Is this misuse of the MRB process?

FloridaST

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hello all, somewhat quick MRB question where I could use some objective opinions.

The situation: We purchase components from distributors such as Digi-Key or Mouser which are then placed on circuit boards using a SMT process. These are purchased with strict guidelines to only purchase parts in certain packaging (tape and reel, tray, etc.) or they may either require additional processing to be utilized by the SMT machines.

Because of supply chain issues that many of us are all going through, purchasing is buying what they can and receiving inspection is placing all the parts in MRB for evaluation. Mind you, these are not necessarily non-conforming items, they are purchased and received as purchased so, to me, they are conforming assuming they pass inspection. The caveat is, they may not be useable at the specific process without additional attention. This should be identified prior to ordering and arrangements made to make them process capable.

Because of this, a decision was made to route all material purchased for a specific customer only to MRB. We don't do this for every part purchased, just one customer for now but it's a lot of parts (hundreds).

I treat MRB as a place to discuss and disposition non-conforming items only. I feel a temporary engineering location (to move parts to) to determine if parts are usable or not is a better way to go. I'm wary of getting into the MRB trap where all suspect items end up in MRB. I create documents for every MRB item for traceability that require sign-off. It's not a task that I take lightly and it can be very time consuming. I only have a very small staff in the quality department.

What would you do?
 
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Tagin

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#2
Mind you, these are not necessarily non-conforming items...The caveat is, they may not be useable at the specific process without additional attention. This should be identified prior to ordering and arrangements made to make them process capable.
Because of this, a decision was made to route all material purchased for a specific customer only to MRB. We don't do this for every part purchased, just one customer for now but it's a lot of parts (hundreds).

I treat MRB as a place to discuss and disposition non-conforming items only. I feel a temporary engineering location (to move parts to) to determine if parts are usable or not is a better way to go. I'm wary of getting into the MRB trap where all suspect items end up in MRB.
I agree that you ought to make a distinction between nonconforming parts and parts that have not yet been fully qualified for this one customer. To me, the parts that have not yet been fully qualified have not yet completed incoming inspection, and should be segregated as such.

it seems the failure (or 'missed opportunity') here is that the incoming inspection process is not accommodating enough to provide sufficient segregation, inspection routing, and inspection resources to perform what needs to be done for this customer. Therefore, as the company is rightly erring on the side of caution, it is assuming all these parts are N/C until proven otherwise, and so following the N/C process. This is a downstream bandaid consequence of an inadequate upstream process.

Just as purchasing is having to think agilely and creatively about sourcing in these difficult time, receiving/incoming inspection needs to think agilely and creatively about handling this unique product situation.
 
Last edited:

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#3
In once place I worked we had an inventory "bucket" called "QC Hold" that was just for this sort of thing. The items were not released for stock or production, and they weren't "rejected," but they were held until disposition by the appropriate authority.
 

FloridaST

Involved In Discussions
#5
In once place I worked we had an inventory "bucket" called "QC Hold" that was just for this sort of thing. The items were not released for stock or production, and they weren't "rejected," but they were held until disposition by the appropriate authority.
Jim, do you recall how you moved these parts into the QC Hold location? We need to show transactions in our ERP system so we can track where things are. Pretty much this is what I envision us doing, moving parts from receiving to a holding location until we can disposition it. I don't mind using MRB if it's truly non-conforming.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#6
Jim, do you recall how you moved these parts into the QC Hold location? We need to show transactions in our ERP system so we can track where things are. Pretty much this is what I envision us doing, moving parts from receiving to a holding location until we can disposition it. I don't mind using MRB if it's truly non-conforming.
The system bucket was created in the MRP system (before ERP became the thing), and a physical location was created in the receiving inspection area. We did this rather than just rejecting the parts so that the rejection wouldn't count against the supplier. Most of the stuff that caused the problems was catalog items that were poorly documented so the receiving inspectors couldn't accept them.
 

Evelyn7E

Starting to get Involved
#7
Hello all, somewhat quick MRB question where I could use some objective opinions.

The situation: We purchase components from distributors such as Digi-Key or Mouser which are then placed on circuit boards using a SMT process. These are purchased with strict guidelines to only purchase parts in certain packaging (tape and reel, tray, etc.) or they may either require additional processing to be utilized by the SMT machines.

Because of supply chain issues that many of us are all going through, purchasing is buying what they can and receiving inspection is placing all the parts in MRB for evaluation. Mind you, these are not necessarily non-conforming items, they are purchased and received as purchased so, to me, they are conforming assuming they pass inspection. The caveat is, they may not be useable at the specific process without additional attention. This should be identified prior to ordering and arrangements made to make them process capable.

Because of this, a decision was made to route all material purchased for a specific customer only to MRB. We don't do this for every part purchased, just one customer for now but it's a lot of parts (hundreds).

I treat MRB as a place to discuss and disposition non-conforming items only. I feel a temporary engineering location (to move parts to) to determine if parts are usable or not is a better way to go. I'm wary of getting into the MRB trap where all suspect items end up in MRB. I create documents for every MRB item for traceability that require sign-off. It's not a task that I take lightly and it can be very time consuming. I only have a very small staff in the quality department.

What would you do?
FloridaST I understand your situation very well, Your department setup such as head count is not plan sudden abnormality due to chip shortage supply in the market, You will need justify the amount of work that had increase in your dept to the management. MRB is suppose to be place to dispose non conforming parts and the procurement need to discuss on this special process which need to have a different to handle.
 
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