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

Quality solutions continue to offer a competitive advantage that ensures long-term sustainability while effectively addressing challenges identified by the industry.  Solutions offered include:

  • Supplier Selection (Verification and on-site initial evaluations)
  • Product Development (Testing, PPAP, etc.)
  • Production (In-process QC inspections, order monitoring, corrective action, etc.)
  • Supplier Management (TS/ISO 16949 audits, process audits, ISO 14001 environmental/sustainability audits, SA8000 social audits, C-TPAT security audits, etc.)
  • Shipping – Logistics (Container loading supervision, pre-shipment QC inspections)

Over the last three decades, Pro QC has assisted a significant number of OEMs and aftermarket parts suppliers in reducing their associated risks and cost. View our example service reports here

Will you be one of over 44,000+ attendees at AAPEX this year? If so, visit us in Booth 1874 to learn more about how we help reduce quality risk and cost in the industry! If you are unable to attend, contact us anytime at one of our worldwide office locations.

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)

  • Conduct pre-production, in-process and final pre-shipment inspections.
    • Trend the data and incentivize based on performance.
  • Perform regular audits. 
  • Develop a rating system.
    • Examples include no rating, quality rating only, quality & delivery rating (graphic method), quality & delivery method (cost index method) and a comprehensive method .

Supplier Partnerships

  • Share information – Communication and transparency are key.
  • Know and understand goals, vision and capabilities.
  • Incorporate training.
  • Develop supplier rewards associated with specific criteria.

Supplier Improvement (Corrective Action

  • Define, evaluate, implement, document and review results.
    • Seeks to eliminate the causes of nonconformities in order to prevent recurrence – Resolves product manufacturing issues.
    • Incorporates corrective action investigation, corrective action planning and corrective action verification.

Next week’s webinar will focus on Strategic Planning Tools.  Register here.  And, let us know what you think!

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.

Packaging – Labeling (Master Carton + Retail) 

  • Is the packaging free of any defects?
  • Is a drop-test required for packaging integrity evaluation? This reduces the likelihood of damage during transit.
  • Does the packaging meet client and/or other specifications?
  • Are there any safety concerns, such as suffocation warnings required on certain polybags?

We have written a few articles regarding packaging that provide more detail here:

Workmanship – Visual 

  • Are defects within the Acceptable Quality Limits? A random sample is pulled to evaluate for cosmetic/workmanship defects.
  • Inspectors use a checklist to assist with defect identification and classification.
  • Defects noted are categorized as either major, minor or critical.

We have written a few articles regarding classifying defects and determining AQLs that provide more detail here:

Functional – Assembly – Testing 

  • Does the product work as indicated? A reduced sample is usually pulled for functional testing, as applicable.
  • Inspectors verify that the product assembles and functions as indicated by any inserts/manuals.
  • Inspectors verify applicable measurements such as dimensions and weight.  For textiles, it may be stitches per inch, or other as determined by the type of product.

Photos

  • Inspectors take detailed photos of the facility, product, packaging, labeling and defects noted.
  • Clients can compare our photos with their samples or otherwise have photographic evidence.

Additional articles we have written that provide more insight into this topic include:

 

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