By Bill May
My experience in the manufacturing industry has taken me into Automotive plants, Aerospace plants, Defense industry plants, Home Appliance manufacturing plants, consumer products plants, and many other manufacturing plants. I have visited hundreds of plants all over the world. Some of these plants were “World Class Best” and some were “World’s Worst,” with the clear majority falling somewhere in between.
The most successful plants all have a laser-sharp focus on product quality, always meeting or exceeding the customer’s expectation. Although many other factors play into the most successful plants, Quality systems were always foremost in their day-to-day operational behavior.
Aggregating these multi-industry practices into a common set of principles, High Value Manufacturing (HVM) has established our 11+1 Quality Management Strategies.
These strategies are based on the generic principles of ISO 9001 and AS9100. The specific strategies meet the expectations as delineated by IAQG (International Aerospace Quality Group), VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie), and AIAG (Automotive Industry Advisory Group) certification organizations. Aerospace, Defense, Automotive, and many other plants have applied these Quality Management Strategies. ISO/IATF 16949 certification has also been achieved by utilizing these basic strategies.
These strategies start with “Capable and Stable Manufacturing Processes” maintained and controlled via Statistical Process control. That is the “+1 Quality Management Strategy” and without that, the other 11 strategies will not achieve maximum potential.
Following in “relative” order of importance are the remaining 11 Quality Management Strategies:
1. Fast Response to internal and customer problems through a common problem-solving methodology.
2. Control of non-conforming product through strong containment practices.
3. In-process verification stations to assure bad product is not passed to the next work station.
4. Standardized Operations including strong work place organization practices.
5. Standardized Operator Training supported by standardized operations.
6. Error Proofing Verification to assure work practices are performed correctly.
7. Layered Process Audits.
8. Identification and elimination of all manufacturing risk.
9. Product cleanliness and contamination control.
10. Management of incoming supplier material.
11. Managing design and process changes.
In past engagements, HVM has provided the engineering, manufacturing, and quality resources to assess the performance (Phase 1), make recommendations and detailed plans (Phase 2), and assist in the implementation of improvement activities (Phase 3) for these manufacturing plants.
Phase 1: Assessment
The primary focus area of this initial Phase 1 assessment will be quality (scrap and rejects) and manufacturing process capability (Cp, CpK, and through-put analysis). Delivery (schedule performance) will be a secondary priority. This assistance will begin by performing a specific assessment of the manufacturing site.
The Phase 1 assessment is performed with specific attention to the following 6 steps.
· Review and Analyze reject data/incidents.
· Identify/Define quality control actions based on reject/return data.
· Confirm the existence of Problem Tracking and Resolution Process.
· Review action plans to confirm the expansion of actions to plant-wide level.
· Review and analyze the implementation and effectiveness of corrective action plans.
· Review implementation of process control and Production Parts Approval Process (PPAP) or equivalent process.
HVM also reviews the following performance indicators during this initial assessment:
· Compliance and Continuous Improvement is being ‘driven’ throughout all processes.
· Process controls, Continuous Improvement (CI) & Quality Management System tools are utilized appropriately & effectively.
· Quality metrics & plans in place and active quality improvement meetings are in use.
· Supplier metrics are defined, measured, and improving.
· A process is in place to collect customer feedback and negative comments are acted upon to improve performance.
· “Fast Response” type problem resolution process is in place to ensure that pro-active problem-solving activities are preventing repeat problems from occurring.
· Manufacturing processes are robust and predictable.
A comprehensive report delineating analysis of the specific observations and implementation recommendations is reviewed with the appropriate leadership at the manufacturing plant.
Phase 2: Recommendations
At the end of the Phase 1 assessment, specific resources are identified and will be assigned to each manufacturing plant. For this Phase 2 effort the Roles and Responsibilities of these resources are as follows:
· Identifies and communicates with and provides training to assigned resources.
· Analyzes the data from the plant’s performance, initiates an action based on results to improve/correct.
· Accountable for follow-through of all open actions.
· Drive close-loop results against every open item.
· Follow-through to verify the effectiveness of the closed actions.
Phase 3: Implementation
During Phase 3, our resources will also implement HVM’s 11 Quality Management Strategies as warranted by an assessment performed in Phase 1 and 2.
· Identify opportunities for operational improvements by comparing supplier’s operational norms to 11 Quality Management Strategies.
· Determine a prioritized plan of implementation for the 11 QMS principles and drive implementation.
· Train and develop existing manufacturing operational resources to be self-sustaining by the completion of the engagement.
At High Value Manufacturing, we realize manufacturing companies today struggle with several planning, operational, and resource challenges. As a world-class manufacturing consulting firm our goal is to help our Aerospace, Automotive, Defense, and other manufacturing clients assess current operational issues, plan for future needs, provide concrete recommendations, and provide the skilled resources required for sustainable growth.
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