Seven measures for effective improvement of production quality

In today’s demanding industrial environment, production quality is one of the key factors for competitiveness and business success. Quality problems may lead to delays in deliveries, product complaints and rejections, and loss of customer confidence. Therefore, even minor deviations should not be overlooked, but should be corrected before they become major and significantly more expensive.

There are two aspects of production quality: process and material.

The process aspect depends on managing production processes, which includes outlining (process) workflows, securing and orchestrating resources with properly functioning machines, and actively managing all relevant data.

The material or product aspect of production quality is associated with the various measurements and inspections that are carried out during production for the early detection of deviations, and with the final inspection to ensure that products meet the required characteristics.

If we notice problems with production quality, the following seven measures can help us make systematic and effective improvements:

Identify deviations. The first step is to determine the quality objectives and analyze the deviations in the actual production processes. This is followed by identifying the causes, prioritizing non-conformities according to their importance and impact on customer relations, and taking action to eliminate them.

Automate processes. The human factor statistically plays a significant role in production quality deviations, so production processes should be automated as much as possible. This is not only about expensive and complex automated production lines, but significant improvements can be achieved with relatively simple and inexpensive measures, such as implementing barcodes or digital lists for materials, raw materials and products.

Eliminate paper. Paper is another important source of inconsistency in production. Paper records are lost or incorrect data is (mistakenly) recorded on them. Even a major stain on work instructions can cause an error. A significant engineering change on paper may reach production too late or not at all. All of these factors have an impact on production quality.

Provide real-time data. Accurate and timely data is crucial for the early identification of deviations and actions. Automating the collection of important production data and displaying them with real-time dashboards and reports enables better visibility and more accurate decisions for production quality.

Establish traceability. Addressing a single deviation may be beneficial, but may not address the root cause of manufacturing quality inconsistencies. For effective and lasting solutions, it is necessary to collect and analyze data from the entire production process.

Connect the data. Common causes of production quality problems are scattered documents and data. Gather all production-relevant data together in one place and make it accessible to everyone who needs it. This not only increases production quality, but also reduces the time spent by employees searching for the correct information.

Automate quality control. Automated data collection and verification accelerate the detection of deviations in production processes and enables their elimination before they affect production quality. Proactive alerts about stock shortages, possible machine problems or deviations in product quality can help.

As can be seen, most improvements in production quality are based on digitization, such as automated collection, processing and display of quality/process data, which requires an appropriate software tool.

Improve the quality and reliability of production with MePIS MES

The MePIS MES manufacturing execution system is designed to ensure the quality, transparency and efficiency of production. It includes the following essential functional modules:

• Workflow management enables higher-quality processes and products with fewer errors.

• Micro-planning of production optimizes the allocation of resources/work orders for higher production efficiency.

• Traceability of raw materials and products and the genealogy of products is supported by connecting the final product with input resources, production events and process values.

• Quality management ensures real-time (autonomous) monitoring of quality parameters and faster and better response to non-conformities.

• Production data management provides the integrity and completeness of production data in one place.

In addition to the above, MePIS MES also includes modules for managing the maintenance of production facilities, internal logistics for the provision of production raw materials and supplies, product labeling, energy management, achieving operational excellence through the elimination of bottlenecks, and comprehensive production monitoring with key performance indicators (KPIs).

However, since technology usually represents only part of the solution, we also offer our clients professional advice from experienced experts to help them improve production quality more easily and quickly.

For more information and to exchange experiences on possibilities to increase production quality at your facility, do not hesitate to contact Vanja Tomažič at