Protecting uptime through automated quality control

Manual quality processes will always hold some room for error, but with the changing consumer environment is it worth the risk? insignia explains.

Forty-five per cent of manufacturers acknowledge that there is considerable room for improvement when it comes to proactively preventing problems with assets within their organisation. Despite the recognition of this clear need, the perceived and actual costs of investing in improvements in this area can often be a deterrent. Quality manufacturing doesn’t have to mean higher costs, and in fact the cost of not implementing these preventative improvements can be greater, in the form of unplanned downtime and the flow-on effect on OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).

Eighty-two per cent of companies across multiple sectors have experienced at least one incident of unplanned downtime over the last three years. What was the cause of this downtime? Results from the same study suggested that in the manufacturing sector 23 per cent of unplanned downtime was caused by human error.

It’s a widespread belief that human error is the primary cause of quality issues or problems. However, this perspective is evolving and it’s becoming apparent that human error is not the root cause but a symptom of deeper causes, for example a lack of training or poor-quality procedures.

For a long time, quality has been under human control, and the fact that quality control processes are being completed manually will always leave room for error. This is a risk manufacturers are no longer able to take. Consequently, there has been a shift within the manufacturing sector as the industry evolves into a more technological future. Manufacturers are beginning to automate quality control to eliminate the chance of error through solutions like verification scanning and chip technology.

How Domino is ensuring quality?

Designed with the customer in mind, Domino – a global leader in marking and coding technologies – has rewritten the rules of inkjet with their Ax-Series continuous inkjet coder. The Ax-Series printers have been optimised to provide an error-proof fluid management system. No longer does the operator have to manually enter a code onto the touchscreen for consumable changeovers – this is now completed automatically through the use of RFID chips on the fluid cartridges, which instantly matches the cartridge to the printer.

In addition to making consumable changeover quick and easy, the RFID chip ensures the operator has installed the correct cartridge in the correct location. It also eliminates the possibility of using old or non-genuine Domino inks that can damage your Domino printer, thereby removing the risk of a subsequent increase in servicing costs to repair the damage, and the unplanned downtime this would cause. Through the utilisation of this technology Domino has ensured the manufacturer will be provided with a quality code every time and maximise their uptime.