This is by far, the largest change to the software in our history. We have replaced the QCC file with two new options; the QCQ file and Microsoft SQL Server. You now have the option of choosing either (a) the file-based option (default) or (b) the server-based option allowing QC-CALC to read and write directly to SQL Server. Overall, QC-CALC should look and act very similar to the way it did with the QCC file, but there are several benefits to this that are outlined throughout this section.
Direct Access to SQL Server
The database is now directly accessible from QC-CALC, SPC Office Buddy, QC-Gage, Enterprise Report Scheduler, and QC-Mobile (SQL Server only) without the need for data transfer through Enterprise Data Loader. This means there is no time lag waiting for EDL to update the database.
The file-based QCQ file is now portable without the need for extra files with other extensions (QCN, EIF, ET3, NTS, P11, etc).
The database (SQL Server) is now more secure for 21 CFR Part 11 users as there is Microsoft security protecting the audit trail.
The new database design allows Prolink to add features directly into the database within the same software version without the backward compatibility issues with the QCC file.
Powerful Enterprise Report Scheduler record filtering was ported to QC-CALC giving greater access to the data than ever before.
A new feature called Snapshots has been added that allows the importing of 2D/3D drawings into ERS in order to mark characteristics for display. This display then appears in QC-CALC 4.0 automatically as characteristic pictures.
If using SQL Server, location and categories have been added for improved grouping and categorization of part files in a multi-user environment.
Auto Report & Auto Export in Admin Tools
The automatic reporting and automatic exporting screens have been added to the administrative tools interface allowing the setting of reporting/exporting at the group level.
QC-CALC automatically saves all updates (old and new values) to records, measurement values, trace field values, and assignable cause/corrective action values along with the user who made the change. If 21 CFR Part 11 is enabled, user will be verified with password and a reason code will also be required.
Historical Tracking of Characteristics
QC-CALC automatically tracks all changes to the model (current part make-up) including number of characteristics and nominals/tolerances of each characteristic. Whenever a change occurs (i.e. tolerance is changed), a new model is recorded and new measurements are mapped against the new model. This allows the historical tracking of measurements against the tolerances used at the original moment of recording.
New Exporting/Reporting Screens
The export and report screens have been updated to allow the most common selections to be on the same screen.
All Available Records has been added to the exporting. Also, the dimensions to export can now be chosen manually in addition to All Displayed and All in File.
More control has been added to the auto exporting with conditions that include only exporting if all records are in control or all records are in spec.
New Auto Report Range and Frequencies
In addition to the existing report ranges, there is a new option to Use Frequency as Range. Both Ask Me and the ability to get the frequency from a named numeric or text factor have also been added. The combination of these additions allows you to do lot based reporting using a factor to store the number of parts in the lot for variable lot sizes.
Built-In Last_N_Records filter
This new built-in filter allows you to quickly access the last 50 or 100 records without having to build your own filter.
The manual input screen has been improved and broken out from inside automatic reporting. This screen enables you to have your operators enter information like Manual Dimensions or Factors from a common interface within QC-CALC Real-Time.
Administrative Menu System Manager
The Menu Disabler and Manage Menus areas have been replaced by the Menu System Manager in the admin tool. This more advanced tool allows you to choose which menus are checked and disabled from one easy to follow interface.
From "Use Same Settings.." to Defaults
For Reporting, Exporting, Trend Detection and Manual Input, the older "Use Same Settings for all parts" has been replaced by a defaults screen. Using the old way meant you had an "all or individual" approach to parts (QCC files). Now you can set a default that applies to most of your QCC files and allow the exceptions to be overridden.
Standardization of Reporting, Exporting, Trends, and Manual Input
The menus and screens for all 4 main features have been standardized and moved to the Options screen so the defaults can be set from one location. A "force settings for all parts" checkbox can ensure that all settings are the same. In addition, because they are in the options area, Trend Detection and Manual Input defaults can now be controlled through the Administrative interface and set at the user group level.
