P14731: Production Process for Magnetic Test Target

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

Imaging targets for color calibration of digital cameras and scanners have been used for the past 50 years. Certain medical, scientific, and cultural heritage applications require smaller color targets, which have led to complications in manufacturing. The reasons for these complications consist of forming component parts, customization requests, and final target assembly. The current process consists of cutting strips and butting them together by hand. This process can result in improper alignment thus producing low yields.

The objective of this project is to optimize or design this process to manufacture these color targets at lower costs, higher yields, and improve customization ability.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer requirements , including importance. You may also want to include links interview notes here.
Customer Need # Importance Description
CN1 3 Color materials are spectrally accurate.
CN2 3 Individual patches are blemish free to provide accurate measurements.
CN3 3 Individual patches are aligned.
CN4 2 Durable base plate.
CN5 2 Logo of the company on the back of the plate.
CN6 3 Targets do not have burn marks or surface cracks.
CN7 1 Targets are resistant to alcohol and water.
CN8 2 Colors are easily and quickly customized.
CN9 1 Target sizes are easily customized.
CN10 1 Fast production time.
CN11 3 Low production cost.
CN12 3 Low cost system redesign.
CN13 3 High yield rates.
CN14 3 Process must be ergomic.

Engineering Requirements (Specifications)

System-level and function-level requirements that define the intended performance of your system.
S# Source Function Specification (Metric) Unit of Measure Marginal Value Ideal Value Comments/Status
S1 CN4 Base design Durability (drop test) Feet 3ft >3ft Drop from 3ft without making the surface crack or target break
S2 CN9 Base design Target size # of sizes 3 sizes inf. Only 3 sizes available currently
S3 CN3 Individual patches Positional accuracy with respect to tile size % 5% <5%
S4 CN5 Base design Logo is present Pass/Fail Pass Pass
S5 CN2/CN6/CN7 Targets Percent damaged surface % 5 0 Separate test for alcohol/water
S6 CN8 Individual patches Number of patches that can be changed # 30 30
S7 CN8 Individual patches Time to change color scheme Min. 10 5
S8 CN10 System Cycle time Min. 30 <15 This Specification is only important as it relates to UMC
S9 CN11 System Production Cost Dollars 55 25
S10 CN12 System System Redesign Budget Dollars 1500 <1500
S11 CN13 System Yield Rate % 90 95 Currently at 75%

Relationship Matrix


Colorants must be derived from paint on paper substrate materials (supplied by Munsell Div. of X-Rite, Inc.)

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Project Goals:

Redesign a process for the production of small scale color targets that allows for high yields, a high degree of customization at a low cost.

Key Deliverables for MSD 1:

Initial Interview Questions

  1. What is the current process? A single lady is in charge of the whole process. She cuts the color sheets into long thin rows using a laser cutter. Even though the process has improved (before, each square was cut individually) there is still a big room for error. She has also tried cutting the sheets from the front and the back. Putting an adhesive on the back of the sheet and cutting them from the back seems to be the best way to avoid burn marks. The adhesive is then peeled off manually.
  2. Can we get the contact information for the current person in charge of the process? No, but it might be possible to get some insight information about the current process and/or videos.
  3. What are the deliverables? What are we expected to have that you don't have now? A re-designed or new manufacturing process for the color targets that allows for better yields, lower costs, and customized designs according to the different clients.
  4. Are there any other requirements and what are their priorities? The main requirement is getting the accuracy desired. Other requirements include having the logo of the company in the back of the plate and that the color of this one is black. Durability is also important (drop target to bare concrete floor from 3 feet and won’t crack) Finally, for other applications, the target should be immersible in alcohol and water.
  5. What are the yield targets? What are the size and weight constraints for the assembly system? Is there any flexibility in the current design of the targets? There are three different sizes: 1/4th, 1/8th and 1/16th of an inch. Clients usually prefer the smaller targets but they do not need to be of any specific weight.
  6. How long does the current process take? What is the goal? Once the color sheets are cut, it takes about 15 minutes to finish the process (this may change depending on the size of the target). There is no specific goal on how long the process should take.
  7. What is the acceptable margin of error? The goals is to have an error less than 5% positional accuracy
  8. Who are your clients? What are their concerns? Medical, cultural heritage, Edmond Scientist, 3D imaging dental, make-up (L’oreal), dermatological companies. Clients ask for different set of colors depending on the calibration. They usually prefer smaller targets, but the priority is on the accuracy of the colors.
  9. What is the primary reason for this redesign? Main problem: tool (laser), burn marks… maybe cold laser, no laser at all, 3D printing, micro laser options
  10. What is the estimated budget? Who is the main sponsor? Image Science Associates will provide the team with color samples and other tools needed.
  11. Where can we research about background information and what topics do we need to know about?Image Science Associates website, Cambridge Colour website (tutorials, graphics)
  12. What is your availability and contact information? Don Williams, d.williams@ImageScienceAssociates.com, ImageScienceAssociates.com
  13. What would be the ideal outcome of this project? Keep error to less than 5%.

Other comments:

- Company has been doing this for a year. Sells around 20 targets per month, but orders are increasing. An order from Copenhagen of ~500 targets (same colors)

- It is impossible to print the targets because the colors sheets are from a standard company. One of the main reasons why clients buy the product is because of the standard colors. The problem is that the color sheets are not produced in small strips.

- Also, the instruments that measure the colors cannot measure in small scale. This is why the colors have to be purchased in large sheets and then cut.

- Importance of precision- medical applications, liability issues (doctors make decisions made on this colors)

- There are currently two types of targets: matte and gloss surfaces. A potential problem is that gloss surface targets are delicate and when bended, the surface may crack.

- 3D printing would be a good option since it would eliminate the need to go to a machine shop. You would only need to program it

Home | Planning & Execution | Problem Definition | Systems Design | Detailed Design | Build, Test, Document | Project Review | Photo Gallery