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Quality and Reliability Assurance 

The goal of quality and reliability assurance (QA) is the continuous improvement of reliability, performance, efficiency, and ease-of-use of a product or service in order to render it more cost-effective and beneficial for the customer or user. A key part of QA is quality control (QC) – the acquisition and analysis of quantitative observations made during the process of production for a product or of implementation for a service. QC allows a process to be continuously monitored and maintained to meet the desired specifications (stable process in statistical control) or ultimately rapidly diagnosed and remedied if problems arise and the results deviate from those expected. 

Each production process and product has its own unique attributes and may require specific methods of observation for the carrying out of QC. Generally, the production of electronic, microelectronic, and mechanical devices, as well as materials and compounds, require QC measurements using a technique involving microscopic analysis, often optical microscopy.

  • 3-Dimensional Imaging of Macroscopic Defects in Aluminum Alloys

    The investigation of macroscale defects in aluminum (Al) alloys with a rapid 3-dimensional (3D) imaging approach is described in this report. Aluminum (Al) alloys play an important role in the production of aircraft and vehicles, as well as products in other industries. Defects present in the Al alloy used for the production of aircraft, vehicles, or other products can have a significant effect on their quality, performance, and lifetime.
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  • See the Structure with Microscopy - Know the Composition with Laser Spectroscopy

    The advantages of a 2-in-1 materials analysis solution combining optical microscopy and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for simultaneous visual and chemical inspection are described in this report. The basic principles of the 2-in-1 solution and a comparison between it and other common materials analysis methods, such scanning electron microscopy (SEM), are explained to demonstrate how a rapid, efficient workflow is achieved. A 2-in-1 analysis solution can reduce significantly the cost and time for obtaining material image and composition data. Such data are instrumental in assuring quality and reliability to make confident decisions quickly during production, quality control, failure analysis, and research and development in industries and fields, such as automotive and metallurgy.
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  • Rating the Quality of Steel

    This report describes optimal microscopy solutions for rating steel quality in terms of non-metallic inclusions and reviews the various international and regional standards concerning rigorous quality assessment methods, e.g., EN 10247, ASTM E45, DIN 50602, and ISO 4967.
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  • Free Webinar On-Demand: New Cleanliness Workflow from Leica and Pall

    Obtaining cleanliness results rapidly, accurately, and reliably is a significant advantage for manufacturers and component suppliers. For this reason, Pall Corporation and Leica Microsystems have joined efforts to offer a new, unique workflow solution customizable to your individual needs. Join our free webinar to get a sneak preview on Leica Microsystems' new fully implemented LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) system. This new landmark technology enables you to easily conduct fast and reliable optical and chemical cleanliness analysis with only one system. See for yourself how Leica Microsystems' new software and system solution facilitates and accelerates the identification of nature and source of particle contamination on components.
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    Free Webinar On-Demand: Basics in Component Cleanliness Analysis

    For automotive manufacturers and auto parts suppliers, obtaining component cleanliness results rapidly, accurately, and reproducibly over the entire workflow is a significant advantage. Pall and Leica can make it easier.
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  • Free Webinar On-Demand: Rate the quality of your steel

    The quality of steel is an essential topic in automotive, metalworking and building industries. To ensure the highest standards, an accurate and reliable Quality Assurance workflow for the inspection of non-metallic inclusions is crucial.
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  • Free Webinar On-Demand: Analyze grain size on microstructures the way you need

    Grain size plays an essential role in the mechanical properties of materials. Learn how to overcome problems in sample preparation and how to analyze different materials like, steel, aluminium, titanium, copper and ceramics.
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  • Digital Microscopy with Versatile Illumination and Various Contrast Methods for More Efficient Inspection and Quality Control

    State-of-the-art digital microscopes utilizing a versatile illumination system capable of achieving multiple contrast methods, such as the Leica DVM6, are very useful for inspection, quality control, and failure analysis. These contrast methods allow flaws or defects on the surface of a product or component to be more easily and rapidly detected.
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  • How Digital Microscopy can Contribute to Efficient Workflows for Microelectronics and Electronics

    This report explains how users can benefit from the digital microscope portfolio of Leica Microsystems to attain cost-effectiveness over entire workflows in research and development (R&D), product innovation, process engineering, production, quality control and assurance (QC/QA), and failure analysis (FA).
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  • Inspection of Multilayer Coating in the Automotive Industry

