Exchange human error for digital consistency
Companies strive to ensure the highest level of quality at every stage of the manufacturing, production or assembly process. Anomalies – such as poorly made parts, damaged items, or the presence of foreign objects – can lead to a range of issues, such as
- Production slowdowns
- Poor-quality final products
- Costly and time-consuming reworking
- Environmental or safety hazards
- Increased production costs
In many cases, identifying anomalies before they cause problems depends on visual quality inspections, which will generally be carried out by human inspectors. The nature of the process will govern what inspectors are looking for. For example, they may be inspecting:
- Paper, fabric or metal surfaces – are they smooth and free of defects?
- Parts or containers – are any damaged, imperfect or contaminated?
- Screws, nuts and bolts – are they all present, and have they been correctly inserted?
Of course, like anyone performing a repetitive task, a person performing visual inspections may become tired, bored or distracted; or may only be able to inspect every 10th or 20th item in a high-speed process.
But as production and related processes become more complex – and customers more demanding – companies urgently need to find a way to reduce the potential for human error in quality inspections, and ensure nothing escapes the inspection process.
In our previous blog
, we discussed how video analytics software solutions – which combine smart cameras with AI – can be used to monitor workplaces and send alerts when workers’ health or safety may be at risk.
Now, similar video analytics solutions can be used to automate visual quality inspections, performing them more efficiently and consistently than people, and setting you on the path towards zero-defect production.
And when you make video analytics part of your migration towards digital manufacturing and automated processes, there are plenty of additional benefits on offer, including:
- Increased productivity and lower production costs, with more predictable production and a higher standard of quality
- The potential for round-the-clock operations
- Lower HR costs, as there’s no need to hire and train inspectors
Crucially, you can also collect visual quality inspection data. As well as enabling real-time monitoring and benchmarking, this data can be analysed over the longer term to support decision-making, production planning, and process improvements.