Determining what is good and what is bad can be subjective - when is it a quality issue?

embedded

Involved In Discussions
#1
We have a customer that is sending back product at a high rate of return (10%) reporting problems such that screws won't screw in. After looking at a couple RMAs as well as stock, mechanical engineering has determine there is no problem. More specifically these tapped holes are pretty small (4-40), and in inspecting stock the feedback was 5-6% of units in stock (different distribution but in the right ballpark as rate of return) won't screw in the first time, you hit a stopping point but after backing the screw out and trying again on the second or third attempt the screw goes in without issue. This seems odd to me and I can understand why the customer is sending back product, but I'm also not knowledgeable in this area. I've registered the customer complaint as an issue in our system and once we hear back from the customer we will close the issue out. Although, the explanation doesn't sound right to me I don't think there is anything further for me (quality manager) to do as both engineering management as well as sales manager (same person) is in agreement there is no issue. Is my thinking correct - close it out and move on?
 
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Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
We have a customer that is sending back product at a high rate of return (10%) reporting problems such that screws won't screw in. After looking at a couple RMAs as well as stock, mechanical engineering has determine there is no problem. More specifically these tapped holes are pretty small (4-40), and in inspecting stock the feedback was 5-6% of units in stock (different distribution but in the right ballpark as rate of return) won't screw in the first time, you hit a stopping point but after backing the screw out and trying again on the second or third attempt the screw goes in without issue. This seems odd to me and I can understand why the customer is sending back product, but I'm also not knowledgeable in this area. I've registered the customer complaint as an issue in our system and once we hear back from the customer we will close the issue out. Although, the explanation doesn't sound right to me I don't think there is anything further for me (quality manager) to do as both engineering management as well as sales manager (same person) is in agreement there is no issue. Is my thinking correct - close it out and move on?
The screw should screw in the first time. If you don't identify the cause, you will continue to have a high rate of return.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#3
If your customer is willing to try screwing each one a few times, then issue resolved. However, it really wasn't fixed so your company may want to dig a bit further.
 
#4
you hit a stopping point but after backing the screw out and trying again on the second or third attempt the screw goes in without issue.
Into what? A calibrated gauge? If you can't trust the form of the threaded hole you're attempting to put the screw into, well, you're screwed.... I'd critically review your inspection of these screws FIRST.
 

Miner

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Admin
#5
Try to find out how the customer is performing the task. The following is a real life case I had to deal with. My company made an engine mount for the bottom front of a Mazda 626 engine. The mount had two M12 studs with a zero chamfer. While it was easy to hold the part in one hand and thread the mating nut onto the stud, it was incredibly difficult to reach under the front bumper and up to the engine and do so without being able to see the stud. We had to redesign the stud to include a dog point chamfer. This solved the customers real problem, which was not really a threading issue, but was cross threading.
 

Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
If your customer is willing to try screwing each one a few times, then issue resolved. However, it really wasn't fixed so your company may want to dig a bit further.
If I'm the customer, I wouldn't agree to that. The supplier can chase the holes before shipment.
 

embedded

Involved In Discussions
#7
Thanks, you guys seem to have the same perspective I do(if a screw doesn't go in on the first attempt, try it a couple more times, that's normal). I'm going to wait to see if the customer pushes back, as I've been questioning our engineering team quite a bit on this, to the point that engineering is getting frustrated with me.
 

Al Rosen

Holed-up in a Hotel in South Florida
Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
Thanks, you guys seem to have the same perspective I do(if a screw doesn't go in on the first attempt, try it a couple more times, that's normal).
I think you may have missed the point. It's not normal. Either your customer or you have an issue that should be investigated.
 

qualprod

Trusted Information Resource
#9
We have a customer that is sending back product at a high rate of return (10%) reporting problems such that screws won't screw in. After looking at a couple RMAs as well as stock, mechanical engineering has determine there is no problem. More specifically these tapped holes are pretty small (4-40), and in inspecting stock the feedback was 5-6% of units in stock (different distribution but in the right ballpark as rate of return) won't screw in the first time, you hit a stopping point but after backing the screw out and trying again on the second or third attempt the screw goes in without issue. This seems odd to me and I can understand why the customer is sending back product, but I'm also not knowledgeable in this area. I've registered the customer complaint as an issue in our system and once we hear back from the customer we will close the issue out. Although, the explanation doesn't sound right to me I don't think there is anything further for me (quality manager) to do as both engineering management as well as sales manager (same person) is in agreement there is no issue. Is my thinking correct - close it out and move on?
Go un deep, which is the agreement between sales and customer? Is there an aql? Is there an allowable percentage of bad product?
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Trusted Information Resource
#10
When it comes to Quality, Performance, Compliance with Customer Requirements....it must be in writing and agreed to usually by Release Engineer, SQ, Purch and in some cases all the above...in a very crude form Quality is compliance or adherence to written and agreed to paramters, details, drawings...etc etc.,
 
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