Preventing Non-Conforming Material from Leaving the Factory
Out-of-spec elevator wall panels were causing job site construction delays that ranged from 2 to 7 days—angering customers, costing money, and wasting installation crew time. InfinityQS enabled this international elevator company to quickly identify where panel processes were flawed—empowering them to take immediate corrective action.
GAINING STRATEGIC INSIGHT
- Out-of-spec elevator wall panels were causing job site construction delays that ranged from 2-7 days
- Real-time SPC quality data enabled immediate corrective action
REDUCING ELEVATOR PANEL PRODUCTION TIME
- Quality data Captured by InfinityQS software
- Reduced Takt time to just 2-3 minutes per run
- 40-60% time savings per run
REDUCING ANALYSIS FROM WEEKS TO MINUTES
- Before InfinityQS, this company manually collected 30 data points and process certification took hours
- InfinityQS provided real-time quality data
Improving Quality Control
Elevator Panels: Ensuring a Perfect Fit
At its most basic, an elevator is a box: it has wall panels, a door or two, a ceiling, and a floor. Yet when pieced together, this simple box performs a kind of miracle: it quickly (and safely) carries people to high-up building f loors and back down again. But if all these pieces don’t fit together perfectly during installation, non-conforming panels must be thrown away—and new ones produced and expedited to the job site.
This was an ongoing problem for one international elevator manufacturing company. Out-of-spec wall panels were causing job site construction delays that ranged from 2 to 7 days—angering customers, costing time and money, and jeopardizing the goodwill of installation crews.
In 2016, the elevator company implemented InfinityQS—the leading provider of Statistical Process Control (SPC) software and services to manufacturers worldwide—at their primary elevator panel manufacturing site. According to the elevator company’s project manager, “For our first major InfinityQS project, we implemented a manual entry program designed to gain better control over our panel machining process.”
The quality data collected by InfinityQS enabled this manufacturer to quickly identify where the process went awry—and to take immediate corrective action.
Once we put InfinityQS controls in place, we were able to prevent non-conforming material from leaving the factory.
Accelerating Product Manufacturing Times
Building Upon Success: Shortening Production Times
After fixing their non-conforming elevator panel problem, this company started exploring additional ways in which SPC could be used to help improve data collection and analysis in other processes.
The project manager and her team focused next on shortening elevator panel Takt time, the average time between the start of production of one unit and the start of the next. Before InfinityQS, elevator panels were a 100% inspection workstation, and Takt time was lagging at five minutes. According to the company’s project manager, the SPC data captured by InfinityQS enabled them to reduce panel production time to just 2-3 minutes per run—a 40 to 60% savings every time.
“Our elevator panel Takt time was awful from a lean perspective,” said the project manager. “This process is highly capable now, with a Cpk over 1.33.”
Excel-driven processes became wireless gauge processes with InfinityQS, which gives us more accurate, real-time data—and saves us time and money.
Prior to implementing InfinityQS, elevator panel manufacturing required a 100% inspection workstation. InfinityQS improved the process, and production times were reduced by 40-60% per run.
Quickly Spot & Fix Quality Issues
InfinityQS helps ensure that a complete, accurate data record is collected— even when processes change—so manufacturers can quickly address any and all problems that arise. This elevator company uses a variety of data collection methods to accurately track quality and process information. Shop-floor operators collect data manually, and semi-automated data is collected through a variety of devices—such as digital gauges.
This company also uses Automated Data Collection (ADC), an InfinityQS add-on service. ADC helps save valuable operator time, provides more accurate data than can be collected manually, and ensures that data is always collected on time. The company’s project manager and her team decided to add wireless gauge data collection capabilities to their InfinityQS implementation, and began digitally capturing real-time manufacturing data. The team then used this data to improve other onsite production processes.
By collecting data that exposed exactly where to focus improvement efforts, InfinityQS enabled this manufacturer to quickly spot quality issues, tweak processes, and reduce rework.
With InfinityQS, we were finally able to collect and analyze data that was good and reliable, and we started performing detailed root cause analysis on exactly what part arrangements were driving some of this variation.
How can InfinityQS help improve manufacturing?
InfinityQS can conduct a wide range of SPC-related quality checks across a broad array of manufacturing industries—supporting many types of business improvement initiatives.
›Quality conformance (variable and attribute)
›Setup or startup verification
›Tool wear monitoring ›Acceptance sampling
›Gauge calibration ›Measurement system analysis
›Semi- and fully-automated
›Compliance (internal and external)
›Process efficiency and reliability
›From 1 to 100s of manufacturing sites
›Domestic and international facilities
›High mix/low volume environments
›Low mix/high volume environments
›Hybrid and discrete manufacturing
Ensuring Operator Buy-In
Operator Input = Assured Adoption
SPC helps operators efficiently and accurately capture quality process data. InfinityQS has been providing technology to manufacturing employees for 30+ years, and the bottom line is this: operators can be hesitant when it comes to adopting new technology. It often takes extensive time to learn and master new tools, and operators are time-starved—because production runs always come first.
The project manager at this elevator company helped guarantee a quick and seamless product adoption by building projects that included direct feedback from operators. She worked side-by-side with operators to learn the ins and outs of their daily jobs—and built InfinityQS projects to match.
Operators were asked, “Do you want to enter this information earlier? When do you want to scan this in? At what point do you want to enter this data?” InfinityQS is quick and easy to configure, which enabled the project manager to set up the tool to correspond to exactly how operators work; each project was then configured to mirror their needs, workstations, and workflows.
“If you take operator feedback and modify a process accordingly, that gives them much more incentive to use the product successfully,” says the project manager.
InfinityQS projects can include detailed instructions and pictures, which is extremely helpful for our operators.
If you set up InfinityQS projects to work how your operators work, they will use it—and they will love it.
Faster, More Accurate Audits
Certifying Processes with Speed
The ability to quickly certify a manufacturing process makes it simple to audit, and though this manufacturer has a certified annual audit requirement, the plant using InfinityQS technology exceeds that requirement by conducting annual audits roughly every eight months.
With InfinityQS, this customer is able to conduct rigorous, thorough, accurate audits and process certifications faster than ever before. The process and capability data captured in InfinityQS also makes it a snap to quickly provide results to both internal and external customers.
Says the project manager, “Before InfinityQS, we used to identify 30 data points and run a capability analysis, which took a lot of time. With InfinityQS, we just pull up the control chart or capability analysis, and can instantly see the exact level at which the process is performing—and we can then certify or decertify the process immediately.
”This elevator customer uses InfinityQS to quickly and efficiently conduct rigorous and accurate audits once every eight months— as opposed to once a year
Improved Visibility Across Plants, Lines, & Products
Seeing the Big Picture
If you don’t capture and analyze data, you can’t make smart decisions. Prior to implementing InfinityQS, it took this elevator company weeks to unite quality process data across various lines and machines—and conducting deep-dive analysis took even longer. InfinityQS enables them to quickly and easily search for real-time data points, and make decisions based on exactly what the data is telling them.
Many InfinityQS customers cite “increased visibility” as their favorite product benefit, whether analyzing different shifts, lines, products, or plants. It is an invaluable benefit for companies to capture process data in a way that helps them rapidly compare data across lines and plants, analyze that data in detail, and use it to make smarter business decisions.
This expanded visibility helps expose why some lines or plants perform better than others, enables teams to research why these differences exist, and empowers companies to immediately rectify problems.
With InfinityQS, we can instantly see what the data is telling us. Analysis that used to take weeks now takes a few minutes