What defines a "change in process"

S

Stan DeForest

#1
What is implied by a change in process. Does moving a molding machine across the aisle constitute a change? How about across the plant? The country? I have seen cases where suppliers move a machine across the hall and meesed up something and caused defects to be made. How about blocking off a cavity if it is damaged. How about two or three? What about changing pallates on an assembly line? You laugh but I have seen where containment marks have caused parts to be defective! Do my suppliers have to do a new PFMEA if they add a containment mark? Where should the line be drawn and what happens if Dan Reid comes into my plant and doen't like it?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Well, Stan, are you sitting down?

If Dan Reid walked in I'd be shaking in my boots wondering just what financial motivation was at work.

A process change can be just about anything. Moving a piece of process equipment, different supplier of a material or subassembly, you name it. The question is what is considered a critical change and what isn't. And that definition is entirely up to your company to decide. One client of mine produced an array of products and much of the process equipment and assembly tables were mobile - they set the plant up nightly for the next days planned product. Since the products were mixed and several would run a day, the place set up to produce the assembly could be in several places. Since most was assembly equipment of a simple nature they did not consider changing location critical.

What ever you decide to to, get some kind of guidance from your US automotive customers' supplier QA folks as to what they (with consideration to YOUR company processes and what you supply to the US automotives) will accept (which you will find nearly impossible).

I wouldn't think blocking off a cavity would typically be a process change. But if the parameters were critical enough and let's say you have heated molds and a heated input, it could be argued that blocking off a cavity would throw off the thermal properties of the mold requiring requalification of the mold.

If you found containment marks as cause for rejection it shows a lack of communication with the customers. In the past when I went into containment I contacted customers about the problem(s) at hand and my intended identification scheme to preclude rejection. I wouldn't think a PFMEA change or control plan change would be driven by a containment mark but if you're in containment you would be looking at both the PFMEA and control plan any way.

I know this answer is not what you wanted to hear - there is no black & white, but here again logic plays a big part as does making sure all communications with your customer supplier QA folks is well documented - even if you just get a verbal from someone. Write down their name, the content of the conversation and the date/time of the telecon.

Isn't this stuff just dandy fun???
 
C

Christian Lupo

#3
One resources for deciding what constitutes a change is the PPAP Manual. I believe on page 3 or 4 it defines when you need to resubmit a PPAP. Chances are if you have to resubmit a PPAP, you've changed your process. It may not be foolproof but it's a good place to start.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
The PPAP manual is a good place to start but this all really revolves around a good relationship with your customer's supplier QA. Often only partial PPAPs are neccessary for changes - depends upon what the change is
 
S

Stan DeForest

#5
Where we really get into trouble on this is the differences in what our customer wants for the same part. e.g GM Mid-Lux wanting something different that GM Small car wants. Its not feasible to approach every customer and ask every possible question up front (Hey, were moving a machine, do you care? How about you? And you? etc.)
It would really be a nightmare, but, hey, gotta love automotive.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
If you want to get really picky I guess the extreme would be re-PPAP if you change operators...

I have seen where a customer bought different parts but when we made the same changes to the processes of the different parts the customer wanted something different for each. So - no matter what you do there can be a different request for any given change. From this I have taken the prelimianry stance that there is no rule - gotta ask each customer what they want for a given change before you do it.

I guess I leave it to the Product Manager (or whatever your company calls the person responsible for the product) to make sure s/he has communicated with significant customers and documented (notes of phone calls, etc.) their requirements. I rarely see a full PPAP requested.
 
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