1. Hello and Welcome to The Quality Forum Online...Continuing in the spirit of People Helping People !
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You must be a registered member in order to post messages and view/download attached files in this forum.
Click here to register.

Process Flow Diagram ... REALLY??

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by ncwalker, May 10, 2016.

  1. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Why, oh why, did we get hung up on a Process Flow Diagram that looks like this:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=pro...ocess+flow+diagram+PPAP&imgrc=6HHENs59bmqNUM:

    This is not a diagram. This is a list. Just because there are some graphical symbols on it, does not make it a "diagram." And - they are honestly redundant. Why do I have a symbol for manufacturing step AND a column for manufacturing step? If I check the manufacturing step COLUMN why don't I just check it with a check? Or have ONE column only and use the symbol?

    Better yet - how about an actual diagram? Like an aerial view of the process that gives me some sense of movement through the plant, where the WIP areas are, etc. etc. You know, a diagram? Label it with the OP numbers and tell me which things are making the key characteristics and that's it. BOOM. Done. And better.

    Rant over.
     
    Bazinga and Claes Gefvenberg like this.
  2. Miner

    Miner Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    185
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    Greater Milwaukee USA
    That is an old school diagram that General Motors required from suppliers back in the 80s. It was a few years before AIAG standardized the Control Plan format, so this was a combined process flow and control plan. This was before you could do this easily on a computer. I had to use the old fashioned drawing template that let you trace out each symbol, pencil and paper.

    Hopefully no one is still using that.
     
    Jennifer Kirley likes this.
  3. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I still get them like this all the time. And the trend is to add MORE information. I have a few that are just shy of control plans, honestly. We (the quality industry, at least in automotive) keeps adding layers to keep meeting additional requirements. But don't go back and strip away the old, ineffective stuff. And we're supposed to be the lean/value stream experts. 8-0
     
    Bazinga likes this.
  4. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2015
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    194
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Wow massive great information. Mine is simplier than these.
     
  5. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    North Carolina
    KEEP them simple. It's an overview showing the steps. I like to see:
    1) Every OP and every time the part comes to "rest". For example: you soft turn a part, heat treat it, then hard turn it. Heat treat tends to be a big batch kind of thing. Most places have an area where parts accumulate until a reasonable batch size before/after heat treat. Those should be represented on the PFD. But let's say the soft turn process is two lathe ops that run back to back. Sure, there's probably a worktable where a few parts can accumulate between the first and second op. I don't need to see that.
    2) If you outsource something, THAT needs to be clear on the PFD.
    3) If a step is generating a key characteristic, that needs to be labeled.
    4) And of course some kind of naming scheme you are using.

    I would much rather prefer a plan view of your factory with arrows showing me an overview. Here's where the parts move .... That's all I want.

    If I am suspicious of how risky and op is, I will look up the OP in our PFMEA using the OP number.
    If I want more details on how your are controlling it, I will do the same in your control plan.

    But if I can't take your process flow diagram to my 16 year old son and have him understand: the gist of where the parts are moving, stopping, which things actually change them, measure them, or which are just storage. And he can't get this in less than 10 minutes of review, your PFD is too complex. Ideally, I should be able to look at him and say "Son, where's the traceability mark applied ..." and he should point to it correctly rather quickly.

    The more complex you make it, the more likely you will also have an error. And you know how us customers are ... you show us one error and we take that as a challenge to find more. Like error bloodhounds we are. ARRRROOOOOOOOO !!!!
     
  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    1,039
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    While in principle, I'd agree for most, surely the caveat is going to be defined by the context of the organization? It may well be complex such that a 16 year old doesn't get it in 10 minutes. There are rocket science processes out there, after all...
     
    Ganesh Sundaresan likes this.
  7. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Is it though .... the 16 year old may not know what "roller burnishing" is. Granted. But ... the PFD should at a maximum say "roller burnishing" and not have all the settings, speed rates, inspection criteria, and all that ... That detail belongs in the control plan. The process flow diagram should be simple. Even if the process is rocket science, it should be little more than the step description.

    Those of us who ARE experts on the processes may ask the question "Are they roller burnishing?" and we should be able to answer that from the PFD without having to sort through tremendous detail. Which is needed, just not (IMHO) on this document.
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    1,039
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    What's your justification for this? Surely the process flow is for the people who do the job - EOS. Not a 16 year old. "Context of the Organization" and all that...
     
  9. normzone

    normzone Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    27
    On that note, an interjection, bordering on thread hijacking, so ignore if you see fit. I'm dealing with a person of power who was told once that having your process documentation in flowchart form is a beautiful thing, and this person fancies converting ALL our process documentation to flowcharts.

    I think I can derail this solution-to-a-problem-we-don't-have in the early stages, but I was wondering if any of you have encountered this before.
     
  10. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,995
    Likes Received:
    1,039
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Location:
    In the "Rust Belt"
    Yeah and worse. People who use the infernal "turtle" diagrams for everything. Having given a lot of thought to the subject, there are some which just don't work as a process flow (in whatever format). Things like the control of documents and records - at least to my rationale (based on 20+ years of doing this stuff) don't fit a process format. Procedures? For sure, but never a process. There, I've said it. I'm a heretic.
     
  11. pkfraser

    pkfraser Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Aberdeen Scotland
    Andy

    Well said. The actions taken to achieve the objective of "controlling documents and records" (which is a process) are activities undertaken in a number of other existing processes (each of which probably can be defined as a process flow of some sort). They still constitute a process, but one that impacts on activities in other processes. The same as "implementing a policy", for example.

    This is one of the reasons that most "system maps" (my preferred title for what some folk call a "process map", ie a map made up of processes - you get the same dichotomy between a "town map" and a "street map"!) are incapable of showing the true interaction of processes.
     
  12. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Andy - You're correct. I am exaggerating a bit in that I think they should communicate quickly and clearly the intent and flow path without the details. The way I look at them is if I am talking to a process expert about his process, it is something he can point at as a reference to tell me face to face the details. It should have OP numbers and the like, but that's about it. Alternately, we can use it as a reference for a phone conversation. "It's the thing that happens a few OPs before THIS thing ..." Again, details DO need to be recorded ... in the Control Plan. I see too many with what I think is too much complexity. That's an opportunity for them to disagree.
     
  13. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    42
    Location:
    North Carolina
    http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/auditors-turtle-diagrams-and-waste
     

Share This Page