Factory software ups composites parts efficiency

Intercim’s Pertinence Suite software suite provides continuous improvement and real-time execution to the shop floor and ended a five-year recurring defect in less than six weeks.

Canadian Composites Atlantic (CAL) has introduced Intercim’s iPertinence Suite powered by Velocity to provide continuous improvement and real-time execution in manufacturing composites parts for aerospace and military products CAL recently signed up for a licensed contract with Intercim after a six-week trial period, during which Intercim’s Pertinence Suite solution put an end to a frustrating five-year struggle by CAL to understand and correct a recurring defect

Head of Methods for Composites Atlantic, Severine Guitton, explained: "In the fall of 2006, five years into a major contract for an aircraft OEM, we had slipped dangerously behind schedule in manufacturing and deliveries, resulting in a six-month delay on one product in particular".

He said that the company was averaging a 2% scrap rate and an 18% rework on four product lines.

The reason was debonding discovered during a quality control ultrasound check.

The scrap rate had reached upwards of 13% with a rework rate of 28%.

Guitton added: "However, as all the manufacturing parameters seemed to be met, there was no logical explanation for the defect".

These large scrap and rework rates led to serious ramifications for CAL, including the following.

* An inability to maintain the delivery schedule due to production delays.

* Internal cost increases jeopardizing the viability of CAL’s programme.

* A high risk of losing the customer’s confidence in CAL’s technical capabilities.

* CAL’s own frustration with the continued failure to find a solution to this problem, despite concerted efforts and repeated attempts by the company’s process and quality control experts.

"After a thorough search, we finally discovered Intercim and its Pertinence Suite," said Derek Kinsman, COO of Composites Atlantic.

"In less than six weeks, Pertinence Suite’s Process Rules Discovery capability enabled us to clearly establish specific rules regarding key parameters (such as time limits and fluidity intervals), which helped to finally identify and fix our issues and greatly reduce our scrap rate from 13% to zero, and our rework rate from 28% to less than 1%".

He added: "We’re thrilled to have found a tool that so quickly and easily helped us align our manufacturing process.

Pertinence Suite has now become one of our standard tools for process troubleshooting and we are in the process of evaluating it for several other programmes to further improve quality and performance".

* About Pertinence Suite powered by Velocity – Intercim’s Pertinence Suite powered by Velocity is the first true end-to-end manufacturing operations solution developed with operational excellence in mind.

The Suite supports all Lean, Six Sigma and other process initiatives.

From simplified process planning and advanced predictive analysis to best-in-industry process execution and quality management, the Pertinence Suite helps customers reach their operational goals in a very short time.

Based on historical data, Process Rules Discovery uses patented pattern-recognition technology to extract from a set of process and product characteristics whose combinations have been successful or could generate quality defects.

These best operational practices and risk situations are then displayed in laymen’s terms, facilitating communication throughout the company to the shop floor.

Intercim president and CEO, John Todd, commented: "It’s exciting to see customers like Composites Atlantic Limited be able to solve important, customer-affecting issues using our Pertinence Suite powered by Velocity".

He continued: "We understand that extra time, lost revenues, and extreme frustration can occur when a company is unable to pinpoint the source of its manufacturing problems, which is exactly why the Pertinence Suite was designed".

"We look forward to continuing our relationship with CAL and assisting the company with its ongoing manufacturing process needs".

* About Intercim – Intercim has 25 years of experience in helping discrete manufacturers meet regulatory requirements, harness lean principles, manage quality and execute processes in a paperless environment.

The company is a demonstrated leader in manufacturing and production operations management software solutions for advanced and highly regulated industries.

Intercim has offices throughout the United States and in Europe, with industry-leading customers such as Boeing, Sanofi Pasteur, Airbus, Ball Aerospace, BMW and Honeywell.

In addition, as part of its initiative to provide the utmost in operational excellence, the company also has technology partnerships with Dassault Systemes, SAP and Microsoft.

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