Software Quality Control

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Software Quality Control in thermal spray shops is highly overlooked. Whereas in many manufacturing environments such as cnc machining services, etc software quality control has become a way of life, thermal spray shops seem to be spending very little attention to this area, although it can make a significant difference in product quality assurance.

Many thermal spray shops have robotic spray booths with individualized programs for thermal spraying of specific part numbers. It is essential first of all to have a procedure written for robotic program development – otherwise the first engineer writes code in one way and then he quits and the next engineer that takes over has no clue as to what the first engineer wrote and so on. To avoid this waste of time and money, specific code writing procedures need to be in place. Some of the older robotic code is written in machine language as opposed to Pascal or C, making this “other persons’ code” understanding bit more difficult. Programs need to have plenty of comment statements regarding robotic moves as well as instructions regarding setup points relative to part being thermal sprayed.

Additionally, proper revision control on all robotic software programs need to be under engineering control. Many companies put in the robotic program printout itself on the shop floor process sheets. In such cases, when the robotic program is revised, so should the process sheet; otherwise the process sheet will not reflect the actual operation on the thermal spray manufacturing floor. Software quality control and software quality assurance is an essential part of the QC function and must be implemented in your thermal spray shop even if you have only one robotic cell.

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