For any manufacturer, reducing scrap is essential. But many organizations think of the cost of scrap only in terms of how much raw material costs are affected.
In reality, a high scrap rate is a symptom of a deeper issue with overall process control and optimization. When you look for the root cause of scrap—and solve it—you’re likely to reap benefits throughout your entire operation.
Problem: Reducing Scrap Is Not Optional
A metal-forming manufacturer had problems—big problems. This leading global enterprise had discovered that the scrap rate in one of its plants had hit 45 percent. The site manufactured complex, very large aluminium forms—some larger than of 50’ x 50’. Recovering nearly half their product was no small undertaking.
Scrap at this level cost the company much more than simply the price of lost materials. The organization was forced to spend more on inspections, and overall yield was down as workers on the operations and quality teams were forced to deal with the problem of remaking products that failed at the end of the manufacturing process.
Proposed Solution: Improve Manufacturing Process Control at the Quality Level
When the company called InfinityQS®, we immediately visited the site to help optimize the production process. Our team leader, a Six Sigma Green Belt, had worked in the client’s industry and understood exactly how to provide better visibility into and across all aspects of the plant and all the products created there.
We started by ensuring that quality data collection was happening and that data was centrally located in our statistical process control (SPC)-driven quality management software solution, ProFicient™.
We helped the plant implement the quality intelligence solution so that they could begin collecting real-time quality data. With our centralized Unified Data Repository, the company would also gain the ability to compare quality and manufacturing process control parameters across products, lines, equipment, and more.
Next, we showed the company’s teams how to take a new look at these data. By gaining a big picture view, operations and quality teams gained the ability to prioritize efforts. They could also dive into the details of each process, each machine, and each shift to pin down their scrap-creating culprits.
Once they could use their quality data to see what was truly happening and where to start addressing challenges, the manufacturer could determine the best approach to tackle its scrap problem.
Result: Top Quality, Material Savings, and Dramatically Improved Yield
Over the course of just three months using the InfinityQS quality intelligence software, the manufacturer was able not just to reduce its rate of scrap, but to eliminate it. Bottom-line profits soared: Between savings on material costs, faster inspections, and a significant increase in throughput, the plant caught the attention of company VPs, who wanted to know just what the team was doing differently.
If one plant could see such incredible results simply by gathering, analyzing, and acting on data, imagine what your organization could do. When you can see what’s happening along the line—as well as the results and causes of your quality parameters—you can create amazing improvements across your line, plant, or enterprise.
Is your organization resigned to accepting an “acceptable level” of scrap and rework? If so, maybe it’s time to change the status quo. Learn more about how an SPC solution can help your organization optimize manufacturing operations and reduce or eliminate scrap