Got Big Data? Finding the Gold Can Be Easy

“It's always best to start at the beginning--and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road.”

This famous line from L. Frank Baum’s beloved Wizard of Oz is spoken by the Good Witch of the North when Dorothy asks her for directions to the Emerald City, through miles of uncharted wilderness. For most manufacturers, Industry 4.0 is new territory. Trying to balance demands for more parts in shorter timeframes, while trying to connect the right software and measurement tools to make sense of expanding data chunks, can seem a little like trying to navigate a path through no-man’s land.

While the demand for automation is higher today, mechanization, CNC controls and the use of robots is not new. Nor is the business of measuring parts to ensure they meet critical specifications. Statistical Process Control (SPC) has been the accepted industry standard tool for controlling quality during the manufacturing process. Capable of predicting with 99 percent accuracy, SPC allows you to measure fewer parts. Coordinate measuring machines equip manufacturers to measure parts with greater repeatability and higher accuracy. Companies need to be able to gather real-time data on the fly to raise the efficiency of value streams and make better business decisions. Unfortunately, many are drowning in a sea of paper with numbers no one is reading.

The right software combined with a mobile CMM solution could prove to be the first step on your “yellow brick road” through the wasteland of big data.  Prolink’s SPC Office Buddy is a new application that integrates directly with Minitab, JMP, and MS Excel. SPC Office Buddy runs reports using CMM data collected by Prolink’s  QC-CALC Real-Time. This direct integration virtually ends the need for manual data input. And because Prolink specializes in data collection, it can support advanced CMM technology with no setup.

Combining software like Prolink with CMM technology like AIMS Metrology’s Revolution Series HB Shop Floor CMM can make collection and translation of critical data almost instantaneous while reducing part inspection time from days to minutes. Imagine being able to ascertain which machines made the most accurate parts in real time. Or receiving an email alert the second a part or process deviates from spec. Would it be beneficial to capture data from multiple devices and other, disparate machines? Designed and built around Renishaw 5-axis technology, the Revolution HB is the only mobile 5-axis CMM on the market. Plug it in with Prolink software and bring your quality laboratory to the shop floor. This powerful combination can act like a GPS, guiding you through the mounds of data you're sorting through in this new industrial revolution called Industry 4.0.

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