Improving manufacturing quality is important for many reasons. Firstly, product recalls can be expensive. Secondly, for a single-source supplier it can be disruptive. In the first half of 2014, U.S. carmakers had 39.85 million vehicles recalled. After that, 2 million people had to return their car in America, in the last 5 years. Faulty airbag inflators were a major cause. Affecting every major car manufacturer.
Cars are complex. For example, systems and sensors control much of a modern car. They make the car safer. Easier to drive. Above all, simpler to maintain and more efficient. Consequently, with complexity comes higher risk of failure. As a result, car manufacturers take steps to avoid these failures. Through collaboration and technology. Making information readily available. For instance, attaining real-time visibility into the supply chain. To gain sight of the manufacturing and quality processes of a supplier. To sum up, visibility of process and activities is crucial. Especially when producing high-quality and safe products.
Below are six tips to help improve manufacturing quality. Reducing recalls across the supply chain.
1. Create a quality mindset to improve manufacturing
Faulty parts and imperfect manufacturing processes will exist. Operatives avoid pointing them out. For instance, proud workers fear the shame of bad work. In addition, they may avoid creating more work for themselves. Which is why, companies should create a quality mindset. Where suggestions for process improvements are welcome and praised. This encourages employees to offer suggestions. Above all, it will lead to improved manufacturing quality. Born from the recommendations.
2. Manage supplier relationships
Relationships between manufacturers and suppliers continue to change. Shifting from one manufacturer with multiple suppliers. To a single supplier supporting multiple manufacturers. Though this is a more efficient business model for manufacturers. Similarly, it creates a scenario where issues with a single supplier. Affect multiple manufacturers and multiple part lines.
Working with suppliers enables manufacturers. To understand the supplier’s internal processes. In other words, it offers ways to improve the quality of the component parts. So they meet the manufacturer’s quality standards.
3. Leverage technology to improve manufacturing
With a global supply chain. It is difficult to know what is happening everywhere. Manufacturers, must utilize leading technologies. Such as cloud, mobile and VR headsets. To connect the supply chain. Making it possible for inspectors and suppliers. To input data from a mobile device.
In addition, the data populate a centralized database. For personnel to review and analyse. While sending real-time notifications to management. Even when they are off-site.
4. Perform supplier inspections and reviews
Manufacturers often rely on quality reports from suppliers. Therefore, previous performance is the most common measurement of a supplier. For example, the quality of the last x number of deliveries. Will determine how a manufacturer rates a supplier. However today, it is not enough to use statistics. Manufacturers, must have visibility. Into their supply chains operations. To understand what’s occurring within the manufacturing process. Testing to ensure the results meet the OEM’s standards. Real-time visibility created through cloud-based quality systems. Offers a complete view of supplier operations. Removing the need to re-inspect incoming parts.
5. Use preventative measures
Real-Time data helps manufacturing intelligence. So, it can be used to increase efficiency and quality. Across the enterprise and supply chain. Moreover, data analysis software can compare production sites and suppliers. To sum up, it highlights areas in need of improvement.
If, a facility executes a process better than another. The information could be shared to help with process improvement. They should, extend this learning opportunity. Across a manufacturing environment. This will help increase overall effectiveness. It can reduce variation across operations.
6. Analyse the manufacturing data
Analysing manufacturing data. Helps, companies detect and respond to events. This can improve yield and reduce downtime. Above all it can improve manufacturing quality.
However, if a product fails within the warranty period. Due to a faulty part. Quality software helps determine what caused the fault. Be it a supplier or a material problem. With the source of the issue identified. Measures are used, to prevent the same issue in the future.
In conclusion, using technology. To monitor, integrate and track processes can help improve manufacturing quality. Implementing a process improvement strategy. Will ensure when issues are found. Not only will employees will have the tools to fix them. They will be able to prevent them.