Delayed Start for Trend Detection
A delayed start of 15 parts (default) has been added to trend detection so alarms will not launch for trends before the limit has been hit. This should eliminate unwanted alerts for brand new databases that only have a few parts.
You can now optionally store a picture for each dimension in your database. When you move the mouse over the dimension, the picture will appear in the panel. This picture is also directly inherited from QC-Gage 3.4 spec plans to provide a consistent look and feel.
Upgrade to Reporting Package
Our reporting package (List and Label) has been upgraded to version 16 from version 11. While the same concepts are still available, the new version boasts several enhancements including charts that can be added to your reports.
Dimension Tabs in QC-CALC SPC Plot View
When using plot view, tabs are automatically created for quick filtering between All Dimensions, In Control, Out of Control, and Out of Spec.
QC-CALC Real-Time 3.3 now has the ability to show the relationship of position and size in both 1D and 2D charts. These plots are live and include a Cpk calculation that takes the bonus tolerance into account.
QC-CALC Real-Time now has the ability to join multiple inspection sources together in the same QC-CALC file. This includes both automatic (CMM) data with gaging data.
Johnson Transform Available
QC-CALC Real-Time now allows you to apply the Johnson Transform to a non-normally distributed dimension. This does not change the data or the display of the data, but it does change the Cpk value for that dimension.
Many More Automated Gages Added
We have added several new data collection drivers for improved coverage of all automatic machinery.
QC-CALC Real-Time now supports the ability to export to run a DOS batch file for the export giving you more flexibility to run outside QC-CALC. This can be set up to run in an automatic mode in addition to the normal manual export
Dual Monitor Handling Improved
QC-CALC now handles dual monitor setups more smoothly.
Default Values for Reporting/Exporting
Settable default values for reporting and exporting when Use Same Settings for All Parts is not enabled.
Point/Part Level Free Form Notes
You can now add notes to any point or part. The dots on the plot will turn light blue when there is a note associated with the data point. In addition, there is a new notes panel that will display the notes.
Better Dual Monitor Support
CALC now remembers its last position when using multiple computer monitors.
This shows you the last time a new part was inspected. You can also optionally turn it red after a specified amount of time. This is great for monitoring QCC files from remote.
Edit Nominals and Tolerances - Moved to QC-CALC Real-Time
This popular QC-CALC SPC screen was copied to Real-Time allowing more flexibility from the shop floor.
Factor Label Advanced Setup
You can now set up reserved slots for factors in the File Creation Defaults. When factors come in from equipment with the same name, they are placed there regardless as to their position in the results.
Better Permission Handling in AC/CA
The adding/editing of Assignable Causes/Corrective Actions can now be prohibited by admin password.
SPC Office Buddy Integration
Within the exporting/auto-exporting functionality, data can now be filtered and sent to the SPC Office Buddy and an Excel Job run using the data in QC-CALC. This effectively allows you to automatically run Excel based reports directly from within QC-CALC Real-Time provided the SPC Office Buddy is installed on the same PC.
This new report allows you to place an image of your part on the report and then draw leader lines between controls charts of your features and the actual features on the picture.
This new tool allows companies to easily centralize all settings of QC-CALC copies throughout their shop. Settings are saved and locked at the group level and each PC joins a group and inherits settings from the central group.
QC-CALC Real-Time now has Unicode support for all languages.
Support For Full Database Synchronization
QC-CALC Real-Time and SPC now have support for the new Enterprise Data Loader (EDL). EDL automatically synchronizes all changes and additions to chosen QCC files to a relational database (RDBMS) such as MS SQL Server. Real-Time and SPC fully support logging and synchronizing to this regard.
21 CFR Part 11 Compliance Features Including:
- for Digital Signatures on Reports
If Part 11 Audit Mode is enabled, there is now an option to digitally sign reports that are saved as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files. A user id and password are required for this action.
