Thursday, December 6, 2007

Publications on ballistic issues

Take the time to read but if you know already the story, contact us to gain access to these documents.

A few months back some people came to us asking for a solution for their laboratory. They requested a complete proofing stand that follows strict CIP recommendations. We went on the market and noticed that some essential parts were cruelly missing. Or, if available, they were at a price far above the expectations of most people today. It was also of a poor quality, built with 30 years technology and very often beside the actual needs.

Some other people came asking us to replace the electronic and software part of their installation, also dating back as much as 20 years.

Some other, manufacturers of loading machines asked us for a ballistic systems to be offered together with their machinery. This is simple good sense.

Simple good sense, although, it may sound incredible, many of them just don't have anything to propose ! Long ago, 20 years back again, they had quality control solutions to offer but not today anymore. Some say it is linked to the slow decline of the small arms industry. My feeling is that it is linked to some psychological negativity and self sufficiency: “The customer do not ask for it, so we do not make it”. And on his side, the customer says “They do not come with it probably because it is not possible”. And so nothing moves..

Some other people asked us to control the quality, not destructively at the end of the chain (firing a cartridge is just another destructive QC method...), but they asked us for quality control all along the process, right to the place where the defects appear. This is also good sense.

They also asked for the delivery of software to better manage their laboratory. They also asked "How can we trust this velocity cell ?, Further to this subjective "trust", we are sure, they will ask “How do we calibrate it ?” and "How can we link it to ISO references ?" Just like in any other industry in fact.

And this is where all our business is !

But the rest, the mechanics and the electronics upstream and even the basic software is common goods :

  • The universal receiver which we attempt to describe now should have been “standard” since long ago. Although no standard body has so far taken the step to rule it.
  • The pressure transducers and charge amplifiers can be purchased off-the-self without any problem to renown suppliers such as PCB or Kistler.
  • The acquisition electronics that was, not so long ago, still a very complicated and expensive part can also be purchased off-the-shelf for a very little price. National Instruments or Keithley are the key suppliers. Their electronics are state-of-the-art, accurate, renown and cheap. They come all with their “software drivers” generally free of charge and they can be inserted in any ordinary computer running Windows. Ordinary computers that can in turn be connected to the local network to share information. And to Internet, to share it with customers and partners.
Despite all this... we have observed recently (early 2007) that Western Europe starts to be flooded with testing equipment of very poor quality, coming from the East or Asia. "Testing equipment of very poor quality" is nonsense in nature. Quality control must be made either with good equipment or not at all !

We have even seen loaders testing their product with 20 years old equipments that has never been recalibrated since their commissioning...

It is no longer acceptable at a time when quality is essential to remain competitive.

Seen also, very recent initiatives of systems completely “stand-alone” with virtually no chance to deliver data into the network. Even worse, they are still fighting with the printer tricks much like in the 80's: If the printer fails, the new one is not compatible and the whole system is down.

So what ?

The first paper is some though on how to simplify the administration.
The second is an attempt to define the "universal receivers".
Some others are coming.

Please contact us to receive your own copy and let's hope it will help.