DMSC Updates QIF 3.0 Standard that Promotes Digital Thread

Standard improves integration of PMI and inspection in product development process.

The Digital Metrology Standards Consortium (DMSC) has released the updated version of the Quality Information Framework (QIF) Standard: QIF 3.0. The goal was to develop a rule model, that is, the standard of representing rules used in inspection process planning.

QIF is an American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard that supports digital thread concepts in engineering applications ranging from product design through manufacturing to quality inspection. TheDMSC is responsible for the oversight and maintenance of this standard.

QIF supports design, metrology, manufacturing, and is critical to the Industry 4.0. Because it is XML-based, QIF can be integrated with Internet applications and, unlike some other existing standards, adopting and implementing QIF is relatively easy. The standard also supports newer technologies, including additive manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Based on the XML standard, QIF contains a Library of XML Schema ensuring both data integrity and data interoperability for Model-Based Enterprises (MBEs). 

How QIF Works

The flow of QIF data starts with CAD and product manufacturing information (PMI) data exported as QIF Model-Based Design (MBD) application data. 

QIF is intended to handle lossless feed-forward information translation with the ability to provide feedback integration to the product lifecycle in a unified and universal XML format. One goal of QIF is to satisfy the input specification requirements of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T). Another goal of QIF is to satisfy the requirements derived from output results of quality assessment standards.

From the beginning, QIF has been promoted by the DMSC based on the realization of the need for a “common communication language,” because every CAD system produces its own output measurement language, and every coordinate measuring machine (CMM) has its own internal language that it accepts for processing. Like older machining languages, translators and post-processors have become a widespread problem. A common language has been sorely needed for some time, and so QIF aims to help resolve these long-standing interoperability problems.

Highlights of QIF 3.0 Enhancements

Some of the most significant enhancements to QIF 3.0 include: 

  • Expansion of measurement workflow use cases supported by QIF
  • Improvements to PMI modeling to support common CAD system annotations, such as those from SOLIDWORKS, Creo, NX and CATIA
  • Concise measurement point storage
  • Increased harmonization with the ISO Geometrical Product Specification
  • Improved support for metrology software and fitting algorithm specifications
  • Improved traceability in statistics, including an option for bulk raw data
  • Enhanced support for a comprehensive array of measurement device types in QIF resources
  • Support for measurement resource selection via QIF Rules

One of the key functions in QIF is measurement rule types and XML schema, also known as QIF Rules. These rules provide the industry with a standard way of representing and sharing dimensional measurement strategy and resources selection rules in a supplier network employing various CAD software platforms.

“We are thrilled to announce the approval of QIF v3.0 – 2018 as a new ANSI/DMSC standard,” said Curtis Brown, President of DMSC. “We anticipate that this new release will continue the enthusiasm of using the QIF standard for both software/hardware providers and the manufacturing supply chain. Furthermore, this QIF data interoperability standard can realize downstream process automation and upstream data traceability that will enable manufacturing quality to become a key enabler for a model-based enterprise.”

DMSC’s mission is to identify and create standards in the field of dimensional metrology, and to promote, foster, and encourage the development and interoperability of these standards. QIF is one of the resulting standards that the consortium has the responsibility for continuing development, maintenance and support, as well as coordinating with other related standards efforts.

While a bit slow in getting started, QIF is finally becoming one of the newer universal manufacturing standards that is likely to rapidly grow. Many companies have made a lot of money in a lot of ways through non-standard, proprietary data, but that could change through the acceptance and adoption of QIF that could benefit the many instead of the DMSC few.

Click link to Download QIF 3.0.