How do you define Preventive Action Items in the Manufacturing Sector?



I don't know if I am asking this question properly, but here goes, how do you define a preventive action item, especially in the manufacturing sector? Any examples would be appreciated.

Al Dyer

Originally posted by dbulak:
I don't know if I am asking this question properly, but here goes, how do you define a preventive action item, especially in the manufacturing sector? Any examples would be appreciated.

Any action taken (and documented) to prevent a cause.



A component in area "A' was contaminated. Cleaned it. (corrective action). Let's look at areas "B" and "C" for possible contributors to the contamination problem observed in area "A". (preventive action)

Joanne Walker

A preventive action is an action put in place to prevent a non-compliance occurring in the first place.

Al Dyer

FMEA is initiated to try to prevent a non-compliance, preventive action is taken to lessen the possibility of a nonconformance that has occurred, or not identified during FMEA.

Very general but there is a difference.



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We define the following four ares as our preventative action program:

1) Weekly sales call reports
2) Preventive maintenance on equipment
3) Enginnering change order system
4) Employee suggestion box

Carol X.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Preventive Action – action taken to eliminate, or reduce, the risk of a cause that if left untreated, may contribute to a nonconformance.

Cause and Effect Diagram – Man (Woman), Material, Machine (equipment), & Method

What is done in any (all) of these areas to prevent a negative effect?

Possible causes for nonconformance
Man – lack of training, insufficient education, poor physical & mental well-being, unmotivated or demotivated with the job
Material – Wrong material selection for application (design), environmental/thermal degradation, material obsolescence, damaged in handling or processing, not readily available
Machine – wrong machine (fixture/equipment) for the job, machine wear & tear, poor/long setups, cumbersome, at max capacity and can’t meet demand
Method – wrong method applied, no standardized method exists, wrong theory, too complex, not enough planning, physically difficult

FMEAs and Preventive Maintenance are classic examples of these as noted earlier. FMEAs are excellent in addressing all the traditional M’s.

Possible Preventive actions
Man – programs for physical and mental health. Eye programs for associates so those that need glasses to do their work get them! Environmental controls for comfortable working conditions, ergonomically design workstations, educational assistance and job training.

Material – Drawing specifications and design requirements with respect to material selection (how is the product used and what is the environment it subject to?). For example, virgin material versus regrind, plating and finishing, color.

Machine – proximity switches, photo or fluidic sensors and switches, safety guards & switches to protect people or will not cycle machine if not in place, fixtures to facilitate proper manufacturing or assembly, TPM

Method – Quality Culture and Program inclusive of, for example: Calibration, Document Control, Contract Review, Supplier Evaluation, Internal Auditing, Product Identification, Inspection & Test Status, Design Control (QFD, verification & validation, design review, DFM & DFA), Process Control (preventive maintenance, control planning, poka yoke, error proofing), Management Review, TPM.

Dan Larsen

Action taken to improve on trend indicators is generally considered preventive. Consider a pareto analysis that defines the leading cause of rejects; the action taken to address the leading cause would be considered preventive.

Dan Larsen


I'm thinking in terms of the rejects on a more global scale. My experience is with process based industries.

A large number of rejects from a particular customer for a particular part may define a "corrective" action ...there may have been an issue in translating a specific requirement to the specific process.

A large number of rejects for a number of customers for a variety of parts (but all the same process) could define a preventive action...there may be systemic issue with the process as it is defined internally.

Make a bit more sense?
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