Quality Progress - January 2016 - 29
BACK TO BASICS
BY ROBERT PINTAVALLE
Improving a System
Add value by evaluating rework time and internal, external causes
WHEN WE think of nonconforming
by all departments involved in reworking
ity, worker involvement, supplier communi-
material, we think about scrapped and
or dispositioning the nonconformance.
cation and worker morale.
reworked material or products that directly
Rework can be analyzed in two ways: by
cut into a company's bottom line. But a
time or money. To analyze by time, total
involvement and morale are difficult to
closer look shows that a nonconforming
the amount of rework time for the month
put a price tag on, but they can be the larg-
material system can provide a wealth of
and divide it by the total units produced to
est benefits. Workers usually stop ignoring
determine the amount per unit. To analyze
issues that have been causing problems
by dollars, multiply the rework time per
and frustration in normal tasks. When the
unit by the labor cost.
nonconformances that have affected the
Most of this information is already
recorded for companies that use the ISO
The softer benefits of increased worker
workers are addressed, the employees be-
9001:2000 standard or have a similar quality
management system (QMS). The standard
Illustrate the findings
come a valuable part of the system. Soon
requires that nonconforming products be
A 12-month line chart showing these
after including this additional informa-
"identified, controlled, (preventing) unin-
rework costs can be presented to manage-
tion and taking action on it, an increase
tended use and (recording) the nature of
ment. Add a line to the chart that repre-
in reported nonconformances may be
sents a three or four-month moving average
the nonconformity and any actions taken."
Two pieces of information transform a
to smooth out monthly variation and see
Measures from the nonconforming
system that meets or contains the elements
the general trend in rework costs (see
system are also valuable inputs into the
of an international standard for a QMS into
Online Figure 2). These measures support
management review system. Review of
a dynamic system with additional benefits
Section 8 of the standard: "measurement,
rework costs and sources of nonconfor-
that readily support the QMS.
analysis and improvement or similar ele-
mance by senior management creates
ments for measurements in a QMS."
buy-in and focus in these areas. The man-
The first bit of information answers the
To prioritize improvement efforts, cre-
question, "Was the nonconformity created
agement review meeting also provides an
in house or by component parts supplied
ate a Pareto chart using rework time or
opportunity for senior leaders to review
from outside the organization?" This can be
rework cost analysis for internally caused
not only specific action plans for reducing
recorded in a check box on the nonconform-
nonconformances. A Pareto chart of
nonconformances and rework, but also
ing material form (see Online Figure 1 at
nonconformances from suppliers (external
their progress toward established goals.
www.qualityprogress.com), which separates
cause) can focus supplier communication
Capturing a little more information
products into internal and external causes.
where it is required.
about nonconformances and process re-
Internally caused nonconformances become
A company that implemented this
work can add a lot of value to an organiza-
input for continuous improvement projects.
method saw a 55% reduction in rework
tion that focuses on doing it right the first
Those caused externally can be analyzed to
cost per unit over a 12-month period. The
ensure adequate information is provided to
results demonstrated the cost savings of
the supplier or to determine whether correc-
improvement efforts and assisted in the
tive action by the supplier is necessary.
prioritization of future continuous improve-
While more difficult to obtain, the
Benefits of this additional information
second piece of information is equally valuable: rework time caused by the noncon-
include reduced costs, focused problem
formance, which includes the time required
solving, and increased management visibil-
READ MORE ABOUT THE BASICS
Visit www.qualityprogress.com to read more Back to Basics articles on topics
such as root cause analysis, data collection and fishbone diagrams.
1. ANSI/ISO/ASQ Q9001-2000: Quality Management Systems
Requirements, International Organization for Standardization, 2000.
ROBERT PINTAVALLE is a senior
process engineer with Watson
Pharmaceuticals in Fort Lauderdale,
FL. He earned his master's degree in
mechanical engineering from Union
College in Schenectady, NY. Pintavalle
is an ASQ-certified Six Sigma Black
Belt, quality engineer, manager of
quality/organizational excellence and quality auditor. He is a
senior member of ASQ.
January 2016 * QP 29
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016
According to Plan
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Quality Progress - January 2016