- Support for Pictoral Signatures on Reports
If Part 11 Audit Mode is enabled, there is now an option to place a picture of your signature on the report. This way, if a report is printed to paper, it is clear that it has been signed whereas the digital signature is not visible. A user id and password are required for this action. This is available for both QC-CALC user accounts and LDAP user accounts.
- Full Audit Trail
If Part 11 Audit Mode is enabled, all changes to the data prompt a user/password and reason code challenge. Users, passwords and reasons are stored administratively.
- Support for LDAP
Users can optionally specify to store their user/password information using LDAP. This enforces password rules such as expiration, etc. using a known standard built into Windows.
- New Audit Trail Report
This new report gives details on all changes made to the data in the report's range.
- Plot Improvements
Edited points are now highlighted in dark blue.
Dimension Filtering Improvements
Dimension filtering has been improved with the new Advanced filtering screen. This new screen makes it easy to filter your dimensions by quickly searching and selecting those you want shown/hidden.
QC-CALC Real-Time can now export to two locations when the Automatic Exporting occurs. For example, you could send one output to Excel and the other to ASCII text or Minitab.
New Point Properties, Plot Properties, and Quick Stats Windows
QC-CALC Real-Time now has improved Point Properties windows. Rather than one large window, it has been split into three smaller sizable windows to allow you to share screen real estate.
As newer email clients increasingly lock down security more and more applications are using SMTP mail to send emails. QC-CALC Real-Time now supports this standard fully.
Ability to open QCC files Read Only
QC-CALC SPC now supports opening QCC files for read only access. This occurs when a company wants QC-CALC Real-Time to collect data on the shop floor and write to the database, but only wants SPC to have read only access to the same file. SPC now automatically opens the file for Read Only if it does not have write privileges.
New Point Properties, Plot Properties, and Quick Stats Windows
This is a new addition to QC-CALC SPC in 3.2 and follows the same standard as QC-CALC Real-Time 3.2 with three sizable windows to allow you to share screen real estate.
QC-CALC Real-Time now has a full Gage R & R wizard to guide you through the process of creating and executing a Gage R & R study.
QC-CALC now allows you to filter live data on either dimension or records and save your custom filters for later re-use. You can also report directly on the filtered data.
QC-CALC can now share files across multiple copies of the software without the need to claim the file. This greatly enhanced our network capabilities as more and more customers are able to share QCC files between Real-Time and SPC copies.
The number and types of trends automatically detected has been greatly enhanced and the actions now include the ability to save reports to file formats such as PDF, attach the reports to emails and notify operators.
Expanded Point Properties
QC-CALC's new Point Properties window is now dockable and has been greatly expanded to report all aspects of a particular point including nominal/tolerance info, numeric and text factor information, and statistics such as Cpk, Cpk by R, Sigma, Sigma by R, 3 Sigma, etc.
QC-CALC now has live range charts that show the range of the points when the subgroup size is greater than 1. These range charts are displayed directly below the main plots and automatically plot as parts arrive.
Ability To Delete Single Points
QC-CALC now allows the deletion of single points in addition to the deletion of an entire part.
We now allow for non-toleranced features in the plots as well as an expanded list of calculations for display on plots.
Training CMM shipped with QC-CALC
Prolink now ships a small fake data generating tool (called the Training CMM) with every copy of QC-CALC. This new tool is useful for testing/evaluating QC-CALC on a PC that is not connected to an inspection machine or for training purposes.
Dimension Count Mismatch Adaptation
QC-CALC Real-Time can now optionally automatically adapt to a change in the number of dimensions found in your part program.
Statistics On A Selected Range Of Points
QC-CALC Real-Time now allows you to highlight a particular subset of points in a plot and immediately see statistics (such as Cpk) of just that selected range. While selected you can then move the mouse over other plots and get the statistics for same exact range of points without having to re-select them.
