Product designer: merging product and process
We at ZERO defects follow the vision of a flawless world. To make this vision a reality, we try to make sure that all products work as expected. So we want the production of the future to produce only flawless products.
Anyone who has read Dominik’s blog entry on process designers has already gained a good insight into our approach to iterative process validation.
It describes how we assign data to processes and products. In the Process Designer, we describe which data is relevant to the process. We assume that a fully secured process can only produce faultless products.
However, since a process can only cover one side of production at a time, we also want to ensure that all product-related information is taken into account and backed up. We use the Product Designer to do this.
How the Product Designer Works
In the product designer we determine which processes have to be run through in order to manufacture a concrete product and which product-specific information has to be secured. We use a similar approach to the description of processes and process steps.
We divide the manufacture of each product into product steps. Each product step corresponds to a process defined in the process designer. Each product step, just like a process (step), has an input, an output and a description. In the product designer it is also true that product information such as the parts list can come from our own catalogues, but also from external systems.
The input for each product step always consists of parts from the parts list of the product. This allows us to ensure that only the right parts are used in the production of this product. The output of a product step is either an intermediate product, which can also be used as input in later steps, or the finished product.
In addition, we can define all product features in the product designer. This includes the target values for each characteristic as well as lower and upper tolerance limits. We use these feature definitions to ensure that only good parts are used during production by means of appropriate sensors.
If the values defined here are violated, we can trigger one or more reactions, just like from the process designer. This can be a rework order for the part currently being produced, a note to the responsible operator/machine operator/etc. to readjust the machine, a message to the process manager/line manager/etc. that the planned time until an order is completed will be exceeded or something completely different.
Finally, we can attach any type of document to the product. Be it information that is relevant for individual production steps, videos that contain safety instructions or pictures that show how the quality inspection is to be carried out.
With the information stored in the product designer, together with the information from the process designer, we make sure that only well manufactured parts leave the factory. We offer a solution to ensure that actual products are only produced faultlessly.