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  1. #41
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    I understand needing to be as lean as possible in manufacturing to stay viable in the marketplace, but the old saying of "being a penny wise and a dollar stupid" applies to pretty much every company I've been through or worked at. A company too often will be reactionary vs being proactive and it costs them dearly down the line when a part or product they quoted too low ends up costing twice as much as anticipated to produce.

    This is where QA/QC is supposed to come in. They should be experienced employees with the ability to read and understand blue prints, and use hand gages and some larger capital metrology equipment, they should be looked to during a new product industrialization workshop to point out any glaring issues they may see with the processes that have been defined. More often than not though, QA/QC is overrun with stubborn engineers or upper management who refuse to accept that the processes they put in place are not capable of making the parts at the rate they were hoping for while still maintaining the quality of the part or product.


    Management may look at QA/QC as overhead or a catch-all, but they are an integral part to any successful production shop if used and managed correctly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    In the USA If you go into QC you will be the bearer of bad news, not believed in by many, and often in the hot seat.
    Yet it does not pay so well and is seen as a overhead cost by upper management.
    Very often even the existence of a QC department is brought on by customer requirements or regulations, not a want to do it.

    So yes the pay is often bottom of the barrel and advanced skills are not rewarded.
    There are exceptions but to be real it is more often viewed as a low skilled job. There was a "quality revolution" a bit back but it sort of died.
    All you do is measure parts, even a button pusher loads, unloads, changes tools and measures.
    Contrast this with say Japan.

    Hence hard to say on pay since the range is large.
    Techs right around entry level pay and sort of stuck. The few up top and holding together the quality system paid with engineers as you need this dog and pony show and one or two who can run such show for the customers.
    I wish it was different but that is the brass tacks of QC jobs in the US.
    Bob
    That's tragic but unfortunately I agree. In the world of bean counters everything is either black or red. Very similar to outsourcing just because it looks as if money can be saved - on paper at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake E CEI View Post
    I understand needing to be as lean as possible in manufacturing to stay viable in the marketplace, but the old saying of "being a penny wise and a dollar stupid" applies to pretty much every company I've been through or worked at. A company too often will be reactionary vs being proactive and it costs them dearly down the line when a part or product they quoted too low ends up costing twice as much as anticipated to produce.

    This is where QA/QC is supposed to come in. They should be experienced employees with the ability to read and understand blue prints, and use hand gages and some larger capital metrology equipment, they should be looked to during a new product industrialization workshop to point out any glaring issues they may see with the processes that have been defined. More often than not though, QA/QC is overrun with stubborn engineers or upper management who refuse to accept that the processes they put in place are not capable of making the parts at the rate they were hoping for while still maintaining the quality of the part or product.


    Management may look at QA/QC as overhead or a catch-all, but they are an integral part to any successful production shop if used and managed correctly.
    Not sure I agree completely with that. At one company where I was QC manager I managed to force through that drawings had to be approved by production before getting the OK.

    Those that design and draw are responsible for most of the faults in a shop.

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    its a problem every place must decide. do you do 100% inspection or periodic samples inspected ? worked where photographic supplies were made. a continuous scanner to watch photographic paper at high speed (1200 feet per minute) was expensive many millions of dollars so they started production line taking samples.
    .
    customer returns some pictures with big defects inches in size. took inspection time to figure out it was water getting on paper. leaking roof rain water getting on paper going by. they stopped leaks and it stopped. eventually they bought the high speed scanner. it would auto detect and show where defects were some small less than 1/32" and machines could auto cutout the bad spots rather than throw whole rolls of paper weighing tons away in garbage
    .
    same as machine shop parts do you do 100% inspection or periodic samples ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    .
    same as machine shop parts do you do 100% inspection or periodic samples ?
    "Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place."
    Dr. W. Edward Deming.

    The real purpose of applied quality control is to reduce inspection time to the minimum.
    You can not "inspect in" quality.
    Ones or maybe even fives you may have to 100%.
    For all others sampling should work, unless you have no control of the process.

    The real job of QC people is to remove their need from the system and simply monitor that all is fine.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    The real job of QC people is to remove their need from the system and simply monitor that all is fine.
    Bob
    As QC manager I often said ,"All should be delighted if I have nothing to do. What you don't want to se is me running around looking worried".

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    fact is cnc operators making a complex part cannot easily inspect everything on a large part. that is a CMM can measure complex shapes much faster
    .
    for example you got a 747 airplane wing. how do you measure it to even .1 mm ? without temperature control, controlling how it is supported, a measuring method that will not distort the part. they got laser trackers following a precision ball target you touch part and press button. you keep doing and it makes a 3 dimensional drawing of part which can be compared to 3D CAD model.
    .
    a lot of complex parts you cannot easily 100% measure in the shop. take a 10 foot airplane propeller how you going to measure if any part of it is 0.1mm from theoretical ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    fact is cnc operators making a complex part cannot easily inspect everything on a large part. that is a CMM can measure complex shapes much faster
    .
    for example you got a 747 airplane wing. how do you measure it to even .1 mm ? without temperature control, controlling how it is supported, a measuring method that will not distort the part. they got laser trackers following a precision ball target you touch part and press button. you keep doing and it makes a 3 dimensional drawing of part which can be compared to 3D CAD model.
    .
    a lot of complex parts you cannot easily 100% measure in the shop. take a 10 foot airplane propeller how you going to measure if any part of it is 0.1mm from theoretical ?
    I don't regard airplane parts as typical production. FAI on a complicated part is necessary but if it isn't known whether the machine being used can make the part continually within tolerance then someone hasn't done their homework.