Ability To Re-Measure A Part
You can now re-measure a part that was out of spec due to a bad measurement with the click of a menu.
Reporting On A Selected Range Of Points
Similar to above, you can now report on just the selected range of points in a plot.
Expanded Exporting Formats
QC-CALC has added the ability to export to most stat. packs such as InfinityQS and databases using either ODBC or OLEDB.
New Install Wizard Allows Live Switching Of Machines
The new install wizard screen allows you to quickly and conveniently change the inspection machine input.
Available Datagrid And Plot Views
QC-CALC SPC can view and edit the data in either datagrid or plot view. This allows for editing of points in an Excel-like fashion.
QC-CALC SPC allows you to set up groups of files for reporting purposes. This is particularly useful when you have multiple machines measuring the same part and need to pull the data from both machines onto one report.
Expanded Charting and Reports
There is an ever growing list of charts and reports including the attribute charts and the capability of running all QC-CALC Real-Time reports in QC-CALC SPC.
Monitoring Of Individual Files Or Groups Of Files
The new monitoring function continually watches for changes to the monitored files or groups (as a result of data collection or editing) and updates QC-CALC SPC as soon as they occur. This allows you to monitor the shop floor from a remote location.
Ability To Open Multiple Files Simultaneously
QC-CALC SPC now allows you to open multiple files simultaneously for reporting purposes.
Multiple Tolerance Editing
This is a convenient new feature that allows you to update the tolerance values of any number of selected dimensions with one change rather than having to edit them individually.
Right click functionality is available by clicking a button allowing users with touch screen to interact with QC-CALC as if there was a mouse present.
QC-CALC SPC and QC-CALC Real-Time
QC-CALC can now be sold as 2 separate packages that together form the whole package of QC-CALC. QC-CALC SPC is the Main Menu part of QC-CALC (historical analysis), while QC-CALC Real-Time is just the Real-Time Plots portion of QC-CALC (data collection and all the functionality included in Real-Time Plots).
Exporting Formats Expanded
The exporting formats supported by QC-CALC have been expanded to include Excel, Access, Q-DAS, Visual SPC, and others.
The reporting has been expanded to now print the reports to file. The file formats supported are PDF, HTML, XML, EMF, MHTML, RTF, JPG, BMP.
Manually or automatically attach your reports to an e-mail message. This is useful when you want to be notified via e-mail when a process goes out of control or tolerance.
Use any of the 6 Western Electric Trend Analysis tests to monitor your process and have one or more actions trigger automatically (report, log file, assign Cause or Corrective Action, and/or display the trend on the plot).
1, 2, and 3 Sigma zones can be represented on the Plots by either lines or colored areas (rainbow charts).
A snapshot of any particular feature being displayed is now available. This snapshot shows a list of calculations based on the data set visible at that time for that feature.
Automatic Configuration Mode
Setup the reports to run automatically for the part from the inspection software instead of from Real-Time Plots. This feature is only available for some inspection machines.
Tagging data with trace items such as Lot, Operator,.. can be difficult. Static Factors can be entered before each new part is inspected, so the new part will be tagged with the correct information. The Static Factor window can be left on screen so it is easy to enter new values quickly.
This new feature will record any errors that occur in a file to be viewed later. Options are available to view this file and to clear the contents of the file also.
Modify Database Structure
Using this utility gives the user the ability to add dimensions or factors to an existing file, change the order of dimensions in a file, and increase or decrease the maximum number of records allowed in the file.
Occasionally QC-CALC is setup incorrectly, or someone changes parameters that cause data collection to stop. This Data Collection Wizard was written to help you reestablish a connection with the output of the machine’s software. Very few questions are asked and it fixes things very quickly.
Machine Specific help file
The gray pages included in the front of the QC-CALC manual are now available on-line. Pressing Shift + F1 from within QC-CALC will display the manual for the specific type of machine QC-CALC was installed for.
