Hill Engineering’s expertise in residual stress and material performance provides us with a unique opportunity to effectively design and manage production quality programs. For example, a quality system for residual stress in aluminum forgings would provide the means to control, monitor, and certify the residual stress. In general, the quality system seeks to identify key metrics in the manufacturing process, establish a testing protocol for these metrics to qualify the manufacturing process, and then perform either lot-release and/or surveillance testing to demonstrate process stability over time. Process simulation may be used to identify locations for quality control measurements and portable measurement technology like hole drilling may be used to perform quality control measurements inside of a manufacturing facility.
Another important element of the quality system is qualification of a new production process. The role of qualification is to establish that parts produced using the designed process will provide residual stresses (levels, locations, etc.) that are acceptable to the customer and agreeable to the supplier. High quality laboratory measurement techniques like the slitting method are extremely useful for characterizing variations in the manufacturing process.