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    Well this may be weird but my operators do not get to load and unload parts in the machines until they demonstrate a documented ability to use the Mics, LVDT stands, CMM and vision systems inside the expected gage R&R.
    (yes, there is a test and the results are kept as part of our QC system and I have such data going back to the 80s)

    If you can't measure it I sort of question your ability to make it.

    I use in-machine measuring to control wheel and tooling wear.
    I never ever "measure" a part on the machine tool that made it. Seen that go bad too many times in many shops.
    This is asking for a train wreck. People who do this just don't have enough chips in their shoes. The resulting numbers are worthless.

    If you are making a part on the floor you should have the ability to check your work so that you know when things go oops.
    The exception may be roughing ops where you check one or a few things knowing that there will be stock on the others.
    If you are making a 10 foot prop and can not measure it I hope someone is holding your hand and doing the checks so you don't make 2 bad ones.

    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Well this may be weird but my operators do not get to load and unload parts in the machines until they demonstrate a documented ability to use the Mics, LVDT stands, CMM and vision systems inside the expected gage R&R.
    (yes, there is a test and the results are kept as part of our QC system and I have such data going back to the 80s)

    If you can't measure it I sort of question your ability to make it.

    I use in-machine measuring to control wheel and tooling wear.
    I never ever "measure" a part on the machine tool that made it. Seen that go bad too many times in many shops.
    This is asking for a train wreck. People who do this just don't have enough chips in their shoes. The resulting numbers are worthless.

    If you are making a part on the floor you should have the ability to check your work so that you know when things go oops.
    The exception may be roughing ops where you check one or a few things knowing that there will be stock on the others.
    If you are making a 10 foot prop and can not measure it I hope someone is holding your hand and doing the checks so you don't make 2 bad ones.

    Bob
    I'm not quite sure where you are going with that. That some parts need to be correct is critical (as in life or death) whereas with others it's more a question of "only" losing money if they aren't correct.

    I've seen many things that can't be measured while still on the machine so I don't think it's as black and white as you make it sound. I certainly do agree with that the person making it should be able to measure and inspect it as much as possible.

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    I think part of the QC pay structure (as to the OPs question) is that it is hard to quantify the levels of QC inspectors. Is the OP, low, mid or high? Does he program the CNC arm?? I think what drives the $$ is CMM programming. To me CMM programming is inline with CNC machinist type work. IE setup, programming and verifying results. It can include problem solving and trouble shooting. Also, production support.
    Also, the machining trade pay seems to vary a lot. So, it too is hard to pin down a pay scale region to region and skill levels.

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    a lot of parts cannot be fully checked on a cnc machine. for example you machine a perpendicular sided part. in inspection it gets checked with a granite square. cnc machine can say part was perfect but inspection is checking for errors like perpendicularity from machine errors
    .
    horizontal cnc often has dynamic errors. that is a part can indicate different than it was programmed. why ? well known horizontal turning spindle picks up and goes to the side when turning. slides tilt and rotate under load. backlash error too. amounts might be .0001" to .0010" still thats often what inspection is checking dynamic alignment. what the machine cuts under load. not what it indicates with no cutting forces. same with part deflection from cutting forces and after cutter gone it deflects back.
    .
    also temperature changes effect dimensions. i often can measure a bore .0003" smaller dia 10" in cause coolant was cooling boring bar and it was getting smaller dia as it was boring. same boring bar with no coolant might get .0001" bigger by the time it gets to the back of the bore cause boring bar was warming up cutting
    .
    i often see larger parts milling a 10 foot circle the beginning and end of path has a height difference cause spindle warming up and tool getting longer .0003" after 5 or more minutes cutting. sure many ways to error compensate
    .
    just saying inspection measures the part you are actually getting not what it theoretically should be from the programming.
    .
    if spindle had tram alignment error AND you got a slide perpendicularity error you can get different combined errors with different length tools and from slide movement alignment error. combined errors can add or subtract depending on tooling, programming, etc. error can be .0000 to .0010" easily.
    .
    tram error or spindle not perpendicular you can bore a hole with a short length boring bar and indicate bore not centered with a longer indicator setup cause longer indicator setup has the tram error. if .0010 per 10" than every 1" difference in length shows a .0001" error. if indicator 3" longer you indicate .0003" error cause spindle leaning or tram error
    .
    inspection still needed. i often see part marked up recut bore .0003" to the left. hard to describe you do not always see all errors on the machine.

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    I would guess from about $18.00 to about $45 here in the USA for manufacturing QC.
    Often a little higher than the top toolmaker or machines. In some shops the same as.

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    Here in Michigan.
    $12-14 starting pay if you know something about inspection.
    Low $20s for 5-7 years experience, a tad more if you have pursued and have the certs.
    $45 per hour is 90K per year so that is QC manager pay in a larger or mid sized shop.
    There are top level spots that will pay $120K+ per year but they are few and far between, salaried and on call 24/7 so "per hour" is hard to say.
    Outside of the top management level people toolmakers and machinists tend to make a fair amount more than QC guys so michiganbuck's post puzzles me.
    The problem is that most often this job is seen as "overhead" and not a real skill set.
    As a QC nut I hate to say so but,,, it is a thankless job.
    Bob

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