The Drive for Quality
Robert Bosch Corp. is known for its high-quality automotive parts. At its Anderson, South Carolina facility, where it manufactures electronic control units for anti-lock brakes, the question was how to maintain the company's high quality standards while increasing profits. The answer came in the form of senior test engineer K.C. Podd and the SAS System.
As each control unit is produced, approximately 450 quality-control tests are performed and as many as 1.5 million data values are collected per day. Unfortunately, until recently, most of the collected data was not readily available to manufacturing engineers, technicians or operators. If a part failed a test, the results were saved and printed for later reference.
Fast DCAR results
A front-end menu system, created using SAS applications development tools, allows users to make subsets of the data stored in the data warehouse, using pull-down menus and fill-in-the-blank screens. Then, users can request a wide variety of reports, including pareto charts and histograms. "It goes pretty fast," says Podd. "Users can look at any value in the system in no more than seven or eight seconds."
In addition, the system has been designed to automatically accommodate changes in product types, locations and test programs, and new types of report can be created whenever they're needed. The quality group, manufacturing group and test group use the system every day... Podd says SAS' strength in statistical analysis, coupled with the ability to easily build custom applications and to handle large amounts of data stored in an ORACLE database, were what made SAS the perfect choice. "It was so easy to do with SAS, and, in fact, there really wasn't much competition," says Podd.
Using data to reduce waste
"We want to take our processes from a reactive to proactive stage where we can identify problems before we are ready to ship or shut down the line," says Doug Young, manager of test engineering.
Concludes Podd: "It's simple. You can't compete if you don't control your processes. And having information makes it a lot easier."
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Senior test engineer, Robert Bosch Corp.
Robert Bosch Corporation
Sort 1.5 million data values each day and make the information readily available for manufacturing engineers, technicians and operators to evaluate quality-control tests.
A SAS quality-control data warehouse offers plant personnel the ability to retrieve and view test results graphically for all manufactured products.
“ You can't compete if you don't control your processes. And having information makes it a lot easier. It was so easy to do with SAS and, in fact, there really wasn't much competition. ”
senior test engineer, Robert Bosch Corp.