A good day in the life of a production line manager

 

The discovery of SysCheck2

Julie works for a leading audio brand manufacturer in China and is preparing to set up and oversee a new production line. The line will produce high-end audio components that will need a full audio test for each product at the end of the line.

The most efficient way to ensure high-quality measurement data is regular calibration and frequent checks of the entire measurement chain. Calibration is time consuming all by itself, but on a production line, it frequently involves opening or disassembling test apparatus to reach the microphone. Calibrating devices that are incorporated in complex structures such as ear simulators or audio test boxes is even more time consuming because great care must be taken when dismounting and remounting the acoustic fixture. This not only adds an extra layer of time, but also costs as it should only be performed by a trained engineer to ensure proper calibration and avoid damage to the measurement station and equipment.  

In order to streamline the production and reduce the down time, Julie has come up with a new setup, and equipped the production line with SysCheck2-enabled microphones.  She then brought in a technician to perform an initial calibration of the measurement chain. As part of the initial measurement-chain calibration process, a SysCheck2 reference level is measured and saved together with the environmental parameters at the time of calibration. All of that information is acquired by the measurement analysis software with a single click.

Now, when an operator’s shift begins, and rather than recalibrating and checking the measurement chain, they validate the measurement chain by running a SysCheck2 verification with a single click. This enables the operator to verify that nothing changed in the measurement chain since the last calibration. Once the operator gets a Go/No Go answer from the software (taking less than 10 seconds (depending on the algorithm used)), they can start testing the devices. Every hour (or every time he takes a pause) they run a new SysCheck2 verification. This validates all the devices that were tested since the last SysCheck2 verification. This means that they can validate the entire production without having to rely on calling a specially trained person to periodically verify the measurement chain. 

The result is that the line only needs to be stopped for calibration in the unfortunate event where the software returns a change in the SysCheck2 level; only then must the operator call a technician to fix the problem. And only the devices tested since the last verification need to be retested.

As a bonus, thanks to the environmental sensor present in the microphone, Julie can correlate the measurement data with temperature, humidity and static pressure and foresee changes in production tolerances due to environmental variations.

The system showed green all day, and confident in the validity of the system, the line functioned without unscheduled stops. With data processed, reports generated and numbers totaled, Julie headed home for the day—it was a good day.

 
 

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Saturday, 29. January 2022

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