Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 481–495 | Cite as

Visual analysis of quality-related manufacturing data using fractal geometry



Improving manufacturing quality is an important challenge in various industrial settings. Data mining methods mostly approach this challenge by examining the effect of operation settings on product quality. We analyze the impact of operational sequences on product quality. For this purpose, we propose a novel method for visual analysis and classification of operational sequences. The suggested framework is based on an Iterated Function System (IFS), for producing a fractal representation of manufacturing processes. We demonstrate our method with a software application for visual analysis of quality-related data. The proposed method offers production engineers an effective tool for visual detection of operational sequence patterns influencing product quality, and requires no understanding of mathematical or statistical algorithms. Moreover, it enables to detect faulty operational sequence patterns of any length, without predefining the sequence pattern length. It also enables to visually distinguish between different faulty operational sequence patterns in cases of recurring operations within a production route. Our proposed method provides another significant added value by enabling the visual detection of rare and missing operational sequences per product quality measure. We demonstrate cases in which previous methods fail to provide these capabilities.


Data mining Sequence mining Quality engineering Chaos game representation Iterated function system 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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