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Defect-tracking software from ATS has enabled heavy truck provider Navistar to improve in-process quality at its plant in Chatham, Ontario.

This Six Sigma project has relied on statistical metrics to help lead teams to the areas that will benefit the most from process improvements.

The company’s Chatham plant manufactures premium conventional and severe service trucks.

The Chatham facility developed an in-house system that helped to collect quality data, but it could not trace the location of defects to its X and Y co-ordinates on panels or within subcomponents.

A search began to find a system that would provide this functionality.

Navistar chose ATS Inspect from ATS International, which has created systems for clients such as as Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Manufacturing USA, Man Trucks Austria and Rolls-Royce Aerospace in the UK.

ATS Inspect consists of several configurable application modules.

The system visually presents products to in-line assemblers and inspectors at various points on the plant floor.

Touchscreen or stylus entry – no keyboard is required – enables the fast, accurate capture of quality information by serialised product.

Defect location may be stored with a product image for graphical representation.

The Layout Manager module allows users to design each input screen to reflect the operating environment at each workstation.

Functional defects not requiring X-Y co-ordinate capture can also be entered into the system.

Information about the current production is now available to anyone on the Navistar intranet via an internet browser.

As the data collected is real time, reaction to production and quality problems is immediate.

Navistar also purchased the Event Alert Service module, which may alert personnel via page, email or displays in the plant based on variable data such as the number of defects per unit, defects per thousand or even safety concerns.

The system was installed and functional within weeks.

Rick Burns, who was in charge of the Chatham implementation, said: ‘When we first discovered ATS Inspect, we thought the ability to pinpoint the actual location of certain defects, especially paint, was the greatest benefit.

‘But after using the system for a few months, it became clear that this function is secondary to the ability to analyse the statistical information immediately.

‘The Event Alert Service will allow us to automate the notification process instead of trying to track down the appropriate parties when there is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately,’ he added.

ATS is the independent solution provider for industrial, process and information technology users world-wide. We provide products and services for all three levels of the automation pyramid: control, execution and information.  

ATS is an innovative, strategic knowledge partner offering numerous areas of expertise such as:  

  • Control technologies
  • SCADA/HMI
  • Programming languages
  • Communication and networks
  • Databases
  • Manufacturing execution systems
  • Non contact and contact dimensional measurement systems
  • Data collection systems for both variable and attribute data  

Since foundation in 1986, we have developed these business activities, specifically designed to support the full lifecycle of automation, quality and IT systems:  

ATS software development

ATS’s professional knowledge of industrial and process automation is easily spotted amongst our software developers. If standard solutions are not right for your project then it’s time to ask our software developers to “fill the gap”. As well as custom made solutions we develop ATS software products. In both cases we use high level programming languages and embedded software.  

ATS products

ATS Products brings together a range of ATS and third party partner products emphasising our expertise in communication & networks and total solutions. We have been distributing first class hardware and software products world-wide since 1986.  

ATS measurement systems

ATS, in conjunction with ASI DataMyte, design, manufacture and assemble contact and non contact measurement systems for the manufacturing industry. Our team of highly qualified design and integration engineers work with our customers to provide turnkey measurement solutions using either inductive transducers or, camera & laser-driven systems where non contact measurement is required.  

ATS data collection systems

ATS has a wealth of experience with its attribute/visual data collection systems. Our ATS Inspect Software is revolutionary in its application whereby defects can visually tracked with a view to eradication. Our SPC Software solutions are varied with both flat-file based and full SQL Server databases supported. Our experience and products are used extensively throughout all industrial sectors adhering to the TS16949 and 21CFR Part 11 rules.  

ATS projects

ATS delivers projects from system design to full implementation, roll-out (globally if required) and final user acceptance with flexible training packages and 24/7 service level agreements. ATS frequently works closely with customers as a strategic partner and preferred supplier. Standardised project methodologies lead to efficient, repeatable implementations locally or globally.  

ATS training

We offer standard training and custom made courses for maintenance, engineering or information management. Our courses are designed especially for your industry, making use of our professional training facilities. Our qualified trainers all have practical, professional experience and know-how to apply theoretical knowledge in practice. Training can be given on-site, regionally or in one of our training centres. ATS issues officially recognised diplomas and training vouchers.  

ATS consulting

ATS consulting specialises in advising automation strategies. ATS Consultants share industry best practices, lean manufacturing thinking and pragmatic experience with customers to optimise production and business processes. Technology, supplier and product independency combined with a focus on our customer needs leads to optimal system design and product advice.  

ATS on-site support

Providing knowledge and extra capacity to companies for short and long term projects, as a strategic partner both locally and globally. The work place is your choice. Our professional engineers can work at your company, at one of our development centres or on-site for commissioning projects.  

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