Control is Hot Topic at GPD in Finland
June 23, 2009
Among the many topics covered at the recent Glass Performance Days
in Tampere, Finland, was one that has been much talked about throughout
the auto glass industry in recent months: quality control. Kenneth
Wawrew, president and chief executive officer for SynergX Technologies
Inc., in Laval, Quebec, addressed this topic during a session called
"Glass Inspection Techniques in Automotive Glass Quality Control
One focus of the presentation noted that an increase in auto glass
usageand the complexity of the glass used in vehicleshas
presented manufacturers with "pressure to constantly reduce
the cost of the glass, [while] at the same time increase[ing] the
quality of the glass being produced." To accommodate this need,
Wawrew suggests that manufacturers employ automated optical inspection
tools in their facilities.
Among the benefits of automated optical inspection tools, Wawrew
says is yield managementwhich decreases the chance that defective
glass might make it through key stations of the process, such as
tempering, laminating and bending.
"Human inspection is still used extensively in automotive
glass factories despite the proven inconsistency of human inspectors
and the cost of human inspectors," reads the presentation that
accompanied the discussion. "By applying automated optical
inspection where human inspectors are used, the factory can improve
its productivity and therefore, reduce the cost of manufacturing."
Wawrew encourages manufacturers to utilize optical inspection systems
at various points in the process to optimize its usefulnesssuch
as when the float glass arrives; after the cutting and grinding
point; after painting, "to ensure there are no problems with
the screening process for graphics such as the fade band, logos
and codes;" and at the end of the production line.
He advised that human inspection can be inconsistent, as "tests
have been done where the exact same products have been passed by
human inspectors and the results have been different each time."
In closing, Wawrew noted that during a difficult time in the automotive
glass manufacturing industry (and economy in general), factory productivity
will be a key factorand though investing in optical inspection
equipment at this point may not seem ideal, "[it] is one of
the tools that can be employed to improve factory productivity and
guarantee higher quality" for manufacturers.
Glass Performance Days was held June 12-15 in Tampere, Finland.
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