SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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The Effect Of Downstream Quality Inspections On Overall System Performance: A Case Study At A Forging Company
Dieter Hartmann, Christopher Mulindi

Last modified: 2013-06-25


A strategic Original Equipment Manufacturer in the automotive sector delivers forged suspension components to the South African and International markets. Issues related to quality were identified, and to address these, the old batched quality inspection process was improved by creating an in-line quality testing station. Such inspection should eliminate batching and unnecessary movement of items whilst increasing the productivity of inspectors and clearing factory floor space taken up by the inventory and processes. This should eliminate the inherent risk of delayed identification of systematic production defects, reducing opportunities for re-handling, introduce a standardised inspection methodology, and ensure equitable inspector utilisation. These objectives were met. The innovation also reduced quality errors, from upstream processes, which was unexpected. This paper will explore how this quality improvement was achieved considering that the inspection stage itself had no operational function. Thanks to unexpected gains in quality, the break-even point for this innovation was remarkably short.


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