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The Effect of Heat on Production and Quality

Our facility produces finish-machined powdered metal parts for automotive. As a result, we have a LOT of generated heat in the plant, both from the sintering furnaces (14), and the machining centers (>150).

There is no airconditioning in the plant - lots of fans on the floor, and open skylights in the roof, to keep it from becoming COMPLETELY unbearable, however even with this, there is (I believe) a definite correlation in environmental conditions and productivity/quality. If I can demonstrate this, I -=MAY=- be able to get some $ invested to improve conditions.
what are some of the increased defectives that you are seeing?
If I were looking at the problem from a consultant standpoint, these are the steps I would take and in what order:

  1. Make a chart of defects noted
  2. Any red flags for frequency of a type or category of defect?
  3. Perform a root cause analysis of each category in descending order of frequency
  4. Any defects ascribed to machinery, materials, or inspection instruments affected by ambient heat/humidity?
  5. Any defects ascribed to workers affected by ambient heat/humidity?
  6. Hypothesize Corrective/Preventive Actions with analysis of Cost vs. benefit
  7. Present C/PA list to the folks who sign the checks with your recommendations on first/best dollars spent.
  8. Deploy C/PA with schedule to evaluate effectiveness
  9. Based on evaluation of deployed C/PA, adopt or modify
  10. If modified, repeat steps 8 and 9
Not sure why this information didn't post here last time.

We manufacture powdered metal parts which are used in the automotive industry.

Powdered metal (steel alloy) is pressed and compacted, then sintered, and then precision machined. We have at least 13 furnaces (temperature ~ 1100° F) and > 100 machining centers. As you can imagine, our processes generate a LOT of waste heat.

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