Quality: Breath Of Business!

S. Prabha Shankar, VP ­ Manufacturing Engineering, Creative Synergies IndiaWith a dynamic career spanning over 26 years, Prabha has catered to various programs of Automotive Body Line engineering with Fixture designs (BIW), providing turnkey solutions for Body shops, Press Tool Design, Mold Designs and more.

Focus on Design Engineering Services
Design and Engineering functions have become the node of Innovations & Technological solutions for the today's production needs. They are the brain for the manufacturing industries. However all the Engineering needs are not fulfilled by the lean team in the companies and thus the Engineering is outsourced to the Services companies. The reason for Outsourcing could be the technology/tool requirements of the sheer volume to time line requirements.

Invariably the Services industry becomes the ex-tended Engineering departments of the manufacturing industry. The expectations of outcome are also similar to that of an In-House engineering department. Quality Outputs play the vital role which will reduce the efforts of the buyers, who expect the engineering outputs from the services company to be used directly for production without a re-check.

Quality in Design Engineering Services
Quality is today an integral part of the Customer Requirements. Every delivery made to the customer, be it be a 3D concept, 2D drawing or a process document, is being looked for the higher quality levels. Quality with respect to Standards must be applied from start to end.

A quality deficiency that occurs in the beginning of the process would be carried through the final delivery. Though quality needs to be in every aspect of the business, it needs to be identified, measured, mitigated and monitored through every execution process. Quality goes in hand with the Delivery Lead time. Maintaining quality in the given timeline is the challenge.

Quality builds the Brand, and is the key contributor for a company's growth.

Classification of Quality Issues
Quality outputs for a design or a drawing can be classified in the following ways

Aesthetic: The way the deliverables are presented. The first feeling of quality comes through the way the document is presented. A Neat Model/Drawing already represent the quality of the drawing.

Accuracy: The precision in which the deliveries are given. This encompasses completeness of the work, and the control of deviations as required by the work.

Assurance: Compliance to all the standard requirements and manufacturing feasibilities. The quality of the deliverables should always fulfil the standards and specifications given for a particular program. For example, File Naming, Folder Structures, and many others.

Quality Issue - Impacts
For the Supplier the Impact of Quality Issues are Re-work/Rejection, Waste of Time ­ Impacts on delivery dates, Cost implications ­ Efforts overshoots reduces margins, Opportunity Costs ­ Loss of additional revenues, Brand impact ­ Loss of repeat business, Penalties.

For the Customers the impact of Quality Issues are Frustration on inadequate details and delays, Doubt on the quality ­ Increased in-house checks, Rework drawings internally as there is no confidence, Cost implications, Manufacturing errors, higher rework costs, Delays in delivery to end customer, Penalties &
Non-approval of work for Billing.

Quality Improvement Plans
Quality Culture ­ Spread across the needs of quality and the impact of quality over the business requirements. Quality given importance at every stage of Business.

Build Awareness of Standards /Requirements, try to use the same team working on a particular customer standards for similar projects

Knowledge enhancement ­ Training
Improvement in Engineering Basics ­ It is found major mistakes are seen in the basic levels, like part manufacturing process, Design rules and requirements.

Collect Lessons learnt and apply the learning in all future work.

Exposure to Practical Shop floor activities/Understanding Manufacturing, Sending engineers to the Onsite/Manufacturing facilities to see and understand the basic manufacturing issues, which will help to avoid quality issues during execution.

Reduced dependency: With the right knowledge on the job, depending on customer to give the solutions must be avoided.

Engineers to Follow: Study all Standards and Specification of the project, completely study and understand the process/ manufacturing requirements.

Collect all references, try to print all relevant standards/references for ready reckoning. If in doubt ­ Ask and clarify first with internal team and managers, If solution not found internally, ask customer and clarify.

Get the self-satisfaction on the quality delivered. Self QC to be done meticulously following the checklist.

Managers to Follow: Manpower deployment plays a key role in the quality of the Outputs. To err is human, but to err in work is not acceptable. Adequate Man-power to be planned and deployed to carryover all functions of the work process.

Manpower experience levels to match the requirement of the customers. Customer expects the work is done by experts. Shortage in Man-power leads to Effort deficiency, which in turn adds pressure to the deployed manpower to deliver files in given time.

All Leads must know the complete information of the project standards and requirements. Additional efforts must be put to acquire knowledge on specifications and standards. This must be propagated to the engineers working on the project.

Last minute work, from an engineer, normally goes unchecked in the process, and hence pose a danger in quality levels. Allocation sheets & Check lists to be reviewed along with engineers during start and end of work.

Adequate Checkers for the team to be planned, and involving the checkers from the beginning of the project, so that they have all the information about the project and filter the errors. Must not depend on the checkers for all outputs.

Communicate all information to Team and Checkers by email, and also conduct team meetings to ex-plain/discuss the requirements.

Checkers to Follow
• Collect all information on the Project. Create a Repository of references and standards specific to quality of deliverables.
• Get involved in the project from the beginning. Gather Critical delivery requirements.
• Create Checklists at different levels as described in further slides
• Brainstorm the checklist requirements with Project managers, pub-lish to customer and get the approval.
• Read all Specifications of Project, ensure all working engineers follow them.
• Checking need to be done 100% for all levels. No deviations accepted during checking. Suggest modifications in the drawings/ feedback.
• Ambiguous points need to be clarified or mentioned in the delivery notes.
• Strictly follow the CAPA Analysis. Support QMS to identify & mitigate the errors.
• Educate/Train Engineers for the errors and requirements.

Quality Improvement ­ Action Plan ­ QMS/CAPA
All Quality Check to be measured and Analysed for the severance and areas in which the errors re-occur, also QMS plays an important role in fixing the Quality metrics. The following are the methods in QMS to-wards Quality.
• Capturing the Error counts
• Categorise the Errors
• Analyse the Impacts
• Tabulate the Error Categories mapping the engineers work on it.
• Capture Corrective Action Plans for the error category from each engineer, Team leader, Checker & PM.
• Capture the Preventive Action Plans for avoiding future issues
• Larger Error categories need re-training and aligning the engineers to the needs of the customer and minimise the error counts.
• CAPA analysis and implementation plays a key role in the continuous improvement of Quality in an organisation.