Continuous Improvement - How to achieve - What tools/methods

M

M Greenaway

#1
To parallel another thread in this section where people proudly show off there documentation that has passed ISO9001 certification, I wonder if those that have achived this certification could also proudly boast their record of continuous improvement and perhaps give us some insight into how this was achieved, and what tools/methods were used.

Sure we need documentation, but what about the end result - are we improving with ISO9001:2000 ??
 
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CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
what we do

I have to look at things this way...that continous improvement and preventative action are basically the same animal.

We have 2 methods we use on a regular basis.....

ECO system - any shop floor person can issue a request to change a process to a more efficient method.

Employee Suggestion Box - We have one that really works, in other words, management actually reads them and act on them.

Do we set goals and measure anything....not yet, but I'm sure we will.

Regards,
CarolX
 
A

Aaron Lupo

#3
Re: Re: what we do

Jim Wade said:

Won't your registrar require you to do that before they issue you with a 9001 certificate, Carol?

rgds Jim
Jim you took the words right out of my mouth.
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#4
but of course

Sure they will, but we aren't going for the upgrade until the end of the year.



Martin's question was -

what tools/methods were used.

In my opinion, we are halfway there - we've got the methods in place - just need to tweak it a bit.

CarolX
 
Last edited:
M

M Greenaway

#5
I was thinking more along the lines that ISO9001 requires us to measure and monitor processes against our defined quality objectives, and to take corrective action where we dont meet the target, or improvement action to further improve performance.

Although suggestion schemes are an element of potential improvement I was thinking more along the lines of planned improvement from some kind of formal analysis.
 
N

NYHawkeye - 2005

#6
In our organization we have been holding a structured set of performance reviews in a number of different areas for many years.

As we made the transition from the 1994 standard to the 2000 standard we more formally established objectives for the total organization and each process, identified the specific meeting where the objectives will be reviewed, ensured that the objectives review is on the agenda, and made sure that there are minutes and action items published for each meeting. Action items can then be tracked in our CAPA system if necessary.

We have one of these reviews for each of our major processes and one with senior management that looks at the overall QMS. The frequency of the reviews ranges from monthly to quarterly.

Audits of this part of the QMS are pretty straight forward -

1. Are the reviews being held?

2. Were the objectives reviewed?

3. If objectives are not being met are actions being established?

4. If objectives are being met are actions being established for continual improvement?

This works well for us because the meetings were already being held and are viewed as important by the organization and we simply integrated them into the QMS. Our external auditor seems very satisfied with this approach.
 
C

Chris May

#7
Martin,

We run cell manufacturing for electronic assemblies for PCB level products. (Circuit boards with components on).

Each cell makes a different product and within each cell is an ATE system. (Automatic Test Equipment).

Each unit is placed on the ATE and receives a verification check, (are all the bits in the right place and right value), once it has passed this, it is functionally tested, (powered up and inputs applied and outputs measured).

Now, when a unit fails, the screen shows a big "FAIL" on it and a printed ticket is issued which is attached to the unit.

This is just a bit of background to start.

Before I joined the company, all of these fails were collected daily and then delivered to the "Repair Area".
No one looked at the tickets in any great detail and it became a way of life.

What I have done over the past six months is to download the previous days failures each morning, from each ATE.

Using excel, I then plotted failure mode by date & quantity and the paretod this to find what the top (say) 10 failure modes were.

Sure enough patterns were emerging. With a few design changes the top 4 were eliminated quite quickly.

Once the data had been acquired, there were obvious popular causes for certain failure modes.

These have been anotated onto a full colour laminated layout and secured in each cell.
The operators can now quickly fix 95% of the faults themselves.

Due to the nature of the overall "process", we had set a target of 96% pass rate....we are now there in 3 out of 5 cells with the operators reapairing there own units using the data that is collected daily by myself and updated.

Problems can be seen "coming in on the radar", and eliminated before disaster strikes.

This involved a lot of data gathering, setup and configuring initially, but now the monitoring takes me about 20 minutes a day for all 3 cells.

As for the Repair Area, well....the dept has been scrapped and the guys are doing more interesting cost effective work.

Due to standard costs, any unit not working after 10 mins rework is binned.

Hope I havent rambled too much Martin and did cover some part of your question anyway.

Regards,

Chris
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#8
a little more info

M Greenaway said:

Although suggestion schemes are an element of potential improvement I was thinking more along the lines of planned improvement from some kind of formal analysis.
Martin,

Something that doens't occur very often is a "suggestion scheme" that works. Ours does and it works very well. Employees use it for all sorts of issues, from identifying recurring issues to complaining about the conditions of the bathroom.

Why should it matter where the idea comes from? If there is an area that needs to be improved, why must it come from the top?

For example -
The tool room attendant discovers that the tooling manufacture has designed a new tool that will eliminate the need for extensive adjustments at set-up. He throws a suggestion in the box. Upper management reviews the idea, discovers that the new tools will save a significant amount set-up time (money).

So why can't 5.1.c be addressed in this way…..

Quality Objective for 2003
Spend $2000 in new tooling to reduce set-up time.

Documented Evidence
Purchase orders showing tooling purchases.

I am just tossing out ideas here.

Any thoughts?

CarolX
 
C

CINDY

#9
WE HAVE EMPLOYEE INCENTIVES FOR IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES, PROCESS MONITORING TO DETECT NONCONFORMANCES, PREVENTIVE ACTIONS, CORRECTIVE ACTIONS, CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS AND WE ALSO HAVE IMPROVEMENTS FROM CORRECTIVE ACTIONS AND SO ON.

LOOK AT THE ENTIRE PROCESS AND DETERMINE WHERE IMPROVEMENT CAN COME FROM. MEASURE YOUR PROCESSES.

AFTER A PROCESS CAPABILITY STUDY, WE FOUND THAT WE COULD EASILY ELIMINATE TWO OPERATORS BY COMBINING TWO OPERATIONS INTO ONE. BY COMBINING THIS OPERATION WE ADDED LESS THAN THREE SECONDS ON THE MACHINE TIME, SAVED LABOR, AND WAS ABLE TO UTILIZE THE OTHER MACHINE FOR ANOTHER PROJECT. THIS WAS ALL ACCOMPLISHED BY PURCHASING A CUTTER WITH BETTER CAPABILITIES. WE THEN LOOKED AT SIMILAR PROCESS TO SEE IF FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS COULD BE MADE. DOCUMENT THE PROCESS.

SOME IMPROVEMENTS MAY NOT ADD UP TO MUCH OR MAY NOT BE FEASIBLE, DOCUMENT IT ALL. IT CAN ALL BE USED FOR TRENDS, WHICH BY THE WAY, CAN ALSO LEAD TO IMPROVEMENTS.
 
C

CINDY

#10
I agree Jim.

Improvement may come from and operator but management has to approve and monitor the improvement. It should be a team approach.

All of our employee suggestions for improvement are reviewed by management. Some are accepted and some are not. We reward improvement proposal that are accepted, it shows the employee that we appreciate them.
 
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