Hi all, and let me say thanks for your replies.
My situation took a very abrupt turn this morning, so I'll try to fill in the blanks and yet remain vague enough to not incriminate anyone.
In 1976 I completed a 4 year apprenticeship in the UK. I am an old dog and there isn't much I haven't seen or heard.(not bragging)
Currently I am involved with a small job shop that machines mechanical components. Taguchi talks about 'loss to society' and I follow that.
Our resident ISO expert departed and left a hole that was filled by a person whose title would suggest that 'production' was their primary responsibility.
This 'production' role had the power to restructure the QC department and essentially the day to day job of running said QC department was incrementally taken away from me.
It may appear that age discrimination is a term I should use in this communication but we'll just leave it at that for now.
CNC machining centers can make bad parts and these parts can find their way to final inspection. SOP dictates that you call your customer and let them know there will be a delay because of unseen circumstances. And that delay is approximately equal to the amount of time it took to make the parts in the first place. That's the way you have to do it. It doesn't matter if your customer is a new customer who is evaluating your delivery performance. If you make bad parts you have to make them again. Period.
These are general guidelines, if you will. There are obviously exceptions. If you are doing prototype work it's possible you could call your customer and determine that they will accept bad parts for non production use.
This can be taken care of with a phone call or an email. I consider it good practice to provide a copy of the email or reference the phone number of the specific individual who determined that bad parts were acceptable. It's also a good idea to make a note on the traveler at the final inspection operation that says something along the lines of ' Flatness OK per Jane Doe at Flatparts Incorporated'.
Let's get back to bad parts. Top management team reactions can vary at the news of having to do a rerun. Some will react stoically, "we made a mistake guys, now we have to correct it". I like these kinds of people.
Some will react violently...screaming obscenities while almost putting their foot through the plate glass doors. I try to stay away from these kinds of people.
Imagine a situation, and this is purely hypothetical, not meant to describe a living person or a true event. In this hypothetical example a QC representative finds a defect on every single part of a lot that is ready to ship. This employee informs several other relevant employees of the problem then puts the part on hold, and goes for lunch. Maybe he or she doesn't like scenes either.
When this person returns from lunch they are told that the parts are 'OK' and they are being shipped.
Some days later these hypothetical parts are returned. They have been rejected by the customer.
(sorry guys, I have to eat now but I will continue)