Speaker: Michel Gadbois
There are different elements that determine the cost of quality. They can be categorized as planned elements and unplanned elements. In the environment where a company may have 30 or 40 different, disparate systems that are cobbled together in an attempt to provide the correct definition or verify the completion of work, there will be an army of people whose sole job is to verify both the planning and the execution documentation throughout the process to make sure that people are adhering to the process the way it was defined. All of those verifications are redundant. They should not have to happen. When we deliver instructions to the shop floor, we should be delivering the right instructions to the right revision based on the engineering definition so there is no need to come back. If you look in a typical aerospace environment for the cost of planned quality, there is an enormous amount of effort that goes in to defining the process and to verifying it to make sure that the numbers match, the signatures are all there, and the calculations are within limits.
We tend to talk more about the unplanned part of cost of quality, which is the scrap rework and obsolescence. These elements are where things go wrong. In an environment like aerospace where you are going to be making the same part five or ten times per year, you do not have the opportunity that exists in the automotive industry, for example, to have so much volume and so much stability that you can essentially engineer out the variability. Variability in aerospace is everywhere. He has the biggest office in the place. Variability is always going to creep up. Knowing that, you know you are going to have some fluctuation, but how do you keep it to a minimum? How do you make the process stable and simple? How do you make the verifications in real time so that if you are varying, you know right away that something is not quite right? Those are the key areas of focus in aerospace that you do not have to focus on when you are making 10,000 parts per hour like someone who is manufacturing cell phones, for example.