Quality 4.0 and Industry 4.0
Our industry is moving towards the factory of the future. Massive gains in process insight, efficiency and control can be made through the digitisation of the workplace, but what rewards can the quality department expect to reap? Well, there are many!
Industry 4.0, also know as the fourth industrial revolution, is a well-established term that is gathering more momentum by the minute. But you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that ‘Quality 4.0’ is a phrase that is also set to begin making headways soon enough, too.
What exactly is Quality 4.0?
Quality 4.0 refers to the future of quality management through the adoption of emerging technologies in the context of Industry 4.0, in order to achieve operational excellence. The quality-driven
revolution is powered by the shift to a digital way of working within the manufacturing industry, leading to greater robustness and efficiency in our processes.
Quality 4.0 Tools
A number of tools have been identified as key technologies that can be used to enable companies to ensure Quality 4.0. Examples of these tools include;
- Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- Big Data
- Cloud Computing
- Virtual Reality (VR)
However, Quality 4.0 is much more than just technology, but a commitment to a culture of quality. These industry 4.0 technologies aid companies in following the modern path to digital transformation and optimising quality processes.
Why Use Quality 4.0?
For many companies, paper-based tasks and systems are still commonplace. To date, most of the data management processes in Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) departments follow a paper-based workflow. Using antiqued techniques to maintain
critical quality records requires numerous manual checks to ensure data integrity and product quality standards are met. Such systems are time-consuming, prone to human error, and are vulnerable to data loss through inadequate storage solutions
Recent process analytical technologies (PAT) can be incorporated into your process to offer in-line quality measures that modernise QA, digitise QC laboratories, and eliminate the need for paper-based systems. When taken one step further with a fully
automated control system, data can be captured and interoperated in real-time, shared with the broader team for review, or safely archived for ease of future retrieval. In this way, a general push to Industry 4.0 results in the removal of steps
that are not value add, while strengthening quality standards along the way.
Digitise Your Process To Become Quality 4.0 Focused
In high-volume environments, manual quality inspections are costly and slow. To assess particle size in bulk solids, you would typically carry out sampling inspection, which involves determining the quality of an entire production batch by analysing
a small portion of the product at a time. This step is classically performed by sieve analysis or other at-line methods to determine particle size distribution (PSD). Particle size analysers such as Eyecon2 offer an evolutionary leap by continuously measuring in-line particle size to enable the automation of inspection.
Adoption of real-time, analytical technologies supports us in building the factory of the future. With powerful insights, we can avail of many more quality-focused boons such as the enablement of Continuous Process Verification (CPV). CPV is
the activity that provides ongoing verification of a manufacturing process’ performance and is founded on the principle of using process knowledge to demonstrate that the process is validated. Process knowledge such as real-time particle
size data can be captured dynamically from PAT, like Eyecon2. CPV is a necessity for the ultimate goal of Real-Time Release Testing, a much sought after target that reduces overheads and generates more efficient workloads.
Smart Factory starts with Quality 4.0
Quality 4.0 is part of the journey to the Smart Factory, where digital processes increase productivity and flexibility from the factory floor right up to the wider enterprise. Digital technologies enhance quality by giving companies powerful tools
that allow them to monitor processes and collect data in real-time, apply analytics, and predict quality issues. These tools offer the assurance to become proactive rather than reactive in the approach to quality. A combination of automated
digital tools like Eyecon2 and a governing control system facilitates factories to produce faster and better products at reduced costs.
To learn more about how Eyecon2 and advanced control systems can propel you to Quality 4.0, get in touch with us!
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