    Today’s automotive industry use a variety of decorative and functional treatment to improve the vehicles surfaces. Traditional quality control methods to inspect these multilayer samples have proven to be extremely time-consuming and bear the risk of missing defects. A new approach combining a target surface system and a light microscope offers new possibilities of speed and reliability. F. Javier Ruiz Balbas, Laboratory Manager at Atotech Spain, explains his experiences with the system.
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  • Circuit board inspection

    Fast and Reliable Inspection of Printed Circuit Boards with Digital Microscopy

    Digital microscopy has been used more and more for inspection, quality control and assurance (QC/QA), failure analysis (FA), and research and development (R&D) in the microelectronics industry, especially for printed circuit boards (PCBs). Digital microscopes are practical to use and allow an efficient workflow for inspection.
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  • Automotive Industry: How Suppliers and Auto Manufacturers Can Verify Parts Specifications Quickly and Easily

    Checking specifications is critical: During the manufacture of auto parts, specifications must be met – whether by the auto parts supplier or the automobile manufacturer. It is important that the parts meet specifications as they are critical for maintaining the performance standards and safe operation of automobiles, trucks, and other vehicles during their lifetimes.
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  • Inspecting and Analyzing Printed Circuit Boards Quickly and Reliably with a Digital Microscope

    For the past several years, digital microscopy has been shown to be useful for inspection, quality control and assurance (QC/QA), and failure analysis (FA) in the microelectronics industry, especially for printed circuit boards (PCBs). Recently, state-of-the-art improvements have made digital microscopy even more powerful and practical for inspection, leading to a more efficient workflow. Here, the advantages of certain digital microscope features, i.e., intuitive software for operation and analysis, fast and easy ways to change magnification, and encoding for reliable recall of parameters, are explained.
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  • Automotive Industry: Rapid and Precise Surface Inspection on Hard-to-Image Samples

    In the automotive industry, microscopists may be challenged with samples that are difficult to image, for example, parts that have a special material composition. This report shows how the Leica DVM6 digital microscope helps to make inspection, measurement analysis, and reporting of such challenging samples quicker and easier.
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  • Illumination (Lighting) Systems for Stereo Microscopes

    This report gives users of stereo microscopes helpful advice when attempting to select optimal illumination or lighting systems for sample observation. The illumination used for microscopic observation has a very important effect on the final image quality. Choosing the illumination to achieve the best results depends upon the type of sample and its features of interest, as well as the application and purpose for microscopic observation. The following information should help microscope users to choose illumination systems that produce the best imaging results.
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  • What You Always Wanted to Know About Digital Microscopy, but Never Got Around to Asking

    Digital microscopy is one of the buzz words in microscopy – and there are a couple of facts that are useful to know. Georg Schlaffer, Product Manager with Leica Microsystems, has often been asked about digital microscopy by customers and colleagues alike. He has worked together with Scientific Writer Jim DeRose for comprehensive answers to the most important ones.
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  • Five Advantages of Inverted Over Upright Microscopes in Industrial Applications

    With inverted microscopes, you look at samples from below since their optics are placed under the sample, with upright microscopes you look at samples from above. Traditionally, inverted microscopes are used for life science research, because gravity makes samples sink to the bottom of a holder with aqueous solution and you don’t see a lot from above.
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  • Cleanliness Analysis in Relation to Particulate Contamination

    Devices, products, and their components fabricated in many industries can be quite sensitive to contamination and, as a result, have stringent requirements for cleanliness. Measurement systems for automated particle analysis are often exploited for quantitative validation of product and component cleanliness to fulfill the needs of such industries as automotive, aerospace, microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. This report discusses the use of microscopy based measurement systems for automated particle analysis.
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  • Are Your Digital Microscope Measurements Accurate and Reliable?

