Imagine you’re headed off for a picnic. You’ve prepared your special pasta salad to share with everyone, but somehow, ants found their way into your Tupperware as you loaded the car. Now, you’ve got to keep your picnic basket away from the big spread of food, and make sure no one else’s delicious dish becomes infested.
Consider this “defect containment.” The same concept can be applied in manufacturing.
Defect Containment: Identifying the Problem
Manufactured goods are like a big family picnic with parts coming together from multiple suppliers in a delicious potluck. If something is wrong with one of the “dishes,” the manufacturer needs to identify the source of the problem and eliminate or replace the product or system that caused it.
Because complex manufacturers often face complex problems, they need to be able to identify defects and trace their source with precision and speed to stop production of at-risk assemblies. “For manufacturers using outdated processes, this process can take hours; for those using Manufacturing Execution System (MES) like Solumina, it only requires a click. The Solumina MES can quickly identify your defect, stop production anywhere in operations, then diagnose and resolve the problem so production can resume. This is effective Defect Containment, and it should be standard in any MES.
A Built-In Approach to Defect Containment
Traditional Manufacturing Execution Systems focus on getting shop work paperless at the expense creating real tools that reduce problems and enhance productivity, like defect containment. When MES do include elements of defect containment, they don’t often offer them as standard, and usually handle it as a “hand-off” process that’s not integrated into their system. Still, some MES may have defect containment built in, but without the granular traceability that enables defects to be rapidly identified back to the source.
Quality should be built into every part of the manufacturing process. As such, defect containment should be a primary element of any MES.
Why is defect containment so important?
We get parts from everywhere.
Defect containment is important because the world is smaller. Parts once manufactured internally by complex manufacturers themselves can now be sourced from anywhere in the world. This means there is a greater need to be able to trace back with precision to a distant supplier or that supplier’s supplier when a problem occurs.
Native intelligence may be fading.
Native intelligence once “on hand” may no longer be there as staff ages and turns over, and as the business world changes. As a result, the need for automated, digital controls has increased dramatically. In many industries, this is becoming a matter of compliance, not just competence. For example, in aerospace, the AS 9100 standard requires manufacturers to document for auditors how defect containment is being managed. In the medical device world, the FDA mandates in Title 21 of C the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 820.100 that each manufacturer shall establish and maintain procedures for implementing corrective and preventive actions to identify the actions needed to correct and prevent recurrence of nonconforming products and other quality issues.
Those who may be deeply ingrained in your industry, enough to know the details of every change in legislation and regulation, may not always be there to ensure quality.
Defect Containment and Quality Management
If defect containment is not standard in your complex manufacturing environment, you are risking the ongoing viability of your business. The intersection of Quality Management and MES software sets the foundation for greater quality and production performance, especially when effective defect containment is a standard feature.