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Resolving Manufacturing Crisis Using Quality Control to Reduce Costs by 29%

Situation

At a well-known international electrical connector manufacturing company, MetaExpert Donald found himself facing a daunting challenge. He was tasked with achieving cost reductions in a product that had been on the market for 30 years, and in the process, he encountered a sudden and unprecedented crisis. The product, renowned for its quality and safety, began to fail quality control tests just two weeks after his arrival. The absence of process documentation and unchecked cost-cutting measures led to alarming field failures, endangering public safety and corporate reputation.

Actions

MetaExpert Donald swiftly embarked on a journey to uncover the root causes of this unprecedented failure. Despite a lack of familiarity with the specific product and industry, he leveraged his process engineering expertise and implemented a series of strategic actions:

  • Using Process Mapping, MetaExpert Donald mapped out the production process to visualize critical steps and identify potential variables affecting the final product.
  • Using the Ishikawa Diagram and FMEA, he was able to analyze variables and potential failure modes.
  • Applying Design of Experiments (DOE) principles, he executed controlled experiments to understand the interactions between key process parameters.
  • Using Statistical Analysis, Donald employed statistical tools to analyze data, identify trends, and pinpoint correlations that could lead to the root cause of the failures.

Results

Through investigation and data analysis, MetaExpert Donald uncovered a surprising and subtle issue - excess heat in the last five feet of the aluminum extrusion process caused a chemical change, compromising the product’s reliability.

Return on Investment

After remedying the issue, MetaExpert Donald achieved:

  • Reduced Variation by 39%. The tensile strength variation was minimized, resulting in a more consistent and reliable product.
  • A 29% Cost Reduction. Cost reduction was achieved with a clearer understanding of process variables and controlled changes.

 

Skills Needed

  • Process Engineering Expertise
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Six Sigma Principles
  • Process Mapping
  • Ishikawa Diagram
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Design of Experiments (DOE)

Contract Length

6 Months

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