New Quality Process Yields Drastic Results for UEA and its Customers

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in UEA Blog

When we at United Equipment have conversations with customers, they are usually in regards to the requirements or specifications of a particular product or order. We don't often get a chance to talk about what goes into making a quality product. I thought I would take a minute to talk about one of the initiatives that has been happening here at UEA over the last 6 months.

The second law of thermodynamics states “the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time, or remains constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state or undergoing a reversible process”. UEA always tries it's best to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction and cease opportunities in failures/nonconformance.

UEA's journey from 9221 PPM to 1380 PPM within 5 months

In January 2016, UEA had an internal defective parts per million (PPM) of 9221, which is pretty common for a manufacturing company that builds the different types of customized products. In the quality department we found opportunity in this situation and launched a new nonconformance reporting process and corrective & preventive action process. With the help and cooperation of all the employees & management team, UEA's monthly PPM dropped to 1380 in May 2016.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
*Internal PPM GOAL
9,221 4268 3,286 2,102 1,380 TBD

To achieve this goal, the UEA quality department first introduced the NCR (nonconformance report) with severity gates (1 to 3) into the process.

  • Gate 1: Nonconformance reported by same department where parts/process is being manufactured
  • Gate 2: Nonconformance found by other department/by in process quality inspector
  • Gate 3: Nonconformance found during Final Quality inspection or by team leaders

With the introduction of this NCR Gate system, a heathy competition has been created between the departments. Because no department wants to receive NCR's, all the employees become more self-aware and diligent in cross checking their work and their coworker's work. By using this gate system, UEA has developed the internal customer concept between the departments. With the help and cooperation of all employees, the new UEA quality management system's nonconformance system has become an integral part of the Total Quality Management system. In this way each employee is accountable and does everything they can to ensure a quality product reaches customers.

If you would like to learn more about the UEA quality management, visit our blog.

Dhaivat Patel
Quality Engineer