NWA Significantly Enhances Process Monitoring and Reporting for Manufacturing Plants and Laboratories with New Version of NWA Quality Monitor | Automation.com

NWA Significantly Enhances Process Monitoring and Reporting for Manufacturing Plants and Laboratories with New Version of NWA Quality Monitor

June 242003
Only NWA Quality Monitor 2.3 Features User-Definable Advanced Alarm and Exception Handling, Enhanced Database Integration, Ability to Link Test Station Data, and Customizable GUI

PORTLAND, Ore. – June 23, 2003 – Northwest Analytical, Inc. (NWA), the leading provider of statistical process control (SPC) software, announced version 2.3 of its NWA Quality Monitor® software for SPC charting and automating test station data collection on the manufacturing plant floor and in the laboratory. This latest version of Quality Monitor includes advanced alarming capabilities, flexibility in reading and writing to central databases, the ability to link test stations, and significant user interface enhancements.

Quality Monitor 2.3 gives manufacturing plants and laboratories a single, unified data collection solution for quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) test stations, either stand-alone or in networked systems. Quality Monitor automates the collection of test station data, standardizes workflow procedures, and provides real-time product quality feedback, including an email-based alarm feature. Combined, these capabilities help companies manage and improve their manufacturing and laboratory processes, improve quality, and reduce costs.

“Read-and-write database connectivity and enhanced alarming features made Quality Monitor an ideal solution for our client’s quality control system,” said Christopher Lemp, president, MAP Quality Engineering. “Integrated within the quality control laboratory and on the shop floor, Quality Monitor enabled our client to realize a 35% decrease in product testing cost and a 15% increase in production capacity.”

NWA Quality Monitor 2.3: Managing Manufacturing and Laboratory Workflow Data
Quality Monitor is a product for any manufacturing or laboratory facility where workers use clipboards, gauges, scales, grading sheets, tensile testers, or other measuring devices to collect data. With Quality Monitor installed on test stations, users are immediately alerted when the process is outside specifications or has violated SPC limits and rules. This enables immediate corrective action to be taken. The product is very customizable and easy to use. Companies in a wide variety of industries, including chemical, food, packaging, pharmaceuticals, wood products, and electronics, can dramatically reduce labor-intensive data logging, improve data accuracy and product quality, and reduce manufacturing costs.

According to Jeff Cawley, vice president of marketing at NWA, “Our customers are requiring that their SPC products have increased integration capability with their manufacturing and process information systems. And they need to be aware of and address any quality problems in real-time. The enhancements in Quality Monitor 2.3—including enhanced database integration, workstation linking, and alarm features—directly address these needs.”

Major New Features and Benefits of NWA Quality Monitor 2.3

Advanced Alarm and Exception Capabilities: Unlike manual methods or competing products, Quality Monitor can be easily tailored to set up alerts and alarms for process deviations. Real-time notification of these events means faster response times, potential problem prevention, and reduction in waste and defects. Options let plant-floor users communicate alarm events in real time to users off the plant floor via email or NWA Quality Monitor Supervisorä, a complementary supervisory program from NWA. Users also now get immediate display of relevant SPC charts and improved alarm sound generation and can react accordingly.

Enhanced Database Integration: Version 2.3’s tighter integration with corporate databases makes it much easier to distribute data into complex database structures and integrate Quality Monitor into manufacturing and process information systems. Quality Monitor can now dynamically read specifications, product or lot information and data from other workstations and ODBC-compliant databases, and combine it into a single record. The new version also adds the ability to write directly to multiple tables within the same database.

Ability to Link Test Stations: Quality Monitor now supports direct data links between test stations via files or an ODBC database, providing access to more operators and supporting the monitoring of multi-step manufacturing processes. Data collected at one test station can be automatically transmitted to another station for calculations or integration into a more complete data record. Uses include collecting a beginning weight or thickness at one station and transmitting them to the station where the final measurements are made.

Highly Customizable User Interface: The enhanced graphical user interface in Quality Monitor 2.3 lets customers—typically process engineers and quality managers— tailor their quality management test stations with customized screen designs. These screens lead QA/QC test technicians and machine operators step-by-step through the data collection procedure, and then provide real-time specifications and SPC feedback. Quality Monitor also adds a “Quick View” display of previous results, logic functions in calculations, full screen layout control for data entry, graphics display, help, and other windows, and dynamic picture display.

For more information about the enhancements made to Quality Monitor 2.3, please visit http://www.nwasoft.com/qmnew/htm.

Availability, Configurations, and Pricing
NWA Quality Monitor 2.3 will begin shipping in July. It runs on all 32-bit Windowsâ platforms, including XP. To get started, a configuration kit that includes Quality Monitor Designer and Quality Analyst is $3,795 and each workstation license is $995. Annual support is $450 for Quality Monitor Designer, $150 for Quality Analyst, and $150 per workstation.

NWA Quality Monitor 2.3 is integrated with NWA Quality Analystâ and Quality Monitor Supervisor products. Quality Analyst enables the graphical analysis of process performance so that judgment can be made about the impact of process-improvement decisions, even when the user has only minimal training in statistical techniques. Quality Monitor Supervisor provides a single point from which to monitor the performance, alarming, and SPC charts of multiple production lines at once. For details about all three products, call 888-692-7638 or visit http://www.nwasoft.com/products.htm.

About Northwest Analytical
Northwest Analytical (NWA) is the world’s leading provider of SPC software, with more than 50,000 licenses shipped to over 5,000 companies. NWA software is recognized for its power, ease-of-use and its simple, tight integration with other manufacturing systems. The NWA SPC software suite includes products for QA/QC analytics, plant floor quality data collection and monitoring, charting, enterprise reporting, and real-time, embedded SPC. For more information, contact Northwest Analytical at [email protected]; call 888-692-7638 or 503-224-7727; or visit www.nwasoft.com.
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