We produce tens of millions of pieces per month for the automotive market. This market is particularly demanding, and we are the first to wait for a car to work perfectly and for a long time.
At Polydec, it is clear that the quality of the products is first guaranteed by the control of the manufacturing processes. It may be worth remembering that making a "single" axis requires a significant number of operations that sadly add an additional risk of non-compliance at each step.
To satisfy our customers and to protect us from legitimate worries, we have been oriented for a long time towards 100% control by PLCs. In fact, it is not a question of sorting the pieces at the dimensional level (in the sense of putting them by class of products), but of guaranteeing the elimination of foreign parts, of pieces bent or having other manufacturing defects. .
The rate of parts eliminated by these machines is actually very low ... but the elimination of these few parts is essential both for the satisfaction of our customers and for our risks as a supplier.
The automats that we use are made on the basis of our specific needs by manufacturers of "special machines". In 2011, faced with the increase in the volumes of parts to produce, we approached the Atec-Cyl house for the realization of a new automaton. Our need was clear on the principle of measurement, but we had no particular preference on the supplier of the vision part. It is therefore Atec-Cyl, strong from previous experiences, who proposed us to collaborate with Qualimatest.
The PLC was built at Atec-Cyl, then we were put in contact with Qualimatest for the development phases of the vision programs, then for the homologation of the machine. Obviously, the support of Qualimatest continues to be necessary, especially in case of evolution of our products or additional needs related to our continuous improvement. This successful collaboration is now live (so without going through Atec-Cyl).
To tell the truth, the control of all is not to add value to the products: it is not because a product has been controlled that it is better than before!
What changes, however, is the guarantee of not letting go of a non-compliant product at our customers. The contracts we have to honor with our automotive customers leave us no margin of tolerance.
So, the benefits we get from these machines are measured by the almost zero customer claims and the reputation that Polydec has for the automotive business. Of course, all this has a cost that inevitably affects the price of our products, but Polydec has always favored quality.
As said, the relationship was established little by little, first in a commercial phase, then during the establishment of the specifications. This relationship has changed a lot, and we have regular contact with technicians today. As time goes by, we get to know each other better and the dialogue becomes much easier. In addition, being in a relationship with a francophone home is a huge advantage. We are pleased to have in front of us a technically competent team where the term partnership has all its meaning!
Yes, the answers given above bear witness to this. As proof, we continued to collaborate with Qualimatest for the realization of 2 additional PLCs (following the first experience of 2011).
Note that even if the machine is easy to use, the "subtleties" of the software require some handling. So, to the extent that the system is satisfactory (which is the case here), we have every interest in continuing with the same product.
Little has been said about the accuracy of measurement of these machines ... it is a vast subject, and I do not want to venture on the slippery field of microns!
I would just like to point out that there are physical parameters that are immutable. I just give 2 examples:
- the larger the field of view, the poorer the resolution
- the more one seeks to be precise and complete (to control all the dimensions), the more the image processing takes time, thus causes a loss of productivity.
So everything is about balance!
We must never lose sight of the purpose of such machines. All the art, both for Qualimatest and for Polydec, lies in the choice of many parameters, so as to guarantee maximum customer satisfaction at a minimum cost.