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Computer-aided quality (CAQ)

Computer-aided quality (CAQ) is quality management software (QMS) that helps manufacturers ensure consistent process and product quality from design through production (“idea to shelf”).

What is Computer-aided quality?

While “computer-aided quality” is sometimes used interchangeably with “quality management system,” CAQ software sometimes refers to a subset of QMS functions. Specifically, QMS software includes quality planning or advanced product quality planning (APQP), continuous quality improvement throughout the product lifecycle, and quality assurance or quality control during production. CAQ software focuses on the last of these.

Manufacturers must implement quality methods and activities across their core processes to achieve desired product and process quality. Under its broader definition, computer-aided quality is comprised of:

  1. Quality planning software for product design and engineering phases.
  2. Quality assurance software for procurement of raw materials, components or complex assemblies from suppliers.
  3. Quality control software to manage quality data during product manufacturing. In all product lifecycle phases, computer-aided quality software contributes to process optimization, quality consistency, and complete documentation of a product’s quality history.

In today’s regulated manufacturing space, computer-aided quality software must also support international guidelines and standards, like ISO 9001, IATF 16949 (Automotive), IAQG 9100 (Aerospace), IRIS (Railway), FDA 21 CFR Part 11 (Food and Drug), and GMP/GLP (laboratories, process industries).

Related products: Opcenter Quality | Teamcenter Quality and Compliance Management


CAQ software benefits

Manufacturers can improve operational excellence and customer satisfaction by employing computer-aided quality software for quality planning, assurance and control operations.

Continuous improvement and innovation

Benefit from continuous improvement and innovation, enhancing operational excellence and customer satisfaction through ongoing optimization of processes and product quality.

Prevention of reoccurring defects

Prevent the recurrence of defects, fostering enhanced operational excellence and customer satisfaction through proactive identification and resolution of quality issues.

Reduction of defects

Minimize the occurrence of flaws and associated scrap or rework costs, thereby enhancing overall operational efficiency and product quality for manufacturers.

CAQ software functionality

Computer-aided quality supports manufacturers in inspection plan management, statistical process control (SPC) and supplier quality management. Specifically:

Inspection plan management — Complex process, product and supplier structures require effective quality and inspection planning in the early stages of the project lifecycle. Inspection plan management is a vital component of quality control software. The inspection criteria of the company’s entire quality-related activities are defined here in conjunction with the control plan to assure product and process quality.

Quality inspection and statistical process control — Statistical process control (SPC) helps manufacturers measure and control quality throughout the product lifecycle. Statistical process control includes tools to detect tolerance variances, identify root causes, and correct defects. In a typical statistical process control process, users create control charts to graphically plot and distinguish between coincidental and systemic quality factors that can influence production.

Supplier quality management — As companies continue to look for ways to improve quality and reduce costs, they often engage suppliers to provide selected product parts and components. A strong supplier assessment process helps to clarify roles and set appropriate expectations. This process supports manufacturers in ensuring that each supplier is performing to their standards and is a suitable match as a business partner.

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Enhancing continuous quality improvement and problem-solving processes