Process capability database usage in industry: myth vs. reality

  • Tata M
  • Thornton A
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1 Abstract Process capability data (PCD) is needed for robust design, optimal tolerance allocation, and variation simulation analysis. Process capability databases (PCDBs) have been developed in many industries and are being used by the manufacturing community to monitor quality; however, they are not being effectively utilized by design. When the PCDBs 1 were developed, the intent was for design to use PCD for optimization and product cost minimization, but this ideal situation has not been realized. A survey of a variety of design and manufacturing companies was circulated to determine both the state-of-the-art in PCDBs and the barriers preventing design from fully utilizing PCD. Two key barriers were identified for internal PCDBs: lack of a company-wide vision for PCD usage and poor communication between manufacturing and design. Supplier PCDBs have the additional barriers of lack of trust between suppliers and customers and time lag for data entry. Management support, training, database population, and common systems were identified as potential solutions to the identified barriers.

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  • M Tata

  • A Thornton

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