Measure to improve and innovate

November 01 2012

Quality, performance and new technologies: why is it so important to measure?

The quality, performance and validation of new technologies, the technical characteristics and compliance with specific market requirements are all dependent on an activity that is often considered secondary, but which is actually essential: this is the activity of monitoring and measurement. Nowadays the complexity of modern systems need sophisticated measuring equipment which complexity sometimes exceeds that of the device under examination. An immediate consequence of this is an increase of difficulties, and of costs, to carry out the measuring manually (reliant upon the intervention of an operator).

The evolving and refined requirements for measurement and control in the industrial and scientific fields has resulted in an enlarged data acquisition sector with many new products and different methods.

A method which has become prominent over the last few years is the realization of ad hoc measuring instruments on PC platforms. These are particulalry benefical as they allow measuring instruments to be created which are flexible, customised, intelligent and user-friendly.

The ability to measure different sized work pieces simultaneously and to save the captured data at regular intervals (also over long periods of time) without the need for an operator to be constantly present offers numerous possibilities. For example it is possible to measure various sizes simultaneously to understand the behaviour of components/machines, or parts of them, according to the variations in different mechanical, thermal and electromagnetic conditions. In the medium term a historical file can be built up using all the measurements taken in order to monitor the repeatability of the products.

A database of all measurements can then be used by the Technical, Test, Service and Quality Departments to verify the improvements of new solutions or to facilitate further innovations and improvements.

Finally, it is possible to use these data to realize automatic diagnostic systems that constantly monitor set parameters which then raise an alarm when there are deviations from standard values (preventative maintenance). A financial investment in measuring instruments on its own is not enough to obtain reliable and simple measurements as the whole process is also heavily dependent on the competence of the people involved.

The Camozzi Research Centre (CRC) and some of the Camozzi Group companies created a work group which encourages and facilitates the sharing of know-how and practical experiences. One of the objectives of the “Measuring Group” is to share experiences, programs and instruments so that all measuring processes are made more efficient and to avoid spending too much time on problems which have already been solved.

This sharing of knowledge will then help to optimise the investments which have been made in instruments across the Group. The Measurement Group is currently made up of representatives from Camozzi, Marzoli, Innse Berardi and CRC. However, it is open to all parts of the Camozzi Group that need support or which believe they can make a contribution.