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NCR defined?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Wade S, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. Wade S

    Wade S New Member

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    I have been a Quality Assurance professional for over 23 years in various industries from environmental, high speed fabrication, engineering, Oil &Gas owners, infrastructure and petrochemical and there have been many constants throughout my career despite the workplaces I have been......at least until now.

    A few months ago I recently started engaging with our new facilities being built in Ontario and have come across a very different interpreation of what constitutes a non-conformance.

    Several contractors and even some of my non-QA colleauges in Ontario beleive if a fabrication or construction NCR occurs
    AND that if it can be corrected before being turned over to their client that an NCR condition does not exist and therefore requires no NCR record. I am not referring to work in progress where for example a welder realizes he has a bad weld and is able to correct the issue in advance of a formal NDT/NDE QC process. This subject is about true proven, backed up with evidence NCR conditions.

    So my question: Have others run into this contractor beleif and what have you done to address this "NCR difference of opinion"?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome!
    Of course, if it's not measured, they don't have to get real about it. Someone should be measuring the extra time it takes to correct these issues. Cost is the key. Ask the finance people if they know why money is being lost...
     
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  3. Wade S

    Wade S New Member

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    Andy, I insist on a record and generally get my way because I am the client. The contractors are more than happy to correct the issue(s) but getting the parties involved to document the Corrective Action and Root Cause(s) is the challenge
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm guessing their was no contractual requirement to submit (for your approval) a construction Quality Plan? In which case, all bets are off.
     
  5. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Clause 8.6 (i.e. verification or inspection) triggers Clause 8.7 (i.e. control of NCO), hence the sequence. IMHO, there must be documentation for this.
     
  6. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Although the ISO 9001 standard has no categorical requirement to initiate corrective action on NCOs, a customer can insist CA if s/he deems necessary. Clause 8.7.1 of ISO/TS 9002:2016 supports this as specified below:
    "Where further action is needed (for example to respond to complaints and prevent recurrence) the requirements of corrective action should be applied".
     
  7. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Wade!

    An interesting situation. I would first state that (as you are probably aware) there are a lot of "ifs" here. But to your query, no I haven't seen such a surgical interpretation of when an NCR shouldn't be issued.

    I guess it would depend on if the system is geared towards final inspection/ approval, or in-process-related failures. So the first is what you describe... that as long as it isn't an external failure discovered by the customer/end user, then its not a failure. The second is more process-related, and could occur anywhere in the process including raw material inspection.

    Personally I would always lean towards the second. It's much cheaper to fix failure earlier in the chain, than when the customer finds it. :)
     
  8. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    In a previous life (the wild and wonderful world of steelmaking), we acknowledged and embraced the reality that not every process/product nonconformance would result in the generation of a nonconformance report/record. This approach was to ensure that we focused our resources in the appropriate areas.

    Before shifting to this approach, we analyzed about 1.5 years of nonconformance data - department, process, type, date, time, cost, category, and so on. This allowed us to identify the natures of the top nonconformances in key areas such as production, maintenance, QC, QA, purchasing, etc. From there we focused on the real biggies...those major pain points. The major pain points became our triggers. For the following year, any nonconformance that hit a trigger warranted a full-blown NCR complete with root cause analysis, action plan, verification requirements, and formal closure. Any nonconformance below a trigger, was logged (sometimes automatically, sometimes manually, depending on various factors) as occurring, corrected, and we returned to making steel.

    Come annual planning, we had a whole new year of data to look at and we were happy to see that over the year those major pain points had started to decrease in nature/time/cost (re: impact/severity). So, we adjusted our triggers accordingly. This meant that our number NCRs never really went down, but the severity and impact of the issues decreased year over year.

    Not sure if that quite addresses your question, but since the post seems focused on the generation of an NCR...not what constitutes a nonconformance...then, yes, I would agree that not every nonconformance will warrant an NCR.

    Then again, I suppose we did Record every nonconformance...just didn't fill in a Report.
     
