PAT/PAA in the iTAC.MES.Suite: identify potential defects before they occur
Part average test and analysis optimise the quality, safety and reliability of complex products(PresseBox) (Dernbach, )
Particularly in the first hours of a new product’s operation, such as a car being driven by the customer for the first time, technical defects in parts and components can cause problems. It is precisely these problems that the Part Average Test (PAT) and Part Average Analysis (PAA) can prevent. Dieter Meuser, iTAC’s CTO, explained: “The iTAC.MES.Suite has been supporting PAT and PAA since 2006. Unique is that our PAT/PAA function, a function of the Traceability (TR) service, makes it possible to incorporate these analysis methods in the production process without negatively impacting production equipment cycle times.“
Prevention is better than cure
PAT and PAA, which were originally developed and effectively used for many years in the semi-conductor industry, were introduced in the automotive sector by Daimler AG in 2005 and then by the BMW engine development division in 2008 to identify systematic and stochastic defects in the manufacturing process. PAT and PAA identify characteristic value anomalies. Components with a high failure risk are identified and eliminated during the production process so that they cannot be built into the final product. This makes a considerable contribution to minimising the risk of product field failure.
The iTAC.MES.Suite with its integrated PAT/PAA function can contribute to reducing warranty costs. Measurement data is recorded by the test systems which already communicate in real time with the MES. The additional PAT/PAA methods are made available to the test systems via the iTAC.MES.Suite’s API libraries, analysing the measurement data with relevant comparative data. If the system identifies an anomaly or non-conformity, the component is tagged. The online identification of anomalies is of central importance. It is facilitated by a bi-directional connection between the test systems. This ensures that any conspicuous parts can be immediately blocked for further processing.
Dieter Meuser explained, “The PAT/PAA methods have been continuously optimised in recent years and, today, they aren’t just used in the semi-conductor industry but also by manufacturers of highly complex electronic, mechatronic and mechanical components. However, they have yet to be established as standard processes outside the semi-conductor industry.”
In the iTAC MES, PAT and PAA are standard features. As a result, all measurement data which is recorded during the production process can be analysed. “This means that immediate action can be taken to prevent individual defects and if necessary to block a defective batch or series,” summarised Meuser.