KMF (Precision Sheet Metals) commitment to continuous development of its systems and processes has seen it implement a hand-held system to capture and distribute process information from individual elements of the business.
The results will see greater control and the ability to predict when conditions that could adversely affect quality occur and therefore be able to react to those conditions.
At the heart of this new data capture procedure is the Principle Suite software from Applied Principles, which works in tandem with the hand-held data capture units allowing a variety of information to be collected, from images, process data such as oven temperature and critically signatures from process owners.
The data collected creates a 'health check' for a particular process which is then automatically organised and distributed by e-mail to team leaders and other relevant members of staff. The outcome is that this data encourages rigorous pro-active checks that drive consistent process adherence.
The time saved in collecting and disseminating this information will lead to significant gains and encourage greater co-operation between team leaders and quality technicians within the business.
The information will also play a valuable role in the company's management system audits with a track of actions taken to close out non-conformities, with sign off from a single authorised person.
The real aim, of course, is to improve on the already high-quality precision sheet metal produced by the Newcastle-under-Lyme subcontractor and provide greater reassurance to customers that their work is being closely monitored to ensure full compliance with their specific quality needs.
"The audit process, once implemented, is owned and managed by the team who are directly responsible for the control of the process. This creates much better links between process owners and quality teams who can now focus on reducing variation as opposed to watching what each other does," said Gary Sutton, Quality Manager, KMF (Precision Sheet Metal).
"I personally feel that this will become a key improvement tool for KMF in years to come and will change the way we manage quality, maintenance and health and safety."
"We see this system as a valuable tool for controlling and refining processes, such as CNC cutting, powder painting and especially our aerospace and medical manufacturing areas. Eventually, it will be expanded to incorporate health and safety process management and preventative maintenance of capital equipment."