Trying to elimate, or at least severely decrease, our incoming inspections


Debra Woodford

We are trying like everyone else I supose trying to elimate or at least severely decrease our incoming inspections. Several ideas have been bounced around here and I am now comming to "The experts" for how to handle this. I have said that with our new suppliers since they have either sent us a copy of their ISO or QS9000 cert.or filled out our survey and passed our criteria and are added to certified supplier list. That if we get 1.PPAP submission. 2. A certificate of compliance with every shipment I would think we are safe in not doing incoming. However I am getting some flack from internal sources, as well as suppliers that feel that is "over kill".
Please advise.
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Fully vaccinated are you?
If I didn't want any receiving inspection, I'd ask for data from critical characteristics with each shipment. CofC's aren't worth the paper they're written on, IMHO.

B. Maynard

By the way thanks for the reply on Gage Calibration.
We do not get any product supplied to us that requires PPAP. We do supply PPAP's to many companies and some verify our Product and some don't.
Supplier interface which require you to verify thier Quality System is meeting requirements by visiting their facility to verify if they are capable to Ship and Pack. In other words no inspection required except periodic auditing.
If thier Cpk/Ppk on selected dims. are greater then 1.67 you probably wont have any problems. This you can verify againest thier submissions. Ex. Dim 1.550 +/- .005 to thier data is over Cpk/Ppk of 1.67 and parts average 1.5505 then it is very simple to pick out two parts and see if they check from 1.5495/1.551 then you are OK. But if they check 1.553 who is kidding who!!
You need to keep them on thier toes. Tell them you wont inspect parts, but they better be OK. You can always find something bad to report to Customer to keep them at '0' defects. Sent them DMR reports that you will use as is but corrections must be made.

Tom Goetzinger

Agree with Marc that CofC's aren't worth the paper they are printed on. I believe that while CofC's were acceptable under QS9000 - 2nd edition, that has been removed from the 3rd edition.
If you can show evidence that your sub-contractor supplies you with acceptable parts, you should be able to eliminate a significant portion of your incoming inspection. Be sure to put practices into effect that alert the appropriate people as quickly as possible should any defects be identified downsteam in your process.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
CofC are basically worthless, but I will admit that they have some limited positive effect. It does make a supplier put their reputation on the line, but the same could be said of the Quality of product or service they provide.

Inspection is a nonvalue added process that should be done only when it is necessary. A majority of incoming inspection is waste. The problem I see is that many organizations have a difficult time trying to determine alternate means. Inspection is so widely practiced, the thought of not utilizing it in Quality Planning seems foreign to many. Yet, this is only a detection method, way too late in the process. You would be better off utilizing other process control methods, as noted by someone here in an earlier post.

QS suggests a few methods of approving materials/suppliers for use. Consider these in your organization and create a program around these (and others) which will be less inspection dependent.




I agree with Kevin. We can set the system for subcontrator development+subcontractor evaluation and the result could be evaluate for the degree of receiving inspection.
Element requires that we use one or more of the following methods .....
second or third party ..... with records of acceptable quality performance. Subcontractor PPAP

If the subcontractor is registered and submits the PPAP the first time, all subsequent shipments are "dock to Stock" i.e., no incoming inspection.
Late delivery and quality problems will signal re-evaluation.
I have used this method with a previous registrar with no problems.


Fully vaccinated are you?
You're right, Sam. I was mainly thinking of ISO before. QS is: – Incoming Product Quality

The supplier’s incoming quality system shall use one or more of the following methods:

1. Receipt and evaluation of statistical data by the supplier

2. Receiving inspection and/or testing (e.g., sampling based on performance)

3. Second or third party assessments or audits of subcontractor sites, when coupled with records of acceptable quality performance

4. Part evaluation by accredited laboratories


Blueberry Nut
I find (quoted above) confusing because I can't tell what the scope is for that clause - does it apply to ALL received materials, or only those that our control plans require to be inspected?

Also, Section implies that documentation such as CofA's is acceptable, but jut reviewing the CofA would not satisfy unless the "sub-contractor" has had some sort of assessment (ISO/QS?) - am I interpreting this correctly?


Fully vaccinated are you?
Look at everything you receive and ask yourself "What do we check and why? What do we not check and why? For what we do check, what do we check and why?"

The bottom line is any time there is a decision to buy some decisions should be made about what to check. Do you have critical characteristics for the material you're planning to purchase? Maybe it's just cotton cloth to cover a rack that painted parts are transported on. Maybe theres nothing critical identified. Maybe it's just quantity you want to check. Maybe your product requires a part made of hardened steel. Is the hardness a critical characteristic? Do you want the supplier to submit test data? Do you want to institute an in-house check? Do you want to sub out a periodic check to an outside lab to verify your suplliers' data?

What part does the supplier play in your decision? Does the supplier you plan to buy from already supply similar parts to you? In the same quantities and to the same precision? What if the supplier normally supplies you with plastic parts but also sells several metal parts - you're satisfied with the plastic parts you currently buy but have never bought metal parts from that supplier. Can you assume their metal processes are as capable (etc., etc.) as their plastic processes? They're approved Ship-to-Stock on the plastic parts you purchase from them, but what about the new metal parts you plan to purchase? Are you going to pre-approve them as Ship-to-Stock based upon their current record with plastic parts or are you going to establish a separate rating (and acceptance criteria, etc.) for the metal part?

The role of a supplier asseessment is variable. A mailed or e-mailed survey to be completed by the supplier? A visit to the supplier - such as a process or systems audit?

You have to be ready to explain the process you go through, with consideration the the factors noted above and others, to determine receiving requirements. As far as a CofC goes, some companies find them acceptable for their requirements. But remember - CofCs without data (and CofCs [certificate of Conformance] are typically just a 'promise' statement) are of little value.

Remember the old advertisement: "Promise her anything, but give her...."
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