15 Feb Managing Quality Effectively
Effective quality management is essentially the process of making corrective decisions to repair mistakes or to prevent a mistake from happening. A good metal stamping firm should always be able to demonstrate proper and effective quality management in practice, as well as an effective method of identifying problems.
One of the most well known processes throughout the metal engineering industry is the 8 Disciplines method, or 8-D. 8-D uses a team approach to solve the problem. Initially, the team will describe the problem in measurable terms and then begin to determine short-term corrective action. Once the problem has been temporarily stopped, the team will then begin to isolate the original cause of the problem. The team then verifies corrective actions that have been proposed and then implement them in order to prevent any recurrences.
Another part of this process is taking the time to mistake-proof the project and future projects whenever possible. It differs from the various branches of the industry, for instance tool designers will always have to consider a product’s tolerance and better dimensional stability. Designing better tooling goes some way to making the process essentially mistake proof before tooling is even manufactured. Also, in-die sensors not only protect the tooling, but can also detect any discrepancies in designs or often small insects or slugs and will then completely halt the designing process, again eliminating the potential for a faulty product.
Metal stampers should have processes in place that allow them to learn from mistakes and apply the lessons learned to like processes. One helpful tool is to maintain a searchable database of problems and solutions accessible to employees all along the production line. Not only does a solid and consistent IT system help the metal stamper achieve quality performance, but it also enables a customer to conduct quality checks more easily and quickly. For example, the metal stamper should be able to instantly retrieve such data as manufacturing records, inspection history, and shipping date by part number when required.