One of our customers was manufacturing a large number of niche products in small quantities. The products involved different designs and materials that required various methods of fabrication including Compression, Injection and Transfer moulding.
Lean Six Sigma tools were used to tackle this opportunity.
An Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) initiative was undertaken. This included Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Statistical Process Control (SPC), Measurement System Analysis (MSA) and Production Part Approval Process (PPAP).
The range of parts were investigated for scrap levels and the fifty highest products identified. These were each analysed for their root causes for defects. The analysis was related to customer requirements, supplier quality, processing methods and procedures, tooling capabilities and material properties.
The fifty highest scrap products were then broken down into smaller batches based upon financial value. These were thoroughly analysed using the above tools.
The main cause for the problem was lack of compliance to set standards and procedures. Once this had been resolved, the equipment accuracy was dealt with. Further investigation for the tooling defects and material related issues was conducted.
This resulted in reduction of scrap levels from 15% to less than 2% which the company now maintains.