Tag: inspections

Quality: It’s What’s Driving the Global Automotive Industry

A report issued by McKinsey & Company predicting trends up through 2020 in the global automotive industry identifies four challenges that will affect the industry’s growth.  With these four challenges in mind, we offer quality solutions that effectively hedge or otherwise prepare those working within the industry.

  • Complexity and cost pressure
  • Diverging markets
  • Digital demands
  • Shifting industry landscape

“To capture future growth and find profit from these challenges – and to mitigate their risks – OEMs cannot simply turn to their traditional toolbox. They need to review and adjust their strategic priorities, deploy the appropriate investments and resources, and develop new skills to execute these strategic objectives.”

The automotive aftermarket faces it’s own challenges as well, discussed in detail within the Aftermarket Outlook 2020 report.  According to the report, challenges include:

Challenges_Aftermarket

Supply Chain Management – Webinar Review

Our Tampa office worked with the local ASQ section and Hillsborough Community College’s Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education and coordinated and instructed a series of webinars that will run through this month.  The webinar scheduled for today discusses Supply Chain Management, which many in our industry recognize is a broad topic. As a brief introduction, the following components are discussed:

Supplier Selection

  • Conduct a needs analysis (brainstorm and consider long-term growth expectations).
  • Conduct preliminary interviews and/or surveys.
  • Evaluate samples.
  • Perform on-site audits (general quality systems management, ISO based, social responsibility, security, etc.).
  • Use a grid analysis for objective decision making.

Supplier Evaluation (Performance)

What are our quality engineers doing on-site during inspections?

QualityInspectionWordCloudWe receive questions relating to quality inspections and the inspection process quite often.

One of the most common questions we receive concerns the benefits of inspecting product for quality prior to shipment.  The short answer is that inspections reduce overall quality risks and cost!

Another question we receive often relates to what happens during a product inspection? What do our quality engineers do on-site?

For us, each product is treated differently depending on specifications and/or other client requirements.  We work closely with our clients to develop the specifications that help guide our inspectors on-site.  However, there are a few consistent components that include:

Quantity Verification

  • Is everything packaged? Our general rule is 100% produced and 80% packaged for a pre-shipment, final inspection.
  • Failure to meet expectations for quantity can result in a “missed” inspection result.

For more information regarding the difference between first-article, in-process and pre-shipment inspections, read our article here.

Fishbone Example: Rejected Pre-Shipment Inspections

We like Ishikawa’s fishbone diagrams, also referred to as cause and effect diagrams for good reason.  They’re great for figuring out why something isn’t working.

For our clients, it is not uncommon for pre-shipments inspections to uncover trends in failures.  When this happens, we want to know why the problem is occurring so appropriate corrective actions can be taken.

We shared a useful four minute overview of fishbone diagrams some time ago, but also decided to put together a general example specific to our experience in the quality industry.  ASQ and Mind Tools also have great resources and templates on the subject as well.

The following process took place to create the fishbone diagram example below.

  1. We talked about the problem and defined it in a way that was specific and relevant.  In this case, there were a series of rejected pre-shipment inspections where paint defects were exceeding AQLs as part of the visual evaluation.
  2. We brainstormed categories that would have an effect on this problem.  We read about and do find the use of sticky notes to be a very effective way to organize this information.  Also, looking through examples can help with this, as there are a handful of very common categories used.  The categories are used as the branches off the main arrow.
  3. We brainstormed the issues digging deeper into each one and including them where they fit best in the categories.  Keep asking why to get a more in-depth evaluation.  Layers in the branches can subdivide out the issues further, as necessary.
  4. We analyzed the diagram and did further research into the causes we listed.  When identifying causes and incorporating corrective action, follow-up metrics are very useful in determining if your actions have produced the desired result of effectively resolving the problem you stated.

Fishbone_Example_Defect copy