    For certain applications, such as the production and maintenance of automobiles, aircraft, or power plants, quality control and reliability assurance, as well as safety and health inspection, accurate and reliable image data with precise calibration are very important. Digital microscopes are appealing for a wide range of technical applications in various industries, such as automotive, aerospace, precision engineering, microelectronics, and medical devices.
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  • Surface Roughness of Flowable Resin Composites eroded by Acidic and Alcoholic Drinks

    Acidic beverages, such as soft drinks (orange juice, and cola), or ethanol (whisky), can produce erosion of resin composites. The surface degradation of resin materials is related to the content and distribution of the fillers, the composition of the matrix resin, and the effect of silane surface treatment on the fillers.
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  • Key Factors for Efficient Cleanliness Analysis

    In the automobile industry, even the smallest particles on single components can cause malfunctioning. Fuel, lubricant and urea filter systems are particularly vulnerable. Component cleanliness has therefore become a central quality characteristic in the modern manufacturing process, especially when fitting components of various suppliers.
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  • Clean Parts – More Reliable and Longer Lifetime

    In the automotive industry, the technical cleanliness of function-critical individual and system components has become an increasingly critical criterion for reliability and service life. This trend is also reflected in ISO/DIS 16232 (road vehicles – cleanliness of components of fluid circuits). Microscope systems with corresponding analytical software enable efficient and reliable residual dirt analysis of injectors, pumps, control units and other micromechanical components.
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  • The Effects of Peri-implantitis Decontamination Treatments on the Surface Roughness and Chemistry of a Titanium Alloy Used for Dental Implants: Implications for Bone Reintegration

    Titanium (Ti) alloys are biocompatible materials which are often used for human implants, especially in dentistry. For this study, different types of odontological (dental) treatments for peri-implantitis, an infection of the gum and dental tissue around the implant, were performed on a Ti-6Al-4V (TAV) alloy, typically used for implants, to study the effect on its surface roughness and chemistry.
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  • Brief Introduction to Surface Metrology

    Surface metrology is the science that deals with measuring topography. Characterization of a surface with its amplitude, spacing and shape of its features, is called "topography". The term "topography" is derived from Greek roots; "topo-" meaning place and "graph-" describes a type of symbolic diagram.
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  • Metallography – an Introduction

    Metallography is the study of the microstructure of all types of metallic alloys. It can be more precisely defined as the scientific discipline of observing and determining the chemical and atomic structure and spatial distribution of the constituents, inclusions or phases in metallic alloys. By extension, these same principles can be applied to the characterization of any material.
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  • Higher Motivation, Longer Concentration – Ergonomics as a Competitive Advantage

    Sensor and identification technology, industrial cameras: when top precision is required, the name Baumer Electric is soon mentioned. The Swiss company designs and produces components for manufacturing facilities all over the world. To be able to guarantee that the finished components are of the highest possible quality, elaborate quality inspections are carried out part for part under the stereo microscope.
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  • Tips & Tricks for Using Digital Microscopes

    Digital microscopes provide new opportunities and enhance workflow for measurement and documentation in quality control in 2D and 3D applications. Here, you can find a collection of videos showing set-up tips and tricks for optimal image acquisition. Learn about the use of the zoom lens, the BGA lens, the 360° rotary head, the inclinable stand and the installation of a camera.
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  • Digital Microscopy

    Digital microscopy offers clear advantages for a large number of industrial quality inspections, particularly for surface analysis. Here, you can find some videos that show examples of application for digital microscopy.
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  • Trends in Microscopy

    There are digital cameras, digital TV sets, digital picture frames, digital schools on the internet. Cryptologists design digital signatures, communication researchers speak of digital identity. Digital may be an overused buzzword, but digital technology has undeniably revolutionized our world ever since the invention of the computer and will continue to do so in future.
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Useful Links

Journals

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1786The Quality Assurance Journal

http://asq.org/qualityprogress/index.htmlQP – Quality Progress magazine

www.igi-global.com/journal/international-journal-quality-assurance-engineering/41026International Journal of Quality Assurance in Engineering and Technology Education (IJQAETE)

Web Sources

www.iso.org/iso/iso_technical_committee?commid=53882ISO/TC 176 – Quality management and quality assurance

www.intechopen.com/books/quality-assurance-and-managementQuality assurance and management

http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/statistical-process-control/overview/overview.htmlStatistical process control (by ASQ)

http://onquality.blogspot.de/2013/06/what-does-quality-assurance-engineer-do.htmlWhat does a quality assurance engineer do?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56Zfpqf748Professional Quality Assurance Plan Templates as per ISO 9000

https://www.sqa.org/Society of Quality Assurance – Promoting quality in the regulated research community

http://asq.org/index.aspxASQ is a global community of people passionate about quality

www.qaac.org/QAAC – The Quality Assurance Association of Connecticut

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