modules for custom integration with customer’s existing systems. The integration means the QCS can make Data Acquisition from customer existing equipment and/or export data from QCS database to customer’s existing databases.
Database management tools
Since all obtained data is recorded in a local Database, the QCS provides tools for simple and easy-to-use database management. Using these tools, the user or the database administrator can monitor the actual database size and switch to new recording database when needed.
The previous databases and the data in them will remain available to the user so the data in them can be displayed.
In-Process Layup Inspection System
IPLIS for AFP & ATL
IPLIS is part of the QCS, designed for visual inspection of layup with AFP or ATL machine. This inspection detects various layup errors.
The IPLIS is unique technology developed by Mikrosam. The hardware component of the system consist a laser line projector and a 3D cameras that when combined together form a profilometer. The high framerate profilometer records the entire layup and using the software component it can detect any layup errors in-process.
All data from the camera is stored in the QCS database and can be displayed and analyzed after the layup. Because the IPLIS is part of the QCS, all recorded data and detected defects can be linked with the rest of the data that the QCS already is recording.
The IPLIS can detect layup errors during the actual machine layup. Some of the type of errors can be detected are:
- Gap width is more than expected.
- Overlap between tows or courses.
- Twisted Tow
- Missing Tow
Automatic Online Inspection System for Slitting and Rewinding Equipment (MikroSlitt)
This inspection system is based on the IPLIS and can be used for detection of the errors on the slit tape before it is re-wound on the spool. It is developed by constant input by customer requirements for increasing demand of high-quality error free slit tape that in later stage can be processed in Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) or Automated Tape Laying (ATL) machines.
This system is working independently and is installed at each of the rewinding positions at the winding spool section and is continuously monitors and detect errors on the slit tapes that are going to be wound to spools.
The list of errors that are detected and recorded are:
- Tape Width is out of tolerance.
- Tow thickness is out of tolerance.
- Fuzz detection
- Twisted Tape detected.
- Foreign object detection
- Splice position detection
All data from the camera is stored in the QCS database and can be displayed and analyzed after the re-wounding. Because the IPLIS is part of the QCS, all recorded data and detected defects can be linked with the rest of the data that the QCS already is recording.