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Tecnomatix quality management synchronizes quality planning with quality execution across multiple product programs

Leading global supplier to automotive industry 

Delphi is a leading global supplier of mobile electronics and transportation systems, including powertrain, safety, steering, thermal, and controls and security systems, electrical/electronic architecture, and in-car entertainment technologies. Engineered to meet and exceed the rigorous standards of the automotive industry, Delphi technology is also found in computing, communications, consumer accessories, energy and medical applications.

Faced with increasing competitive pressures in a contracting automotive market, Delphi Thermal realized that good enough wasn’t going to accomplish its ambitious goals nor satisfy automotive OEMs who are demanding lower cost components with tightening quality requirements. According to Jim Anderson, a Senior Project Engineer for Delphi Thermal, “We’re responding to the increasing pressures to reduce cost, become more productive and maintain our quality by implementing best-in-class technology with a focus on lean re-engineering that enables us to fully leverage a global technology footprint”.

 One of the key components of the automotive supplier process is a strict compliance to OEM quality requirements through Production Part Approval Process or PPAP. Missing requirements or providing components which do not conform to quality standards can have a costly and time-consuming impact to production schedules. The problem is compounded with shortened development schedules and the mere fact that delivery acceptance of the component will not be approved until they pass this PPAP milestone.

While Delphi Thermal has been meeting these requirements across multiple product programs for many years, the company, like most manufacturers, has been putting its focus on increasing productivity while holding the quality they are known for. 

Rapid change, more complex product requirements and new technologies are increasing the demand for the time, cost and quality resources at its disposal. Knowing that inspection and interpretation of dimensional quality has a direct impact on the company’s PPAP process, Delphi looked to Siemens PLM Software for a solution. “With an integrated solution from Tecnomatix, we saw the opportunity to more easily propagate standards, reuse best practices and increase the consistency of meeting product quality requirements,” says Jim. 

The cadence of quality 

Looking in depth at the current process flow and the existing technologies involved, Delphi’s objective became clear as they defined a plan to re-engineer processes and utilize integrated technology to reduce the variation associated with interpretation and inspection of design record requirements.  

Understanding where requirements are first documented and ultimately approved in the PPAP process --while analyzing how those requirements were consumed throughout the quality lifecycle – called attention to many opportunities for improvement. Existing processes were disconnected; engineering features on drawings meant that these features had to be manually added to CAD representations; disconnected data stores meant they likely had to be entered multiple times increasing the chance for errors. In addition, multiple machines required various programming environments, which meant that results were open to different interpretations that were not easily shared with the various groups involved in the quality lifecycle of planning, execution and analysis.

Looking to Siemens’ Tecnomatix quality management solutions, Delphi Thermal saw the ability to streamline the workflow, implement a master model concept and utilize industry standards. In doing so, they realized the opportunity to drastically reduce product variation, improve the consistency of interpretation, shorten the development time for quality planning and have a positive impact on success rates in PPAP signoff.

A PLM foundation for quality

With a Tecnomatix quality solution for inspection programming and execution built on a Teamcenter foundation, Delphi Thermal has been able to meet PPAP requirements much more efficiently while increasing its final PPAP acceptance rates. This has a positive impact across multiple domains, but especially in production where delays have a direct impact on profitability.

By implementing Tecnomatix quality management solutions with a focus on process reengineering, Delphi Thermal has improved new product introduction cycle time by defining parallel workflows between design engineering and inspection programming. In design where the master model is defined and validated, the quality engineer can leverage GD&T, dimensions, features and inspection points to greatly simplify inspection programming and change management. These critical-to-quality features are entered once and leveraged through the entire inspection programming, execution and analysis workflows. In addition, because of Siemens PLM Software’s commitment to open standards like Dimensional Measurement Interface Specification (DMIS), a metrology standard developed as a collaborative effort between vendors and Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium (DMSC) members and I++, the programming and execution efforts for multiple machines is simplified. This reduces training costs and improves inspection results by allowing a single inspection program to run on multiple machines from virtually any vendor. The result: a dramatic positive impact on the consistency of measured data. 

With a single, unambiguous source of quality information in place, Delphi Thermal made further improvements to its processes by defining hardware configurations with a minimum machine envelope standard and implementing a library of standard fixture components. Now Delphi Thermal’s entire dimensional quality approach is common across the enterprise, with GD&T and inspection routines fully associated to the CAD product features. This eliminates manual data entry errors, assures that any downstream process has the information it needs, increases productivity of all disciplines involved in the quality process and greatly improves PPAP acceptance rates allowing Delphi Thermal to be as productive as possible. 

The productivity and quality gains Delphi Thermal has experienced through this combination of business transformation and advanced technology has won them the Progressive Manufacturing (PM100 Award) for Innovation Mastery for PLM Deployment. “We were excited to hear about the PM100 Award for Innovation Mastery for PLM deployment.  This project served as a model for the proper integration of technology, process re-engineering and our culture adapting to new, more efficient processes.  In fact, demonstration of this process has become a part of our standard presentation during tours of our Technical Center.  We have received very positive feedback from prospective new customers.”

About Siemens PLM Software

Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division, is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services with nearly six million licensed seats and 56,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Siemens PLM Software works collaboratively with companies to deliver open solutions that help them turn more ideas into successful products. For more information on Siemens PLM Software products and services, visit www.siemens.com/plm.

About the Tecnomatix Brand

Siemens PLM Software offers digital manufacturing technologies under the Tecnomatix brand which define, simulate, validate and optimize manufacturing processes as a complete end-to-end Product Lifecycle Management solution.  These technologies are built on industry standards for open technology and integrate commonly accepted standards such as DMIS & I++ as mentioned in the article.  

For more information on Tecnomatix products and services, visit http://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/products/tecnomatix/index.shtml  

or contact:

James R Anderson
Senior Project Engineer
Delphi Thermal
Lockport Technical Center
200 Upper Mountain Rd
Lockport, NY 14094
Ph: (716) 439-2218
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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