Breaking Free from Paper: Fairview's Journey to Digital Quality Control
A Beacon of Excellence
For nearly six decades, Fairview Machine Company has been a beacon of excellence in precision manufacturing. As a revered third-generation family-owned business founded in 1963, Fairview has consistently delivered precision components to industries such as Aerospace & Defense, Medical, and Commercial. However, like many other well-established manufacturers, Fairview faced a significant challenge - the weight of outdated paper-based documentation and manual data transfer. In this case study, we delve into Fairview's transition to 1Factory's digital quality control software, illustrating the profound impact of innovation on this industry veteran's unwavering commitment to precision and efficiency.
Paper Dependency: Fairview's foremost challenge was its heavy reliance on paper documentation for inspection data. This traditional approach not only consumed precious office space but also hindered efficient quality assessments. The frustration of deciphering illegible handwritten notes impeded the review of critical data.
Handling Part Revisions: Keeping up with part revisions proved to be a cumbersome task, often necessitating the creation of entirely new plans whenever a revision was introduced.
Communication Hurdles: Reliance on handwritten mark-ups and engineering changes led to repeated discussions on the same reports. This inefficiency wasted time and effort, affecting operational efficiencies.
Burden of Data Transfer: Operators manually transferred data from Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) printouts, prolonging inspection times and potentially affecting the workflow. Fairview sought a more efficient and resilient data transfer method to enhance overall operational efficiency.
The Digital Transformation
In an era where technology continually reshapes industries, Fairview Machine Company embraced the 1Factory platform, ushering in a new era of efficiency, accuracy, and operational excellence.
Real-Time Revisions: 1Factory streamlined part revisions, eliminating the need to start from scratch with each new revision. Part revisions are now initiated and tracked in real-time, building upon the work previously completed for improved efficiency.
Automation and Time Savings: Fairview not only achieved a significant return on investment but also streamlined their operations by seamlessly integrating their CMM outputs directly into 1Factory inspections. Currently, Fairview effortlessly records over 150,000 data points every month from their CMMs without the need for any manual input or button clicks.
OCR Capabilities: Fairview had previously utilized software solutions for ballooning drawings and generating quality control plans. However, these software tools fell short of Fairview's requirements. While they enabled ballooning drawings and the creation of exportable Excel sheets for documenting inspection data, 1Factory has now taken on the role of these previous software tools and more. Once a plan is established in 1Factory, it serves as the central hub for ensuring part quality. Previously, it took hours to create a ballooned drawing and quality control plan, but Fairview now completes these tasks in real-time, thanks to the capabilities of 1Factory.
Improved Operator Experience: One significant concern when implementing software like 1Factory is how the shop floor will respond. For a quality control software to be truly effective, it must not only handle the front-end processes of quality control, such as ballooning and plan creation but also meet the demands of shop floor users in a real-time manufacturing environment. Not only did the shop floor readily embrace the introduction of 1Factory, but as 1Factory became more integrated into daily operations, the common request transformed into, "When can my cell run on 1Factory?" This question has been resolved, and currently, every part produced at Fairview Machine Company is controlled using the 1Factory platform.