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  9. RPNYVB

    RPNYVB Member

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    I am surprised to read this question. The answer, to me, seems obvious (but I admittedly live a sheltered professional life). First, I assume by "NCR" you mean either non-conformance record or non-conformance report. I ask because the way you use the term suggests NCR means something different to you. But, how are these folks complying with the requirement to "ensure that outputs that do not conform to their requirements are identified and controlled to prevent their unintended use..."? In my world, if a part has a defect or nonconforming characteristic, it needs to be immediately identified and controlled to prevent its unintended use in production; the record of this action is the associated NCR. Doesn't ISO 9001 include requirements related to retaining certain information related to a nonconformance: description, actions taken, etc.? I don't see how section 8.7 is complied with if nonconforming product is not documented on an NCR. The only allowance for this is--like you mentioned--if a defect momentarily exists during a planned operation, and the operator can immediately resolve, correct, or rework the defect. In that case, most agree an NCR is not required.
     
  10. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    I believe @Wade S is partial to document an NCR. His problem is getting the people concerned to perform the root-cause analysis and to initiate corrective action on "outputs that do not conform to their requirements".
     
  11. RPNYVB

    RPNYVB Member

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    That's not how I interpreted his post.

    Since this is a forum related to the ISO 9001 standard, I assume the personnel he is referring to are bound to ISO 9001. If so, I'd ask those individuals the questions I asked in my earlier post. I don't see how their attitude is in concert with ISO 9001, and I would pose pointed questions to those individuals while quoting relevant sections of ISO 9001.

    Maybe I've made some bad assumptions, but in my world, an NCR has nothing to do with CA. The NCR is just a record of a nonconformance. Root cause and CA are not addressed directly on an NCR (although NCRs may be analyzed during the RCCA process).
     
  12. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    @Wade S mentioned:
    I mentioned:
    Do you have any interpretation other than what I have quoted?
     
  13. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    What are your pointed questions?
     
  14. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    You might want to drop any reference to ISO 9001. Few people care/know anything about ISO 9001. It's like speaking a different language. It is lost on them...
     
  15. RPNYVB

    RPNYVB Member

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  16. RPNYVB

    RPNYVB Member

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    This is a world I am not familiar with. In my world, compliance to a quality standard (such as ISO 9001) is a contract requirement. If a contractor rep said he is ignorant or apathetic towards the quality standard his organization is contractually obligated to adhere to, everyone in the room--customer and contractor alike--would gasp in unison. Noncompliance to the quality standard, or any procedures which is meant to satisfy a specific ISO standard, may result in a payment reduction.

    So, my earlier answers assumed that the folks the OP was referring to were contractually bound to ISO 9001; if not, ignore my response.
     
  17. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @RPNYVB ;
    I believe (@Andy Nichols and @tony s please correct me if I'm wrong), the reason some are questioning your comment about ..."pointed questions to those individuals while quoting relevant sections of ISO 9001", is the assumption that "those individuals" may be associates that understand the processes established in the context of your organization, but may not know/be aware of how they directly relate to specific clauses and/or verbiage from the ISO 9001 standard. Thus the caution to avoid referencing ISO 9001 and its verbiage.

    e.g. I would assume (huge assumption here), your team knows to 'slap an orange hold tag on bad parts', but may not know about the language in ISO 9001 clause 8.7 that is associated with that action.


    Hope this helps.
    Be well.
     
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  18. RPNYVB

    RPNYVB Member

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    Fair enough, John. Then I would pose those questions to the quality managers/engineers who are responsible for that area. Hopefully the questions make sense to them.
     
  19. RPNYVB

    RPNYVB Member

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    You stated that his problem relates to RCCA. My interpretation was that his problem was instead that several contractors and colleagues believe "...that if it can be corrected before being turned over to their client that an NCR condition does not exist and therefore requires no NCR record."
    So, my interpretation was that his primary issue was with documenting nonconformances on NCRs, not an issue of a lack of RCCA.
     
  20. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Yes there are requirements in 8.7.2. And, I believe, the OP agrees to that when he said:
     

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