ImProofKMU - Development of a scalable management of measurement processes for SME


Initial situation:
Within organisations measurement processes are still perceived as supportive and non-contributing to the value added stream. However, measurement processes are the origin of the transparent production and can provide both an objective understanding of the production processes and a required product quality. Thereby, Lord Kelvin’s conclusion that measurement represents knowledge needs to be comprehended in consideration of the measurement uncertainty: A measurement is capable of inspecting a specific feature if the measurement uncertainty is small enough in relation to the tolerances, which can be observed through proofs of capability which are increasingly required. Organisations are faced with the challenge to handle the huge amount and complexity of measurement processes. Even in the automotive industry there is hardly another process that has cost as much expense as the proof of capability for measurement processes.

The ambition of the ImProof project is to develop procedures for the proof of capability for measurement processes with manageable effort. The challenges are to cover the amount and variety of different measurement processes on the one hand and the determination of the measurement uncertainty of complex measurement processes on the other.

In collaboration with the software developer Q-DAS, Lauscher Präzisionstechnik, and an associated industrial committee, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL identifies the challenges regarding the proof of capability of measurement processes to different industry sectors possible solutions are discussed.
The basic approach is the development of a method to categorise measurement processes regarding the risks of wrong decisions and their importance for the quality of the final product. This method will allow an economic proof of capability for the measurement processes within an organization by showing in which case it is permissible to estimate the capability and when a proof of capability may be conferred for another measurement process.
To evaluate the measurement uncertainty of complex measurement processes examinations with calibrated parts according to DIN ISO/TS 15530-3 will be proposed. Furthermore, methods will be tested to derive metrological surrogate models from systematic testing in order to minimize the modelling expenditure for complex measurement processes.

The result of the research project will be a guideline that describes how to deal with the proof of capability for the measurement processes within an organization. This guideline will be incorporated into the directive 2600 of the VDI/VDE committee of experts 1.12 “Application and capability of measurement processes – procedure to carry out the proof of capability for a variety of measurement processes”. In addition, the user will be supported by a further development of the existing Q-DAS software.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The Chair of production metrology and quality management works on this project together with a consortium of industry partners.

We thank APIS Informationstechnologien GmbH for the kind support and the free provision of the software APIS IQ-Software for research and teaching!