Finding the final piece of the total quality management puzzle



Industrial Supply, Manufacturing

Located in Burr Ridge, Illinois, GSI is organized into two divisions: Functional Printing and Industrial Graphics. The Functional Printing division is a leader in the emerging space of printed electronics, while the Industrial Graphics division employs printing processes such as flexography, hot stamping, web and sheet printing, and fotofinish (photo etching) to deliver pressure-sensitive labels, aluminum nameplates, and polycarbonate panels. GSI operates one facility with 80 employees and is registered to ISO9001:2008 standards.

“We have made numerous investments in technology to help support our quality initiatives, and InfinityQS® ProFicient™ allows us to bring everything together. We can now assimilate data from different systems and device locations into one, centralized hub for easy analysis and decision making.”
Jack Kraemer, President and COO

GSI Technologies LLC


The challenge

Always customer-focused, GSI is committed to providing the highest quality products and services. To ensure product quality and compliance, GSI relied on a homegrown Statistical Process Control (SPC) program created in Microsoft Access. The company realized that its system lacked the robust data collection and analysis capabilities needed to meet client specifications, support a fact-based decision model, and fuel continuous improvement.

Rapid growth of GSI’s Functional Printing division increased the need for a new SPC solution. Functional Printing yields active products and components such as medical electrodes, sensors, antennas, and circuits. GSI had to verify that components were fully functional after printing and also demonstrate that processes complied with specific requirements.

GSI’s disparate systems (e.g., CMM scales, multi-meters, Vision inspection, and document control systems) made data aggregation difficult, and delivery of Manufacturing Intelligence to the organization and its customers nearly impossible.

The solution

In order to bring its total quality management initiatives full circle, GSI set forth numerous requirements for selecting a new SPC platform. The new platform had to:

  • Scale to grow with the company and drive continuous improvements
  • Be SQL-based in order to communicate with other systems
  • Be able to both configure data for all the unique parts it produced and represent that data in various control charts customized to meet end-users’ needs
  • Assist in adherence to industry regulations, such as ISO compliance and FDA requirements.

GSI selected the ProFicient™ Manufacturing Intelligence platform from InfinityQS®, the global authority on real-time Manufacturing Intelligence and enterprise quality. Powered by a centralized SPC analysis engine, InfinityQS ProFicient delivers real-time visibility at all levels of an organization, which enables GSI to proactively monitor, analyze, and report on Manufacturing Intelligence in real time to improve quality, decrease costs, and make more strategic business decisions.

Before implementation, GSI enlisted the expertise of InfinityQS’s enterprise quality experts to drive buy-in and adoption of the software from the entire staff. It was vital that GSI’s employees had access to appropriate data to help them carry out their specific jobs.

  • Achieved total quality management to drive continuous improvement
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction to reduce customer complaint rates from 2.5% to less than 0.5%
  • Gained Manufacturing Intelligence from real-time visibility into process data and advanced reporting capabilities
  • Assured compliance with industry regulations and specific customer requirements

The results

With InfinityQS ProFicient as an enterprise quality data repository, GSI discovered the missing piece of its total quality management puzzle. Jack Kraemer, President and COO of GSI, says, “We have made numerous investments in technology to help support our quality initiatives, and InfinityQS ProFicient allows us to bring everything together. We can now assimilate data from different systems and device locations — whether from our ERP system, document control program, or other inspection equipment — into one, centralized hub for easy analysis and decision making.”

The benefits of total quality management, with InfinityQS ProFicient at the center, are realized throughout all levels of the company. On the plant floor, operators and quality engineers have real-time visibility into processes, allowing a proactive approach when tests indicate a process shift toward out-of-spec. By automating data collection and assimilating information in organized charts and graphs, GSI can easily support discussions with customers and suppliers when developing new products. The data is also used to prove regulatory compliance and meet audit requirements. From a corporate standpoint, total quality management serves as a competitive differentiator, allowing GSI to enhance its brand image and uphold its reputation as a quality-minded printer.

However, customers are the primary beneficiaries of GSI’s total quality management initiatives. With GSI, customers have confidence that they are receiving a top quality product that meets compliance standards. As a result, GSI has reduced customer complaint rates from 2.5% to less than 0.5%.

“InfinityQS was a critical component in enhancing customer satisfaction for both new and existing customers,” Kraemer says. “We have found that when new customers visit our facility and they see that we have real-time SPC configured, their confidence in our product and processes increases.”

“You cannot improve quality without the right people, right focus, right mindset, right tools, and right training. It is one thing to implement a tool like SPC, but to realize its benefits you must use it to its full capabilities across the organization.”
Kathy Andersen, director of quality assurance