The power of real-time machine data in new and existing quality systems

In the era of smart manufacturing, there are numerous, continually developing opportunities for organisations to drive productivity.

From robotics to the industrial internet of things (IIoT), the list of key components of Industry 4.0 continues to grow. But the key element underpinning all these innovations and activities can be described in a single word dating back to at least the 1640s: data. Of course, data analysis long predates the first use of the word; the earliest known writings on statistical analysis appeared in Al-Kindi’s 9th Century work ‘Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages’.

The point of this brief data analysis history lesson is this: data truly makes the world go round. Never has this been more clear than the present moment, as we watch scientists lead the world’s response to some of today’s greatest challenges, using insights, research and innovation all driven by data.

Likewise, the importance of data in your quality function cannot be overemphasised. Of course, accurate measurement data and a high performing quality system are the bedrock of effective inspection. But there are opportunities for gains not just in enhancing part data, but also by tapping into data-driven insights about the quality system itself.

With all the technological advances over recent years, quality systems should offer greater value rather than simply supplying the required accuracy. Real-time quality system monitoring and data is key to driving competitiveness and agility in today’s market.

A real-time machine monitoring platform and automated quality system data collection should help you:

  • Minimise downtime
  • Increase overall equipment effectiveness
  • Address quality issues on-the-go with remote, customisable notifications
  • Ensure quality data consistency

To really push productivity further, monitoring can be connected across multiple quality systems. Not only will this give you greater insights into your wider metrology and production operations, it will enable you to identify spare capacity to increase operational efficiency.

Fundamentally, leveraging this data helps ensure your quality assets are optimised for profitability and value creation.

So what key data points do you need to tap into to deliver the most powerful impact? Here’s three to get started:

Run time and routine progress

By automatically generating data on your quality system’s run times, you are equipped to look under the hood of your quality operations. As well as providing greater insight into an individual machine’s performance, you can also perform analyses using aggregated data to get a greater understanding of your applications and how to best optimise quality operations to work seamlessly with your production requirements.

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

Automated monitoring makes it easier to analyse OEE by producing data that will enable you to calculate machine availability, performance, and quality. These are the key measurements that comprise calculating OEE (and which you can learn more about in this blog). Ultimately, monitoring overall equipment effectiveness helps you gain a deeper understanding of potential maintenance needs and drive productivity.

Environment monitoring

Using sensors to monitor the environment surrounding your quality system helps streamline root cause analysis and ensure inspection data integrity. Ideally you want to collect data on any variations in ambient temperature, humidity, and vibrations. In addition, a more beneficial monitoring system will notify you of any status alerts or probe crashes remotely; now the quality system data is compounding its positive impact on productivity by enabling you to work away from the quality system.

These are just a few aspects of the quality system you can monitor to make manufacturing smarter and drive productivity, but there are many more opportunities. And it’s relatively easy to begin monitoring your quality systems, whether you’re looking to implement a platform on a new machine or your existing inspection technology.

Learn more about quality system monitoring and how HxGN SFx | Asset Management can help you make manufacturing smarter.


  • Hayley Penfield

    Hayley Penfield is a Product Marketing Manager at Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division, responsible for the product marketing strategy for the Stationary Components and Service and Support product lines. Joining Hexagon in 2016, Hayley has over 15 years of marketing experience working with different global brands

  • Join our HxGN LIVE Events Worldwide

    Hexagon hosts exciting HxGN LIVE events around the globe! Experience our technology innovations in a location near you.

  • Recent Posts