Tuttle, John (1987, ASQC) Millipore, Corp., Bedford, MA
The computer is finding its way into almost every aspect of our lives. The Personal Computer (PC) along with computerized instruments and appliances has aided productivity and ushered in the information revolution. Recent advances in quality related software and hardware used in manufacturing has helped control and improve the quality of goods and services. The science of Computer Aided Quality (CAQ) is developing as a subject which will be as significant to product development and manufacturing as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Software applications related to quality assurance and quality control are evolving at an accelerated rate, and the new age of Artifical Intelligence which is on the horizon will change the way we use computers to solve quality problems and analyze information.This paper will focus on the current status of Computer Aided Quality and venture into what lies ahead as the art and science of CAQ advances at an astonishing rate. The availability of CAQ software for quality applications ranging from simple statistics to artifical intelligence and robotics will be explored. Computer Aided Quality which involves automation of manual procedures will be reviewed along with quality applications which would be impossible without the use of a computer. A CAQ system that can track, analyze and report Customer Feedback Inforamtion will be described. The impact of on line data logging and analysis versus long term trend analysis from detailed data base information will be compared. The objective of this paper is to help quality professionals take advantage of available CAQ software and to develop strategies that will utilize the full power of CAQ as it evolves.