Enterprise Quality Management • November 29, 2022

Want to ensure quality manufacturing for complex discrete operations? Embed it in the process.

Quality is a never-ending challenge. No matter how much we carry out tests and inspections, quality escapes are bound to happen. It might be a faulty grommet, a misshapen compressor blade, or even a counterfeit part. 

We try to catch these problems before they enter the manufacturing stream, but sometimes they slip through. When that happens, how your manufacturing team responds is critical. If there are issues with communication or decision making, the costs can quickly multiply. That’s why embedded quality is such an important feature in Solumina MES by iBase-t, not just in the way processes are enforced, but also in the way we move information among teams and help everyone work together to solve problems effectively. 

Let’s look at how your team can use Solumina MES iSeries to react to quality escapes in production. The specific roles vary shop to shop, but generally quality management roles can be categorized under quality technicians, quality engineers, source inspectors, and receiving inspectors. Solumina’s embedded quality management brings these teams into collaboration to solve problems quickly and methodically.  

Quality technicians catch a problem in production 

Quality checkpoints can be built into the manufacturing execution system workflow instructions and automatically enforced during production. Suppose a line worker identifies a problem during a sampling step. Solumina MES automatically initiates the discrepancy process which guides the quality technician through root cause analysis, including identifying the responsible suppliers. Then, they can save time by updating records with the click of a button instead of changing them manually one-by-one. After analysis is complete, the technician refers it to engineering for rework. 

Quality engineers fix the problem 

Quality engineers can log into their screens and pick up where the technicians left off, with all of the relevant information in one place. Solumina speeds up the rework planning process by equipping engineers with generic process plan templates that can be used across multiple parts. These templates let engineers choose from standard set of rework instructions instead of starting from scratch each time. When there are thousands of parts to manage, a standard library of operations makes it faster and easier for engineers, and every minute that’s saved at this stage is critical. 

Back to the shop floor 

Once rework planning is complete, the technician then follows the rework instructions to remove, disposition, and replace the component part, sending the rejected part back to the supplier. Finally, source inspectors can log into Solumina and create a repair inspection order to confirm that everything has been done properly. The entire process is closed-loop within the Solumina interface, allowing all users to access the same information and update it in real time. 

Eliminate recurring manufacturing problems 

An important point is that Solumina MES helps make sure the same problems don’t reoccur after being fixed. Solumina’s built-in corrective action process allows you to identify the suppliers, causes, and processes responsible for the discrepancy. As this information is collected, Solumina automatically updates all files so that everyone has the corrected information moving forward. 

Add Supplier Quality Management for supplier collaboration 

We’ve seen how Solumina can fix problems when they escape. But it’s always best to prevent them from ever entering the production stream in the first place. This is why many manufacturers use Solumina Supplier Quality Management (SQM) in combination with Solumina MES. Solumina SQM extends your company’s standards beyond your own walls. It brings suppliers into the quality process, guiding them through your testing standards, coordinating inspections, and tracking their performance. SQM and embedded quality management working together provide a high level of protection against quality escapes, and help you react quickly when problems occur.  

Simplifying quality management 

Quality problems can ruin your day (or even your reputation). When problems get past your defenses, embedded quality management in Solumina MES helps you catch and correct them before they make it into the finished product. And, by updating all of the information in one place and improving communication between teams, Solumina greatly simplifies and accelerates how you’re able to respond. 

Embedded quality is just one of the many ways that Solumina iSeries simplifies the complex in manufacturing. You can learn more about embedded quality. 

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