We indeed produce tens of millions of parts 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 manufacturing a "simple" axis requires a significant number of operations which unfortunately add an additional risk of non-compliance at each stage.
To satisfy our customers and protect us from legitimate concerns, we have long oriented ourselves towards 100% control by automated systems. In fact, it is not a question of sorting the parts at the dimensional level (in the sense of putting them by product class), but of guaranteeing the elimination of foreign parts, of twisted parts or having other manufacturing defects. .
The rate of parts eliminated by these machines is indeed 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 machines we use are made on the basis of our specific needs by manufacturers of "special machines". In 2011, faced with the increase in volumes of parts to be produced, we approached the house Atec-Cyl for the realization of a new automat. Our need was clear on the principle of measurement, but we had no particular preference on the supplier of the vision part. It was therefore Atec-Cyl, with previous experience, who offered to collaborate with qmt .
The machine was therefore built at Atec-Cyl, then we were put in contact with qmt for the development phases of the vision programs, then for the approval of the machine. Obviously, the support of qmt continues to be necessary, in particular in the event of the evolution of our products or additional needs linked to our continuous improvement. This fruitful collaboration is now done live (so without going through Atec-Cyl).
To tell the truth, the characteristic of any control 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 not to let a non-conforming product go to our customers. The contracts we have to honor with our automotive customers leave us no margin for tolerance.
So the benefits we get from these machines are measured by the almost zero rate of customer complaints and the reputation Polydec has made in the area of automotive axes. Of course, all this has a cost which 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 then evolved a lot, and today we maintain regular contact with technicians. Over time, we get to know each other better and the dialogue is greatly simplified. In addition, being in contact with a French-speaking house is a huge advantage. We are pleased to have in front of us a technically very 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 qmt for the realization of 2 additional automata (following the first experiment of 2011).
Note that, even if the machine is easy to use, the "subtleties" of the software require a certain grip. So, to the extent that the system is satisfactory (which is the case here), it is in our interest to continue with the same product.
Little has been said about the measurement accuracy of these machines… it's a vast subject, and I don't want to venture into the slippery micron terrain!
I would just like to remind you that there are physical parameters that are immutable. I just give 2 examples:
- the larger the field of vision, the worse the resolution
- the more you try to be precise and complete (check all dimensions), the more time the image processing takes, thus causing a loss of productivity.
So it's all about balance!
We must never lose sight of the purpose of such machines. The art, both for qmt and for Polydec, lies in the choice of many parameters, so as to guarantee maximum customer satisfaction at minimum cost.