Personnel responsible for Quality stopping production and TS 16949 Clause 5.5.1.1

D

Dave Johnson

#1
Hello All
We are having an argument here about the meaning of 5.5.1.1, specifically about the sentance "Personnel responsible for quality SHALL have the authority to stop production to solve quality problems".

A few nights ago, we had a problem on one of our assembly lines. This is a fully automated line, with 4 operators on hand to correct problems (machine jam-ups, making sure the component feeders are full, etc.) The operator packing the finished product noticed that one component was being mis-assembled, making the product unusable to the customer. This was a very obvious defect, and she rejected these parts. She notified maintenance and the supervisor, who immdiately began working on the machine.

Total for the night was approximately 1 in 7 parts had this condition. (The parts had to be scrapped)

The next morning, our QA Mgr wondered why the line wasn't stopped, as per 5.5.1.1. Our Plant Mgr said that if we had to stop production evert time something like this happened, we wouldn't be able to build anything.

Does this requirement in TS mean to shut down when problems occur, or mearly that authority is given to shut down? If itr means that we must shut down, were do you draw the line (how many bad parts are permitted)? Should the line be decided and documented? :frust:

Thanks in advance
daj
 
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S

SteelWoman

#2
IMHO, it means you must grant your production folks the authority to stop production IF NECESSARY to correct the quality problem. In high volume atmospheres like yours (and ours) it's not usually practical AND there are huge ramifications for actually shutting a line down to fix a problem that was noticed. You apparently did what we (and I'm sure others) do, which is fix the problem while production continues. I can't imagine the intent here is for the entire line to STOP EVERYTHING YOU'RE DOING because a problem is noted... if we do that here, pretty soon our productivity numbers go down, our delivery performance is effected - it's a domino thing, obviously.

It's important that your folks have the authority to stop the line if that is what is necessary to correct the problem (sometimes it IS), but also have the authority to say, "Whoa, there's a problem here" and the knowledge to know who to call/what to do to get it fixed.
 
#3
I agree with Steelwoman. The specification requires that "authority" be granted to stop production, however, this authority must be used wisely.
 
#4
The question is who is referred to in: "Personnel responsible for product quality..."? Does this mean assembly personnel? Does this mean the Quality Department? Does this mean management? Different organizations may want to define this in different manners. I know of some companies that the "line" workers would abuse this to the point little would be produced. I know of others where management would allow anything to go through. Afterall, it costs a lot less to rework a product rather than stop the line for an isolated incident.
So where do you draw the line? In your scenario, Dave, I would have thought the line would have been stopped because of the high percentage of failures. Others might have said until it gets to 20 or 25% keep it running. A lot of this is in the eye of the beholder.
 
D

Dave Johnson

#5
Thanks to all of you!! :bigwave:

I tend to agree with SteelWoman due to our production schedules and shear common sense, though, db, you raise a good point.

The problem here is that we SAY "everyone is responsible for product quality", but the culture on the night shift is different. They have no-one to ask questions (manufacturing/design engineers, other authority, etc have all gone home, and cant be reached at 1:00 AM). If they did stop production, they better have had a very good reason.. They think if they stop, they would be fired.

I was once the quality inspector here on nights, and I once stopped production for such a problem. I caught it good!!!!

I suppose their is a deeper problem here, getting top management to walk the talk.

Thanks again
daj
 
B

ben sortin

#6
The personnel responsible for quality must be empowered to stop production to solve problems. If everything that is produced is defective than the question can be asked.
 
B

Bill Ryan - 2007

#7
Steel's response is right on in my eyes. Our process (die casting) is almost totally dependant on thermal dynamics - meaning the machine must run to produce a "quality" part. Yes our operators have the power to stop a machine, but they also know they had better check with the production supervisor before they do so. With all the multi-cavity tools we have, it may be a lesser cost to keep running with one cavity producing NC product (and scrapping or reworking that cavity) than to shut down, pull the die, and fix that cavity at that time.

Our die cast machine operators are very well trained and are very hesitant to shut down. They would rather keep running (if they're not sure) and put NCM tags on all suspect product. Have they ever made the "wrong" decision? SURE!!! But they have never been "beaten up" for making a decision that they can rationalize.

Just my take :bigwave:

Bill
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Empowering quality

Bill Ryan said:
Steel's response is right on in my eyes. Our process (die casting) is almost totally dependant on thermal dynamics - meaning the machine must run to produce a "quality" part. Yes our operators have the power to stop a machine, but they also know they had better check with the production supervisor before they do so. With all the multi-cavity tools we have, it may be a lesser cost to keep running with one cavity producing NC product (and scrapping or reworking that cavity) than to shut down, pull the die, and fix that cavity at that time.

Our die cast machine operators are very well trained and are very hesitant to shut down. They would rather keep running (if they're not sure) and put NCM tags on all suspect product. Have they ever made the "wrong" decision? SURE!!! But they have never been "beaten up" for making a decision that they can rationalize.

Just my take :bigwave:

Bill
When I was QM and de facto COO of a high tech contract machining facility, we gave EVERYONE in the organization power to stop a process if, in their opinion, it involved life, health, safety, or quality.

We also empowered them to THINK. If they had the least doubt or were unable to physically stop the process, we had a mechanism for bucking the decision and task to someone else in the organization. If they had the skill or ability to correct a situation, they had the power to do it. If for some reason, they were unable to stop a process (we ran 24/7, lights out on many machines for at least one shift a day, and no one might be present with the knowledge to safely stop a machine - just killing electricity was reserved only for life/safety issues, since tooling worth thousands could inadvertently be destroyed - usually worth far more than scrap which might be produced), they would put a flag on the production so it would undergo special scrutiny before being released to the next stage in the chain.

No one was EVER scolded or punished for a false alarm. We had several false alarms a year, but we also never knowingly produced scrap or left a dangerous situation for someone to be harmed.
 
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D

Dave Johnson

#9
Hello
Just a clarification.
I didn't want to imply that our employees WOULD be fired or scolded, just that they THINK so. We have tried to dissuade them of this notion, but we're not having much luck so far. The bad old days of catching it are over, due to the retirement of the previous boss. (But bad memories linger)

These people on nights have worked here for a minimum of 10 years and are VERY competant.

Just wanted to defend my organization. :truce:

daj
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Dave Johnson said:
Hello
Just a clarification.
I didn't want to imply that our employees WOULD be fired or scolded, just that they THINK so. We have tried to dissuade them of this notion, but we're not having much luck so far. The bad old days of catching it are over, due to the retirement of the previous boss. (But bad memories linger)
These people on nights have worked here for a minimum of 10 years and are VERYcompetant. Just wanted to defend my organization. :truce:
daj
Great! Make a big deal of this fact. Call meetings of small groups (departments, shifts, whatever works) and say, "John Doe is gone. We really do empower you to stop a process. If you are wrong, we'll all learn from the error, but no one will be punished for honest effort."
 
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