Quality Is Still Job #1 in Manufacturing

Some old-school drive & lots of innovation do the quality program good.

Quality is still Job #1 in manufacturing. A recent “scorecard” from a Metcam customer showed only three parts rejected for a whole month.

“By zeroing in and eliminating waste – wasted motion, time, materials – we become more efficient, make better parts,” said Metcam Vice President Jerry Ward. “All of this is with the intention of giving our customers a much better product.”

Richard Uber, Metcam’s Quality Manager, shared some recent customer rejections rates, i.e, parts per million that didn’t meet their expectations:

  • CommScope 42 ppm (or 0.000042)
  • Carrier 151 ppm
  • Tyco 155 ppm

“Our overall metric right now is 436 ppm and as soon as I get another scorecard I’m expecting that to drop quite a bit,” said Uber, a Six Sigma Black Belt. “Our goal is 50 ppm.”

Take a look at the quality initiatives at the 2018 Georgia Manufacturer of the Year and you’ll see why continuous improvement is a constant commitment and regular achievement:

>> By scanning a tag as it goes by, new paint line monitors automatically pop up work instructions for each painter load and unload item. Employees can quickly see what paint to use, the number of hooks, the kind of packaging, how many people will be required and any special instructions on inspection.

>> Metcam is also implementing a monitor system called Metview on every machine in the company’s fabrication department, where one sheet of paper with bar codes is sent out instead of a full job order package. Technicians on the shop floor scan the code to pull up any key data attached in SyteLine, such as customer/Metcam drawings and other special information. The new technology, which pulls up a full job order so there’s no need to send a paper copy throughout the plant, also provides information on any rejects that the part has had in the last two years.

“We’re going more to scanning bar codes to eliminate operator interface and get better resolution on the info that we’re pulling, like from labels,” Uber said.

>> Last but not least, Metcam is creating new training committees, each with their own expert focus, such as safety or problem-solving. Like the “bottom-up” Kaizen teams that the manufacturer supports, the training committees are driven by the shop floor employees who share their hands-on knowledge to help Metcam teams correct problems.

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