How You Can Use IoT Hardware and Tools to Improve Quality

By: Sylvie Couture

7. September 2021

How  You Can Use IoT Hardware and Tools to Improve Quality

How can you use IoT hardware and tools to enhance your quality control methods?

Knowledge is power. In today’s fast-paced industry, this adage is truer than ever. The more data you have about your operation, the more insight you will have into improving your performance and quality output. More data leads to more knowledge, and more knowledge leads to better decisions.

Industry 4.0 and IoT have brought us into an era where every action taken and every tool used is seen as a data source. This is especially true for IoT hardware and tools. Data transmitted through IoT hardware and tools powered by our ToolConnect IoT add-on enables operators to experience 3 incredible benefits.

  1. Harvest valuable data from every action performed by a tool.
  2. Monitor actions in real-time.
  3. Autonomously push values and required parameters to your tools.

With these capabilities in mind, lets’ explore how you can use IoT hardware and tools to pursue Industry 4.0 levels of quality control and assurance.

Communicate with Your Tools Through ToolConnect IoT

ToolConnect

Industry 4.0 is all about the data exchange between manufacturing technologies. Through the power of IoT, separate machines and equipment within the assembly line and facility communicate and collaborate to form a cohesive manufacturing ecosystem. But how do we connect the people that create value?

For VKS, finding a way to enable communication between workers and their tools was the next logical step in developing smart manufacturing solutions.

It is with the data exchange between people and their tools in mind that our ToolConnect IoT feature made its debut on the manufacturing scene. This smart solution allows operators to automatically collect data from their smart tools while performing their assembly tasks. The information is then verified and recorded by VKS.

The ability to capture assembly data in real-time enables companies to pursue a new realm of quality control. One that is immediately responsive to issues while also creating processes that directly mitigate error.

Collect Data from your IoT Hardware and Tools

The technological revolution is underway and the tools are ready to communicate. Let’s examine how you can harvest useful data generated by the tools your operators use every day. You will need these main elements:

ToolConnect

  • IoT enabled tools
  • IoT device controllers
  • Software that communicates data with the controller (VKS ToolConnect IoT)
  • A platform to visually present information to your workforce (VKS Work Instructions)

Once these items are interconnected, data generated by your IoT-enabled tool is quickly sent to the operator and stored in reports. This data can be evaluated at any time to assure that quality specifications have been performed. This gives manufacturers incredible peace of mind as it enables them to access information and authenticate the quality of their products with powerful accuracy.

Go Beyond Data Collection

ToolConnect’s versatility does not stop at data collection. Specific requirements can be integrated into VKS to ensure that operators are using the right tools in the right way. So not only are VKS with IoT hardware and tools helping to record useful data, but they are also monitoring and preventing errors in real-time.

If any data received indicates that a performed action was not within the acceptable limits, the advancement of the guidebook will be stopped. This ensures that no subpar assemblies are released.

As an example, if an operator over or under tightens a bolt, VKS will receive the information from the tool and will flag that specific assembly step as being incomplete or outside of specifications. The operator will not be able to advance to the next step until the issue is remedied.

Get IoT Hardware and Tools Working for You

ToolConnect can also push the required Pset (Parameter Set or required torque value) from a VKS work station directly into your IoT hardware and tools.

If various bolts need a specific torque requirement, then that requirement can be added to your digital work instructions. VKS will send the required parameters to the IoT-enabled tool and it will automatically apply the appropriate torque value. There is no need for any human intervention. Operators simply follow the sequence of steps and the tool autonomously applies the correct values.

All this while your IoT hardware and tools transmit the data to your work instruction software for quality records.

Sturtevant Richmont: Equipping You for Industry 4.0

Sturtevant Richmont Logo

Sturtevant Richmont fun fact: Did you know that due to their patented dovetail design, their complete line of interchangeable heads fit on all of their wrenches?

Every head that Sturtevant Richmont makes fits on every tool equipped with the dovetail!

Of course, ToolConnect IoT works exceptionally well with high-quality controllers and tools. And Sturtevant Richmont is here to help.

Sturtevant Richmont has been providing manufacturers with the right tools for the job since 1940. They are renowned for designing, engineering, and manufacturing industrial assembly tools that get the job done with accuracy and consistency while preventing torque-related assembly errors.

