Tag: manufacturing

Support Manufacturing Education & Awareness on October 7th

“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.” ~James Dyson

We post this quote predictably each year as Manufacturing Day approaches.  This year, Manufacturing Day will be observed on October 7th.

What is Manufacturing Day? 

“Manufacturing Day℠ is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.”

Why is it important?

Research reveals the theory behind Manufacturing Day works. For the first time, participants were polled about their experience. A new Deloitte perception survey developed in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute was distributed to the more than 2,500 manufacturing hosts to gather data from attendees. The results are dramatic:

  • 81 percent of student respondents are more convinced manufacturing provides careers that are both interesting and rewarding
  • 71 percent of student respondents are more likely to tell friends, family, parents or colleagues about manufacturing
  • 93 percent of educators are more convinced manufacturing provides careers that are interesting and rewarding
  • 90 percent of educators indicated they are more likely to encourage students to pursue a career in manufacturing

Who benefits? 

Although Manufacturing Day currently focuses on the United States, it serves as a model for other countries and offers opportunities for collaboration as an effort to achieve a broader reach.

Where do you learn more? 

How do you get involved? 

There are some excellent ideas here, such as hosting an event or organizing an on-site tour, but some additional thoughts include:

  • Host a lunch and share a few related fun facts.
  • Make an announcement and post information throughout the organization networks.
  • Sign a proclamation and invite local government representatives to join you and your team in recognition.
  • If you’re a parent, provide the resources to your child’s school or even speak to your child’s class.

Why get involved? 

According to this source, Manufacturing Day in the United States continues to achieve the objective of creating industry awareness among youth.

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How will you observe and increase awareness this Manufacturing Day? Share your stories with us!

 

Avoiding Product Recalls

downloadOver the years, we’ve had our share of inquiries related to organizations seeking to resolve a recall situation.  While many of these calls are reactive, a proactive approach is recommended to avoid the cost and overall impact to stakeholders.

How can you avoid product recalls? 

Know Product Safety Requirements –  Avoiding recalls generally starts with product design and specification development. Due diligence is required to determine if any applicable testing is required depending on the market in which it will be sold. Contacting a testing lab for a general inquiry is worth the time and effort. Researching ANSI and ASTM standards is also advised.  A third party’s expertise can also be leveraged here and specifications development/testing can be outsourced.

Know Your Suppliers – Supplier selection is a critical component in the quality process. Verifying suppliers and performing an on-site evaluation adds an additional level of assurance. Considerations include:

  • Management
    • Is there a quality manual, and how are people trained?
  • Engineering
    • Are there control systems and a formal system of using updated drawings/specs?
  • Quality Control
    • Is there a quality department, and how much ultimate repsonsiblity do they have?
  • Incoming QC
    • Are raw materials inspected, and is inspection equipment calibrated?
  • Packaging
    • Are they packaged to prevent damaged and properly labeled?
  • Non-Conforming Materials
    • Is there a specific area for non-conforming materials and applicable training for handling/reporting?
  • Corrective Action
    • Is corrective action properly communicated, documented and follow-up on?
  • Manufacturing
    • Is there documentation, a maintenance program, etc.?

View an example Initial Supplier Evaluation report here to get a better idea of the basics when considering a potential partner.

Don’t Skip Inspections – Even the most highly rated suppliers have been known to release a shipment or two with quality issues that somehow went unseen. Some of these quality concerns can end up being safety issues that can easily result in recalls or other rework/warranty situations.  For an added level of assurance, incorporate pre-shipment inspections. These happen when the shipment is 100% produced and 80% packaged. So, you’re able to confirm visual/workmanship issues, functionality and packaging integrity issues.

View example QC inspection reports here to get a better idea of what’s included in the final evaluation of product.

For additional information regarding avoiding recalls and ensuring quality, contact us.

Recent recalls are listed on the CPSC site here.  “The CPSC fulfills its mission by banning dangerous consumer products, establishing safety requirements for other consumer products, issuing recalls of products already on the market, and researching potential hazards associated with consumer products.

A global site is also available here.  “The GlobalRecalls portal brings together information on product recalls being issued around the world, on a regular basis, together in one place – on an OECD platform.”

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.

World Trade Month Wrap-Up

World Trade Month is observed each year in May.  The objective of this recognition is to create awareness, identify trends and drive market opportunities.

World Integrated Trade Solutions offers extensive data related to world trade.  The same site offers interesting visualization options such as the word cloud referenced below.

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In a 2015 ranking of the top 20 export countries worldwide via Statista, China ranked first in exports with an export value of about 2.28 trillion US dollars.

That same report went on to indicate:

The value of goods exported from China grew immensely between 2002 and 2014. In 2002, China’s exports were valued at about 327 billion US dollars. China’s export value grew to 2 trillion US dollars in 2012, the first year in which China exported more than 2 trillion US dollars worth of goods. Year over year export growth remained above 17 percent between 2002 and 2012, except in 2009 and 2012. In 2004, export value grew by over 35 percent. In 2011, China accounted for about 10% of global merchandise exports and about 4% of global service exports.  China’s greatest export product categories in 2011 was machinery and transport equipment, of which they exported 902 billion US dollars worth. In 2012, China exported 159 billion US dollars worth of clothes and clothing accessories.

At the community level, Pro QC’s Tampa team attended the International Town Hall event hosted by the Tampa Bay Export Alliance.  We heard from local leadership supporting trade initiatives throughout the region. And, we saw local companies highlighted for their successful sourcing and supply chain initiatives.  Jabil Circuit had a particularly interesting keynote presentation related to their supply chain visualization and Intelligent Control Tower.

To learn more about world trade, we recommend these sites:

To learn more about reducing the quality risks and cost associated with global trade, contact us! 

Verifying Suppliers… What You Want To Know

Verify-SuppliersAs a follow-up to an an article we posted in March, we wanted to go into more specifics regarding on-site supplier verification.

As noted, it’s not always cost effective to do a comprehensive ISO based or general QMS audit for each supplier you’re considering working with. But, there are basic questions looming that you need to make the right decisions…

One option for supplier verification is a basic on-site check.

What you find out:

  • Factory information
    • Type of ownership, address & contact information
  • Production Capacity (Annual Basis)
    • Category, total capacity, units shipped & % capacity
  • Export Markets
    • U.S., EU, South America, etc. & % volume
  • Key Clients (Past Year)
    • Name, product description & % volume
  • Key Personnel
    • Title, name, history & contact information
  • Number of Employees
    • Management, general office, production, quality, etc.
  • List of Major Equipment (Machines)
    • Description, model, quantity & condition
  • List of Major Gages (Equipment)
    • Description, accuracy, quantity & condition
  • List of Sub-Contractors
    • Name, process & location

Photos assist in the process of evaluation as well.

How do you evaluate you potential suppliers? One of our older blog posts that may be of interest is the use of a grid analysis for supplier selection. The categories listed above would help in deciding important variables and respective weights.

Contact us for more information, or to schedule an on-site supplier verification.  With local expertise and an unbiased assessment, supplier selection is less risky and cost-saving in the long-run!