Thursday, March 8, 2012

Focus and Leverage Part 96

As promised, we now turn our attention to Problem Prevention and again, I apologize for having to make the Roadmap so large, but I wanted you to be able to read what's in the boxes.  As you'll see in the figure below, there are six milestones and seventeen individual successive steps.  Those of you who are familiar with Failure Mode and Effects Analysis will all recognize most of the terms, even though they might not be exactly the same.

You may be wondering why I didn't use the exact same terms in an FMEA and the only thing I can tell you is that I was asked to put together a simple explanation to present to a group of engineers and this format made the most sense at the time.

Preventing problems is so very important in any quality system simply because of the escape factor.  That is, if you spend all of your time solving defect problems, then you are one hundred percent certain that defective product escaped your plant and ended up at your customer.  We all know the gyrations we have to go through when a customer calls with a quality complaint.  Think about it....the first thing that happens is that shipping stops.....then production stops....then the sorting begins and then of course there must be a detailed and convincing root cause analysis.  I say detailed and convincing because your customer must be convinced that the problem is solved in some kind of logical manner.  The manpower expended.....the cost incurred....and it can all be avoided with a good problem prevention system in place.  With the right controls in place that were based upon a logical approach and well defined cause and effect synopsis, all of this chaos can be avoided.

Bob Sproull

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