A Bivariate Analysis report has been added to the list of reports available in the Statistics area.
Multi-Piece First Article Report
This report is similar to a First Article Report, but shows the values for multiple records along with calculations across those records (Average, Range, Standard Deviation...).
Added a report template that shows the cumulative statistics for each dimension.
The ability to delete an entire block of records at once has been added in the Edit - Data area.
Improved the interface for creating a delimited ASCII text file.
Improved Filtering System
Added timed based functions for filtering like Yesterday, Today, This Week...
Reports printed Manually or Automatically
A few reports can be printed either manually or automatically without operator intervention now. The available reports are: First Article, Multi-Piece First Article, Raw Data, Plot Report, Sample Summary, and Gage Repeat (P/T Ratio) Report.
Export Manually or Automatically
Export either manually or automatically to ASCII files.
Create Metafiles Manually or Automatically
Metafiles manually or automatically created for use in other reports or programs such as Word or Excel.
Assignable Causes and Corrective Actions
Assignable Causes and Corrective Actions can now be assigned to a specific record in the database and will also appear in any reports that show individual record values.
Incrementing Factor Values
Incrementing Factor Values are automatically added from Real-Time Plots each time a new part is collected. This works well for cavity molds, when each cavity is a different part and you need to know which part came out of which cavity.
Point Properties Expanded
The Point Properties window now shows the Record Number, Date and Time, Nominal and Tolerances, and any Factors, Assignable Causes, or Corrective Actions associated with that data point.
Scrollable Real-Time Plots
Scrolling backwards in the file allows the user to view previously displayed points at any time. Reports can also be generated manually on older data values by scrolling.
On-Screen Editing of Inspection Data
This feature allows for re-inspection of features received from the inspection machine and gives the ability to delete an entire record.
More On-Screen Information
Number of points represented in each plot, the current point deviation from Nominal, and the record numbers of the displayed data values are now shown on the screen.
A toolbar of shortcuts to the most commonly used items has been added.
More Choices for On-Screen Calculations
Range has been added to the list of calculations available for display in the lower corner of each plot. Range can be shown by itself or with the Average value.
The program is now shipped on a single CD-ROM instead of multiple floppy disks.
Select Data Source Expanded
All the settings that were in Configure - System Settings and Hardware have been moved into the Inspect - Select Data Source screen.
Locking Splash Screen Removed
The extra splash screen that showed the locking status has been removed and the information moved to a new screen inside the program available by choosing Help - License Configuration.
Machine Serial Number Locking Restored
For the machines that have a serial number available for QC-CALC to check, the Computer ID / Key locking was removed and the serial number locking method was restored.
Database Storage Increased
The database has been expanded to hold an increased number of dimensions,
records, and other items.
Features per Part
Records per File
Date and Time
Year 2000 Compliant
A new wizard was added to help with the process of importing delimited ASCII text files.
The new Save As feature will save the currently open file as the new name, close the currently open file, and open the new file as the active database.
Password protection is now provided for each of the menus within QC-CALC.
This report is not statistically based, but instead shows the number of defects per feature in the group.
QC-CALC saves a count of dimensions that are out of specification across a single record and displays this value in the right-most column in Edit - Data.
Maximum Number of Plots Increased
The maximum number of plots QC-CALC can display has increased from 50 to 100.
Adjustable Number of Points per Plot
The number of points displayed in each plot was fixed to 25, but is now adjustable to any number from 3 to 100.
Any two plots can be scattered against one another, which improves visibility of two related X vs. Y features.
Any three plots can be displayed together as Whisker Plots. Used mainly to plot Min, Max, and Avg. values all on a single plot.
The tolerance and control limits can be calculated based on an entered value of Sigma and the data that has been received.
Delete and Un-delete Data Points
Deleting and un-deleting data points is now available from a right mouse click on the plot.
Change Real-Time Plots Colors
A color editor has been added to give you the ability to customize the colors used in the plots.