I would like to thank all of you for your input. However, I will address each of you individually, here in this forum.
Roger, we do design our equipment here. In fact, we typically take the equipment from the development stage (pre-design) all the way through to servicing; we are fully capable. According to Tom, I need to do both, is this correct? I would think that it is, with one exception (see next paragraph).
Tom, your company manufactures repetative product, correct? You can make changes to the design and processes and see improvements in the suceeding products, right? Even though we do make some standard products, the majority of our machinery and vast majority of revenue comes from custom machinery. Almost every machine we design, build, install, and service is different. Some machines are similar, but there are practically no two machines of ours that our exactly the same. Even if built under the same purchase order and at the same time, "duplicate" machines are different. The first machine goes through more rework and debug so the second machine benefits from it. Therefore, the second machine will be different from the first one, possibly even some details in the design. We do not do enough repeat business of the exact same machine for FMEAs to be truly useful as they were intended. The only benefit I can see for us to do FMEAs, is to practice so we can show that we can do one. All we will be doing is going through the motions, and not gaining any real significant return on the investment (meaning time spent on FMEAs). Tom, if I am wrong about your process, please let me know how you are dealing with this issue.
Sean, I just had one of my internal auditors, who happens to be an engineer, take a FMEA
class last Friday (that was provided by Plexus) and he was never told about any supplement guidelines for Machinery FMEA. I would love to have a copy, thanks. My question to you is, has this guideline been accepted by the big three and the AIAG? Where did you get it from? I'm assuming, if we say we comply to the guideline, then I will have to have a good, controlled copy, just like the 7-pack from the AIAG.
Mark, thank you for establishing this wonderful forum so people like me can try and get up-to-speed on these quality issues. I am currently not a member of ASQ, even though I work on the north side of Milwaukee, WI (Glendale actually), is becoming a member difficult? What are some of the benefits? Can I get a copy of the ASQ newsletter, or whatever it is, without being a member?
Thank you again to everyone!
[This message has been edited by Dan De Yarman (edited 15 December 1999).]