Today, Sturtevant Richmont has a series of smart manufacturing items on its roster. IoT hardware and tools, such as their wireless error proofing process controllers and their Exacta 1250 Series Digital Torque and Angle Wrench, were designed to help manufacturers remove errors and improve quality on an Industry 4.0 level.

Smart Error Proofing Technology

Not only can data be collected from the use of IoT hardware and tools, but additional information can be given to assist operators to perform their tasks correctly. Sturtevant Richmont systems provide operators with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic guidance with every fastening. The 1250 Series Digital Torque and Angle Wrench is equipped with a vibrating handle and a yellow, green, and red light sequence that helps operators develop the right techniques and practices.

SR Tools

By focusing their design on mitigating potential variables, Sturtevant Richmont has created smart IoT hardware and tools that eliminate the possibility of human error. When paired with our work instruction software, the correct torque application and calibration are applied every time.

This protects manufacturers from potential mistakes and assures customers that they are getting the precise product they need.

Why Should You Use IoT Hardware and Tools?

As we’ve seen, IoT hardware and tools have a wide variety of new and interesting features that push manufacturing capabilities further into the new era of Industry 4.0. Manufacturers who specialize in mixed-model industrial assembly enjoy the advantages and innovations resulting from IoT hardware and tools.

Industries highly involved in Industry 4.0

  • Heavy equipment/agricultural equipment
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Automotive
  • Motorcycle/off road vehicles
  • Medical technology
  • Appliances
  • Utilities

Sturtevant Richmont noted that companies often first start using their IoT hardware and tools for manufacturing engines, transmissions, and hydraulics. This is because warranty costs and rework in the automotive industry tends to be very expensive and can quickly drain the bottom line.

With this type of manufacturing, the job needs to be done the right way, every time.

After companies see the quality benefits of IoT hardware and tools with work instruction software, they incorporate smart manufacturing technology into other assembly productions and reap the benefits further.

The continuous development of Industry 4.0 and manufacturing technology is particularly interesting to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) who want to provide products that meet customer quality and documentation standards. They have increased peace of mind knowing that they can rely on Sturtevant Richmont wireless error-proofing systems and VKS digital work instructions to maintain and improve quality standards.

An Open Invitation To the Future of Smart Manufacturing

What exactly do manufacturers have to gain from becoming a Smart Factory that collaborates with companies such as VKS and Sturtevant Richmont?

Benefits of VKS ToolConnect IoT

  • Captures the data provided by the tool.
  • Incorporates tool-data into the work order report.
  • Connects the flow of your work instructions to data generated from the tools.
  • Ensures that operators are using the right tool.
  • Assembly quality is increased.
  • Ensures that the required torque is applied to assembly items.
  • Increases productivity.
  • Ensures a lower error rate.
  • Increased accountability.
  • Enables full part traceability.

Benefits of Sturtevant Richmont tools

  • The correct torque values are applied to all fastenings.
  • N.I.S.T. level traceability for each fastening.
  • Quality levels improve.
  • All of the fasteners are compliant.
  • Improved throughput and productivity.
  • Rework and warranty costs dissipate.
  • Torque related production data is recorded in the reports.
  • Consistent and repeatable production quality.
  • Device history records for any product to meet customer demands.
  • Digital documentation that the proper tools and metrics were applied during the assembly.

Companies like VKS and Sturtevant Richmont are constantly evolving to meet new manufacturing needs head-on. VKS is dedicated to its customers in supplying innovative solutions that increase performance and reliability. And as always, Sturtevant Richmont's reputation for easy-to-use and durable tools remains steadfast and true.

By combining innovative work instruction software and high-quality smart tools, companies are able to provide new levels of quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

Industry 4.0, All That Is Missing Is You

handshake

In today’s competitive market, the quality of your product will set you apart. Being able to thoroughly document the quality of your product is a huge advantage. By providing device history records and complete traceability, you and your customers have confidence in the quality of your product. And with technology that monitors and prevents errors in real-time, you have equal confidence in future products and production lines.

Smart Manufacturing is anything but static. The advancements of IoT hardware and tools are providing new levels of manufacturing excellence. To take advantage of the incredible opportunities and possibilities, you need to collaborate with industry-leading companies that pursue the limitless potential of Industry 4.0.

Are you ready to communicate with your tools? Book a demo today and see how far Industry 4.0 solutions can take you.

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