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Eliminating the QA Witness via Data Collection in Aerospace

Quality control and process control in the aerospace industry are two extremely important factors that cannot be sacrificed or ignored.

Currently, in many aerospace manufacturing facilities, the manual step of marking fasteners that have been checked and verified by a Quality Assurance Witness is still a fairly common practice. But what if we told you that you could eliminate this manual, time-consuming step and still maintain the same (or perhaps an even better) level of quality and process control?

ToolsNet 8 (TN8), used in conjunction with a DC electric tool and the Power Focus 6000 (PF6000) controller, can provide you with what your facility needs to eliminate the manual QA Witness step through valuable data collection.

Operator at SAS using BCV nutrunner battery tool

ToolsNet 8 – data collection and process improvement

Our TN8 software can be personalized to meet the specific demands of your applications. It documents each tightening from every specific tool and station with full knowledge of every single end-product. Users can answer questions about tools in production for tightening process improvement and have every tool serviced and optimized for its task. TN8 provides a complete overview of the assembly line to analyze productivity levels. It can monitor certain stations to improve overall quality on your line, or users can view top NOK applications to find the application with the highest failure rate for a configured part of the tool structure.

Users can compare stations in order to find bottlenecks or other issues before they even occur. Operators can view tool maintenance logs and latest results, ensuring that your processes are ready for production without having to have a QA Witness mark checked fasteners.

DC tools and ToolsNet 8

Having your DC electric tools be able to fully integrate with ToolsNet 8 during production is another key element to eliminating the QA Witness via data collection in aerospace. With electric tools, there are no air hoses to lug around as operators work. The lack of an air hose is especially important in reducing foreign object debris or subsequent damage. 

With this in mind, we encourage our customers to consider the Tensor STB cordless nutrunner or our TBP battery pulse tool. These tools support full system interaction, and with an eHMI, users have more than just results. TN8, when used with an electric tool like the STB or ETV, can provide full process overviews and insights on, for instance, events, programs or batch sequences.

Application of  Tensor SB battery nutrunner in aerospace assembly

The Power Focus 6000 and ToolsNet 8

Using a tightening controller like the PF6000 brings valuable traceability to your processes. As aerospace manufacturing processes inch toward Industry 4.0, traceability provides your facility with all of the answers they may need, cutting out the need for a QA Witness. With the PF6000 connected to DC electric tools and running the TN8 software, users can find a specific product and ensure that all tightenings have been done correctly and are in spec. They can receive results based on time intervals, specific VIN numbers, and they can also find statistical deviations based on results. 

The controller supports a multi-tool concept, meaning that users can connect several tools to one controller. Connected tools are managed by their own Virtual Stations. Through Virtual Stations, each tool has its own virtual controller that is easily addressed from overlying systems, eliminating the need for a manual QA Witness check.

Elimination: It's not only possible, it's simple

Eliminating the QA Witness via data collection in the aerospace industry is possible and it’s a simple process. By incorporating the use of our TN8 software, which provides complete data collection and process improvement, a DC electric tool such as the Tensor STB or Tensor ST right angle, and the PF6000 tightening controller, you can cut the extra QA Witness step out of your aerospace processes and focus solely on data collection during production. Not only does eliminating the QA Witness step improve productivity and efficiency on your assembly line, but your plant will also be able to maintain, or even improve, its quality through complete traceability, a key feature of the Industry 4.0 mindset.

To learn more, contact Atlas Copco today.