Heavy Manufacturing Supplier QA - Building Units at a Supplier's Facility

pog451

Inactive Registered Visitor
#1
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,

I would appreciate your esteemed ideas on the following.

My company essentially makes large painted, welded metal boxes (up to 15/20m on a side) which are technologically fairly simple but due to their size, number of individual components to be assembled and requirements on welding and surface treatment quality are not easy to build. Due to the global nature of our customers we manufacture almost exclusively at suppliers the world over and ship as locally as possible. This also means that we are frequently faced with building units at suppliers we do not know well or at all. Our production runs are from 1 to 10pcs typically.

At the moment our quality assurance is based on having a project and product specific manufacturing quality plan which states a minimum number of test points that are supposed to be completed and signed off as production prgresses and having these witnessed or reviewed by a combination of local or ex-pat QC staff. We also generally have a local project "expediter" whose role is a combination of project manager/coordinator, process observer and quality guy.

My problem is that this system all too often fails, leaving us at final inspection with products that display significant numbers of NCs, albeit of a fairly minor nature (i.e. paint 50 microns too thin rather than entire unit 50cm too small). Classically either the quality plan has been ignored until the day before the inspection and then been signed off all at once or the supplier has signed off tests and inspections that have not been carried out (well).

I know as well as the rest of you that the way to secure the quality of our products is to optimise the design and the supplier processes to the point where a final inspection becomes unnecessary, but leaving that aside for a moment, has anyone else experienced a Quality plan/expediter/QC model of QA and can suggest some measures to optimise this to ensure that the quality plan is followed more effectively?
 

harry

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
.......................... At the moment our quality assurance is based on having a project and product specific manufacturing quality plan which states a minimum number of test points that are supposed to be completed and signed off as production prgresses and having these witnessed or reviewed by a combination of local or ex-pat QC staff. We also generally have a local project "expediter" whose role is a combination of project manager/coordinator, process observer and quality guy. ..................
Therein lies the problem. A standard quality plan for different areas that are in a different level of technological (& hence quality) thinking and development. You either tweak and tighten your quality and inspection plan for areas that are lower down the technological ladder or increase supervision and control.
 

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