Innovative processes and new technologies together are having a huge impact on the internal complexity and cost of manufacturing. The way in which manufacturers of industrial machinery adjust to these new challenges plays a crucial role in their competitiveness. Of fundamental importance is ensuring and documenting product quality.
In this new environment, the old paradigm of a quality control department playing a separate, supporting role to the manufacturing floor is no longer sufficient to generate the kind of consistent, traceable quality demanded by today’s customers. Manufacturing quality is assured through the fulfillment of three principal functions: quality design and engineering, quality control, and quality management. Quality management involves the planning, organization, direction, and control of all quality assurance activities. Under the new paradigm, manufacturers have come to understand that quality must be integrated throughout the enterprise.
An integrated Quality Management System (QMS) today has access to large pools of data generated in production processes from both internal and external sources. This vast quantity of information enables the improvement of product and process quality — but only if the QMS is outfitted with the right analysis tools. These include failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) and statistical process control (SPC).
As a module of an integrated QMS, FMEA enables manufacturers to avoid defects prior to production, which in turn helps them achieve advanced product quality and reduced warranty claims and costs. FMEA allows companies to assess risks associated with possible product failure. The damage caused by potential defects can often be linked to increased warranty costs, impaired product functionality and safety, and an inability to meet required industry standards, among other potential consequences. FMEA allows manufacturers to evaluate risks and effects of potential defects early in the planning phase. By using this tool, they can create an intuitive FMEA analysis and take appropriate actions to efficiently manage potential defects in real time.
An SPC module in an integrated QMS helps to measure and control quality throughout the product lifecycle. SPC enables manufacturers to optimize product development and create products that meet customer requirements. Specific tools within SPC help to detect tolerance variances, identify root causes and correct defects in real time. In addition, interfaces to other QMS solutions can extend quality control capabilities, enabling manufacturers to:
- Monitor quality status of current inspections and incoming/outgoing goods inspections
- Create customer specific inspection reports and certificates
- Automatically generate and manage internal complaints
How does QMS Professional support FMEA and SPC?
FMEA and SPC are capabilities provided by QMS Professional. With QMS and an end-to-end, closed-loop approach to quality, manufacturers ensure that all data, whether coming from a machine, human or test, are being consolidated in one, always available, easily accessible system. This data provides the “raw material” from which FMEA and SPC can guide quality operations, helping to reduce margins of error and lower the risks and costs associated with defective products.
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