US manufacturers are under siege from the extreme foreign competition. So it is little wonder that domestic producers are renewing their commitment to quality. And the key to higher quality is automation. Consistency and accuracy generally improves when automated machines producing parts remain in proper order. An automated system producing off specs. parts will do so with the same consistency it produces correct output, this time not only it produces scrap, but produces it faster. Therefore, automated inspections and Computer Aided Quality Engineering (CAQE), that integrates with all the other factory automation manufacturing functions seem to be the most viable solution to meet the quality challenge.

This paper outlines the importance of SPC in the automation environments, and describes some design concepts for the development and implementation of CCI systems. Typical design applications and future trends are discussed. The paper concludes with suggestions for effective implementation of CCI systems.

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