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Process and machine capability studies in heat treatment/automotive industry
Heat treatment is a method to increase the performance of steels. Common heat treatments are case hardening and induction hardening. The quality of the outcome of a heat treatment process is often evaluated by measuring several parameters on a few components. Examples of parameters are surface hardness, core hardness, surface carbon content and case depth. If the measured parameters are within tolerances, the batch is approved.
The result of heat treatment processes is subjected to statistical variability which can be evaluated by statistical methods. The process capability is a measurable property of the ability of a process to the meet specifications, expressed as process capability index (e.g., Cpk or Cpm) or as a process performance index (e.g., Ppk or Ppm). The output of this measurement is usually illustrated by a histogram and calculations that predict how many parts will be produced out of specification (OOS).
By literature study and benchmarking to determine what is currently done regarding process and machine capability in the field of heat treatment, and to determine what the difficulties and limitations of capability studies are.
To determine the most important parameters for a capability study, and further to determine how to best monitor and measure these parameters, in order to assure a stable heat treatment process within tolerances. Use statistical tools for understanding the behaviour of the process and thereby be able to understand which parameters to measure/analyze and how they should be monitored, in order to have a capable heat treatment process.
To develop best practice or guide lines for capability study.
3. Outline of work
a. Literature survey and benchmarking
b. Capability study at Volvo Construction Equipment, Eskilstuna
c. Comparing results from capability study performed during 2009 and 2010 at GETRAG in Köping
d. Guide lines or recommendation for how a capability analysis should be performed
The thesis worker can either be a material or a mathematical (statistical) science student and he/she will be located in VCE in Eskilstuna, GETRAG in Köping or Swerea IVF in Mölndal (Gothenburg).
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