Engineering most frequently asked questions regarding the company.
Q; What is QST?
A; QST has solved a decades-old manufacturing problem (originally conceived within the automobile industry) locating intrusions or leaks without using a water test. QST has developed, built and patented an instrument that delivers a repeatable, cost-effective, green and non-destructive process. Many industries have been searching for just such a solution.
Q; What is the simple description of the QSArray?
A: The QSArray is an instrument that is used to measure the sealed effectiveness of an un-pressurized closed container. QualityScan has focused its R&D efforts on the automotive industry, so the closed container has been the passenger compartment of an automobile. Many other applications and industries that prefer a "dry" test for leaks will also utilize the technology
Q: Is The Array a machine or a process?A; QST offers The QSArray as an instrument for leak detection and location from a complete product perspective. At first glance it’s a go/no go gauge, but upon closer analysis it’s a data acquisition system that provides the user with much more information than merely pass/fail status. The user now has the ability to judge leaks on a more accurate quantitative scale as opposed to a qualitative scale of good/bad or pass/fail.
Q; Can it do more?
A: Absolutely, what it can do is to provide the manufacturer with a new scale with which to judge the integrity of a sealing system. With the ability to define leaks on a numeric or quantitative scale comes the ability to process that accumulated data in a variety of methods. Engineers now have the ability to assess total build variation, and can even recognize trends in the data that could be used as a prediction tool to prevent impending leaks from occurring.
Q: To what degree will the QSArray assist the manufacturer?
A: Typically, water leaks as measured by a manufacturer are defined by qualitative data, such as good or bad, leak or no leak. Sometimes when a more thorough definition is required the qualitative terms of flood, stream, or drip are used. Now, with the aid of an accurate, repeatable, and unbiased measuring instrument like the QSArray, they can describe the intrusion point on an objective scale. The QSArray allows a manufacturer to say, “It doesn’t leak yet, but the readings are increasing, and if the trend continues it will leak soon.” For the first time, the manufacturer will have the capability of changing the scale by which these types of problems are measured; they can throw away the highly subjective qualitative tests. The Array transforms leak detection and repair into leak prediction and prevention.
“How does it work?”
- The first step is VIN or serial number scanning as the QSArray allows permanent tracking and archiving of each individual test.
- The Initial electronic scanner senses unit approach and triggers leak detection process.
- Rechargeable transmitter(s) are placed within the compartment that transmits ultrasound waves toward the receivers on the Array.
- Multiple receivers are configured within the array to provide maximum vehicle intrusion detection coverage. If ultrasound waves are detected by a receiver, the test has detected an intrusion.
- Operator-friendly software allows for customized intrusion detection parameters, along with complete step-by-step process prompts and information. The If an intrusion is detected, the software graphically indicates the problem areas.
- Intrusion detection results are passed to the operator in the form of pass/fail information presented on the screen.
Q; QualityScan is in the automotive industry, can it go to other industries?
A: Absolutely, in fact we are currently testing the QSArray on other verticals to include consumer appliances plus water and fuel tanks with some very positive results.Q: How would QST configure your technology to test a fuel or water tank or an appliance such as a dishwasher?
A: QST will engineer, design and build a testing station that would orient the unit in such a way that it would expose any potential leak area to ultrasound testing. The testing station would include multiple receivers strategically located to focus on potential intrusion points.
Q: How does the ultrasonic testing process compensate for intentional leakage, or venting, in the product that is being tested?
A: Intentional leakage, or venting, can be overcome by utilizing a plug in the test process. There are several methods to compensate for the “holes.” The most straight forward method is to treat the vent with a temporary noise control patch prior to the ultrasonic test. This patch would be removed somewhere downstream of the test and be reused in subsequent tests. An alternate method is to compensate for the known ultrasonic leaks through a normalization process applied to the conditioned data signal. With this method consistent sound pressure levels from know leaks can be effectively zeroed out or ignored by the data analysis.
Q: We will be asked to justify the decision to move to a new technology, what are some of the ROI factors?A: Improve the manufacturing plants quality control process by combining multiple tests. • Reduce wind noise and water leak related warranty costs by objectively and consistently indentifying difficult to find defects. • Subjective human interface is eliminated • All tests are tracked by VIN • Data is interfaced with plant systems. • Opening plant floor space, smaller footprint than a traditional water booth. • Eliminating water booth maintenance costs, periodic and costly rebuilding is eliminated. • Eliminating rework and costs because of water booth testing damage. • Move to Green Manufacturing by eliminating water and chemicals in QC process. • The ability to immediately discover build defects
Q:What information do you need from a manufacturer?A; We will be pleased to respond with more information including financial data, just need to ask for some details regarding your facility.
- What models do you manufacturer?
- How many lines and which ones (models) would be prioritized for the Array?
- What is the line speed of the above line(s).
- How do you currently test for water leaks & wind noise?
- Do you test each car?
- The Array will certainly replace the water test if you choose or can be operated as the lead test with the water as back-up. Is this inquiry prompted by a project to remove the Water test entirely from your plant?
- Are you reviewing other leak detection tests?
- To help us determine available equipment footprint, several questions:
- Floor horizontal span, minimal & maximum
- Minimum overhead clearance
- Maximum vehicle dimensions – length, width, height (including OSRV mirrors, optional roof racks, etc.)
- Maximum height displacement between highest roof fixture (rack) and hood at base of windshield