QIF 4.0 is in development.
What is QIF?
At first glance, QIF, or Quality Information Framework, seems to be a lofty idea that your boss makes you follow throughout your production cycle. However, QIF is rather simple to understand. It is a unified XML framework that guides computer-aided quality measurement systems, which in turn enables the capture, use, and subsequent re-use of information through the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and PDM (Product Data Management) systems. The standard is approved by both ANSI and ISO. QIF was developed by the Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium (DMSC), starting in 2013. QIF is the first enterprise-wide standard solution for manufacturing. It contains a wide array of useful standards, such as product model characteristics, inspection plans, and measurement results. By leveraging QIF in their quality workflows, quality professionals can positively impact cost and schedule. Instead of the quality department being the bottleneck, they now have a system that relieves the bottleneck, increasing throughput and product realization.
QIF is a unified XML framework that guides computer-aided quality measurement systems, which in turn enables the capture, use, and subsequent re-use of information through the PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and PDM (Product Data Management) systems.
The History of QIF
QIF has had a long history of development in order to create the best system of standards possible. Development began back in 1986 with the creation and release of DMIS. The early implementations of the Dimensional Measuring Interface Standard (DMIS) were highly effective for their time. However, the production world is constantly evolving, so DMIS would have to evolve alongside it. In 1990 ANSI accepted DMIS 2.1 as an ANSI-approved standard. This was important in establishing the long-lasting standard known as DMIS 5.2 today. In 2011 ISO accepted DMIS as an approved ISO standard. Despite the effectiveness of DMIS 3.0, the world was moving toward a more digital landscape, leading to rapid changes in standards for the next 10 years. Finally, in 2013 DMIS reached its technology limit, requiring a further evolution to standards. The DMSC committee was able to put together the first version of QIF – allowing for further data integrity and interoperability. In 2015, after the update of QIF 2.0, the company Action Engineering began to assist QIF’s development and use through presentations, blogs, contributing models for testing, and the company’s CEO and founder Jennifer Herron being a board member of DMSC. Eventually, the committee would develop the latest version of QIF, releasing the 3.0 version in 2018, when it was accepted by the ISO TC184 Subcommittee in 2020. This was a major development, as it not only saw the most comprehensive digital interoperability standard the world had ever seen but that very same standard was now being accepted as the guiding standard internationally. However, the world is ever-changing, and standards can always be improved upon. As such, the DMSC membership is currently working on the newest version of the QIF standard, called QIF 4.0.
Why Should Your Business Use QIF?
QIF has proven time and time again to be a highly beneficial standard for any company that uses it. There is clear evidence of its increase in product quality. This is done through rigid standards and the elimination of human error from manual data re-entry. With QIF’s adoption of automatic data re-entry, a business can focus more manpower on development, production, and sales rather than archaic data filling. QIF also increases the use, reuse, and automation of all 3D CAD data, or QIF MBD (Model-Based Definition). MBD can often prove to be difficult, yet extremely useful to production, and QIF uses the MBD data to eliminate the difficulty of use, leaving your business as an efficient proprietor of the Digital Twin (DT). Additionally, QIF increases product throughput during the First Article Inspection (FAI) quality workflows. FAI is a notoriously slow process that can be sped up through the adoption of QIF in your digital stack. Finally, QIF can help your business adopt digital twin techniques to increase employee communications, subsequently creating better products, profit, and workload. It is worth noting the time savings are not meant to reduce your workforce but rather to free your staff from tedious work while leaving space to discover solutions to more complex problems.
Plans for QIF 4.0
The work to start QIF 4.0 kicked off in late 2022. The QIF information model areas currently in work are QIF Library, QIF Plan, and QIF Resources. Items completed and in progress are improved UUID usage, retiring the term QPId, increasing the usability of SI units, improving the ability to assign capabilities at the characteristics level, improving constraint handling using XSLT, and adding optical digitizer measurement devices.
Benefits for your business:
- Increase product quality by eliminating human error due to manual data re-entry
- Increase use, re-use, and automation of 3D CAD data
- Increase product throughput during First Article Inspection (FAI) activities
- Use digital twin techniques to increase employee communications
About Action Engineering’s support and dedication to QIF over the years :
- Over 50 presentations and blogs over 7 years (since 2015)
- Action Engineering’s dedication to QIF from the very beginning
- Provided free models to QIF for testing use
- Jennifer Herron BOD member for almost 6 years