Project — Eliminate QC

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    Norrin Radd

    Perhaps ambitions.  Our company wishes to eliminate QC.  For our company QC is the methodical checking of products as it finishes the various manufacturing steps.  We would like to replace this with a QA process that validates our manufacturing processes.   
    Our company is small and produces low volume amounts of a diverse product line.  We ship and average total of 3000 units a month of over 150 different parts.  Our lots are often produced in batches of less than 10.
    In my view our manufacturing quality isn’t good enough to do away with inspections (99.1% first pass yields on final, 90% rolled throughput yield for our process). This is calculated on a pass/not pass basis.  We don’t have the means at this time to use DPMO. (Initial investigations revealed that a $10k investment would be needed to implement DPMO.)
    I am looking for either literature or someone with some experience that can help me formulate a road map.  At the very least, some milestones/dots between where I am point A and where I want to get to point Z.
    Thank you for your time.


    Chip Hewette

    First, DPMO is merely mathematics, in my view.  Transitioning your company to a nonconformance reporting method of “nonconformances per million opportunities” is a way to keep the fire lit under folks who think that 99% is good.  I don’t understand the $10K to calculate DPMO.
    Second, this is ambitious.  I would hazard a guess that many processes exist that no one is aware of.  A good starting point are process maps for families of products.
    Third, there are some breakthroughs in quality that can occur when processes are identified, mapped, aligned and controlled.  One piece flow is one way to prevent defects from accumulating.  If you can map the processes, streamline them, control them, and create one piece flow you may be heading towards your goal.



    Look back to Quality Progress articles from 20-30 years ago. That is when most embraced this “new” idea.

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