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DIY process monitoring will cost you more in the long run

Contributed by: Sciemetric Staff

Sciemetric staff reviewing process data on screen

You’re under pressure to hit a higher benchmark for quality on the production line. The clear answer is to invest in a process monitoring system. But you look at the price tag attached to an out-of-the-box solution and think, “I’ve got a good team, we can just whip up our own system that will cost less.”

That's hardly ever the case. In fact, many manufacturers end up spending more on DIY than out-of-the-box in the long run.

If quality is important to you, a do-it-yourself system will likely fall short of your goals in the end. You may have the engineering knowledge on your team to pull it off, but you have to ask yourself some hard questions:

  • • How easy will it be to maintain and update this DIY system?
  • • How reliable will it be?
  • • Will it give you the rich data points and insight you really need to improve quality and boost yield?

Let’s start with that price myth...

You need to realistically assess the time and cost required to develop a decent software app to run your DIY system. Even a bare-bones application can consume weeks of effort and thousands of dollars of development time. More likely, you’ll spend months and tens of thousands of dollars to develop an app with anywhere near the reliability, robustness and scalability of what you could purchase from a respected vendor at a fraction of the cost.

Software isn’t the only expense that can end up being much higher than you think. A jury-rigged combination of a desktop PC and various small boards and modules is exposed to the surrounding environment. You need to think about cabling, mounting and protection.

How easy and effective is your DYI process monitoring solution to use?

Odds are, the interface is a mouse and a keyboard. Managing data on the screen and visualizing it for easy interpretation is likely rudimentary at best. Compare that to an off-the-shelf-solution that features touch screens and powerful data-visualization tools that can generate a variety of different reports that even non-engineers can understand.

Your DIY build won’t give you the insight to identify the quality issues that really matter. If data is collected, it’s often bare bones and lacks the process signature data required for real visibility into what occurred in the process.

Your DIY system simply won’t give you enough backwards traceability – real traceability – to intelligently fix process problems. When there’s a widespread problem, you won’t have the data you need to get to the root cause. That still leaves you having to trash or recall thousands of units when only a few dozen may be faulty.

sigPODIf you really care about quality, don’t waste your time and money trying to piece together your own process monitoring system. With an out-of-the-box solution like Sciemetric's sigPOD, you get access to real-time pass-fail feedback and advanced defect detection capabilities across your production line with one simple solution. With a variety of test templates available out-of-the-box, setting up your test limits is quick and easy so you can start monitoring your processes and using data to improve your efficiency and product quality in no time! 

Like most manufacturing operations, you’re likely trying to do more with less. Your team is smaller than it used to be. With the time you save by using an off-the-shelf solution that offers the ability to quickly and easily identify and prevent problems on the line, you can deal with some of the dozens of other issues on your to-do list.

Learn more about Sciemetric's sigPOD, a flexible and scalable solution for advanced defect detection on your production line.