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Process Capability Policy

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  • #45682

    Ropp
    Participant

    In the last year or so my company has been pushing for process capability (1.33 Cpk) on critical characteristics for all new equipment and/or design changes.  While it’s not a completely foreign concept the vast majority of material suppliers and equipment vendors in our industry aren’t familiar with it.  I’ve made it a point to thoroughly explain our requirements up front (aka before reaching any agreement), and in nearly all cases it has been agreed to by all involved.  Unfortunately there have been some instances where at the last minute we get push back saying that they aren’t able to meet the requirements and didn’t know what they were getting into, and we’re caught between a rock and a hard place.  My thought at this point is to develop an official “Process Capability Policy”, which can be given to them in writing up front.  It may not completely eliminate these occurrences but it makes it harder for them to deny when they run into problems.
     
    I have to believe that others have run into these problems before.  Does anyone have suggestions for handling these situations?  Aside from the obvious (normality, stability, Cpk, etc) how about some thoughts about what should be included in a policy?

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    #149859

    Haugen
    Participant

    Dave,
    When you are purchasing equipment that is designed and built to order, you can’t just purchase from anyone off the street and expect to get exactly what you ordered, no matter how rigorous your paperwork is.  If the equipment does not pass your capability/acceptance criteria, you are screwed.
    You need to “certify” your suppliers before they are allowed to bid.  We sent in audit teams that made sure that the suppliers had the ability/systems/equipment/financial health to meet our specifications.  We also ask for lists of customers and installations, and checked with them – even if they were competitors.
    Anybody can type up a quote.  It is up to you to make sure that you are getting quotes from capable suppliers.

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    #149867

    Ropp
    Participant

    Believe me I’d much prefer that approach, but when you’re among the very first in your industry to pursue it you don’t necessarily have that option.  We do use that as a selection critieria, the response we typically have gotten is that they are willing to do it but haven’t before. Obviously that makes it impossible to audit past performance.  Also it’s not just equipment, it’s our material vendors as well. 

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    #149869

    Mr IAM
    Participant

    Make sure you include gage validation in your policy.  Many vendors are not familar with the idea of measurement variation and this can greatly affect their process capability measurements.
    You may be able to ask for a historgram or SPC chart of performance ahead of time, or as part of the quote.  In other words, don’t just ask them if they can do it – ask for documented proof that they can do it – as part of the quote.

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