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Digital manufacturing minimises product recalls

Source:     Date:2010-05-24
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GCC states are presently on a drive to move away from their oil-based economy and diversify into the manufacturing sectors to sustain its economic growth. Huge amounts of investments are pouring into the industrial sector to boost the countries' industrial manufacturing base. However, manufacturers in the Middle East face a fundamental conflict in their efforts to improve their processes with the goal of delivering products with no discernible defects. The drive for better productivity demands that every aspect o f the manufacturing process be rationalised. While improvements in machine tools have yielded more automated metalworking processes, recalls are costly and time-consuming events that should be avoided entirely in many manufacturing operations in the Gulf. Without adequate process traceability too many customers will get defective products and too many products will be recalled for repair or replacement even though they are not defective. Both scenarios have enormous implications for the quality-conscious manufacturer that gets rated on the number of recalls it performs-not to mention the enormous direct costs. The core issue is visibility into product quality. Manufacturers must contain potential quality problems before the product leaves the plant, while providing detailed product genealogy information to trading partners. Today, few manufacturing enterprises enjoy a true component and process traceability system that enables this. If they do, the system likely does not extend outside to trading partners, contract manufacturing plants, distribution centres and transportation providers. Photo courtesy of Borouge Siemens PLM Software addresses these issues by offering a complete digital manufacturing for traceability system that minimises the cost of product recalls and eliminates recalls altogether. Digital manufacturing is a business strategy, enabled by technology, to manage all facets of creating, optimising, and executing manufacturing processes. According to Siemens PLM Software, a traceability system that solves the problem of poor quality and product recalls must achieve two primary goals: Minimise the number of products that must be recalled when a manufacturing flaw is found by identifying only the specific serial numbers that were built with the faulty component or by the faulty process. Eliminate recalls in the first place by providing real-time reports on the machines, components, stations, shifts and operators involved in the defective product and processes before the product is shipped. The benefits of improved production quality, cost containment and product warranty management through part and process traceability 杄lements of a digital manufacturing system-can ultimately improve customer satisfaction by reducing the risks and costs of poor quality and recalls. The most severe outcome of poor quality is product recall. The impact of recalling thousands of products is tremendous. Warranty costs in the automotive industry alone exceed $9 billion per year. The shorthand long-term costs of a recall can be enormous and is influenced by many factors. Some costs are directly related to recall activities, such as investigation of the product failure, customer notification of the recall, transportation of the recalled product, redesign and repair costs and the loss in value of the defective product. Other costs are indirectly associated with the product recall and poor quality, including the loss of sales due to negative publicity. The bottom line is that poor quality can have a dramatic effect on a manufacturer's profits. Traceability The essence of digital manufacturing for traceability enables manufacturers to better control the quality and performance of manufacturing processes and assets. The result is rEQT Support Boost


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