How many times have you been worried about passing a Heat Treatment audit? Whether it’s a Nadcap audit or a CQI-9 assessment, you might be surprised to learn that at least 50% of the findings in these audits are related to an incorrect interpretation of pyrometry requirements. If interested: What isAMS2750 (pyrometry)?
For companies that perform pyrometry testing internally, the product we have reviewed will change your way of thinking. Over the course of this past year we have thoroughly tested new software that helps perform such tests in a simpler and faster way (I say new because there was nothing similar until its launch in 2016). C3 Data is a mobile application with an online interface that helps ensure compliance with the pyrometry requirements of the most popular heat treatment standards: AMS2750 and CQI-9.
A little history. C3 Data CEO and creator Nate Wright is well known in the media for being the founder of two highly respected calibration laboratories in North America: Tru-Cal and Global Thermal Solutions. As Nate comments, the high service standards of pyrometry calibration laboratories are accompanied by some unique challenges: a very specific level of knowledge is required (metrology, instrumentation, industrial furnaces, heat treatments, etc.) and a great deal of time is allocated to generating reports with the level of detail required by the specifications.
When we tested the application in our laboratory, what we liked most was the simplicity with which data is documented. The first time it seemed a bit tedious to load all the heat treatment equipment details (ie: instruments, specifications, tolerances, etc.) but once that information was loaded – a one-time event – everything flowed naturally from there.
The module for calibration of temperature control instruments has a friendly interface. The calibration data is captured on the screen of the mobile device (smartphone, or tablet) and the app immediately tells you whether or not the instrument meets specification. Once the data is captured, you press a button and the calibration label is printed on the spot via a portable printer. At the same time, the calibration report is automatically generated and sent directly to the quality/metrology manager for review and approva
The module for performing the System Accuracy Test (SAT) is even more interesting. As soon as the furnace instrument and test instrument data is entered into the device, the app automatically calculates correction factors and provides a pass/fail indication as required by CQI-9 and/or AMS2750. This is especially useful for the Heat Treat professionals performing SATs on continuous multi-zone furnaces or very large furnace cells because the time saved in calculating and reporting is considerable. In much the same way as the calibration module, the SAT report is automatically generated and sent to the quality manager for review and approval.
All the information captured by the app is displayed in a web interface that shows the real-time compliance status of each furnace, trend charts of the instruments and 24-hour access to all the reports. This is particularly useful for quality auditors because it keeps records readily available. On the other hand, the trend graphs allow the Heat Treat Manager to observe furnace instrument behavior and to take proactive/preventive action.
In conclusion, this software left us feeling pretty good about the value it provided. The calibration and SAT modules are friendly and greatly reduced the time invested in generating reports related to the specifications. Currently C3 Data is developing a module to also generate TUS (Temperature Unifomity Survey) reports. Finally, the added benefit of being able to check the compliance status of each furnace via a PC interface seems to us an added value that many heat treatment professionals will also appreciate.
To know more about this application, you can see their explainer video via their website www.c3data.com
Please share your comments. Do you currently perform your pyrometry internally? If so, how do you do it? Do you find this app useful?