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Role of QC inspectors

Discussion in 'Manufacturing and Related Processes' started by James O'Malley, May 5, 2016.

  1. James O'Malley

    James O'Malley New Member

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    I am trying to establish the communications role of our QC inspectors and would like to know what others are doing.

    We are injection plastic molders. When an inspector reveals a part non conformance that must be corrected, such as diameter, should he/she communicate it to the machine operator or to the production supervisor?

    The inspectors are unionized and have no direct authority over the machine operators.

    Thanks,

    Tamale
     
  2. Candi1024

    Candi1024 Well-Known Member

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    How I have seen it, is that it does need to be communicated to the production supervisor (for us it would have been line lead) immediately. Whatever the title, it should be the person most closely responsible for the entire line (including maintenance, material handlers, operators ect).

    We would also have communicated it to the machine operator. Reporting it to the machine operators does not mean you are telling them to fix anything, you are simply reporting. Of course, I would expect the production supervisor expects the machine operators to act accordingly.

    Are your QC inspectors authorized to shut down the line?
     
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  3. MarkMeer

    MarkMeer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Candi1024: ultimately production supervisor (or, based on your org.structure, whoever has authority and responsibility for handing such issues).

    ...but why not both?
    If the non-conformance is significant why not report to operators (so they stop using the part), and the supervisor (who, presumably, has the authority to initiate the required corrective actions)?
     
  4. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    I worked in an identical situation. Our line operators performed the basic inspector role through SPC charting of critical dimensions, out of bounds conditions were reported to the machine operator, who typically oversaw several extruder lines. This way temp corrections and line speeds could be adjusted immediately, or fairly quickly at least. The SPC plots were taken with a QC sample every hour and dimensions pulled from that. We tried to keep the criticals to the minimum, usually 5 items or less. The QC inspectors would take random samples and inspect the charts, they could also report to the machine operator or if something was very wrong, to the production supervisor.
     
  5. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    It depends on how your information is handled: how your communications are set up, how you respond to found issues, how you monitor and measure processes.

    After all, defects found by inspectors can indicate immediate, tactical needs (make corrections so the quality costs can be minimized) and provide needed information for strategic needs (process monitoring helps the organization learn what changes should be invested in for the good of all).

    If you are designing your communication and data analysis path, great: isn't that what you are asking about? If you haven't yet decided how information is handled and passed along, now is the time. Both options are open to you.

    1) Inspectors don't need to be in hierarchy of production to relay information. Do these machinists produce parts independent of other process outputs?
    2) The responsiveness of your production supervisor may be the key to your decision. Would this supervisor have key information the machinists need to maintain the conformity of their immediate processes without interfering with larger considerations like fellow processes, GD&T and downstream effects?

    If #1 is true, it is probably OK to tell the machinists first and inform the production supervisor second.
    If #2 is true, Probably inform the production supervisor so a balanced response can be made.

    I hope I haven't made this harder than it needs to be.
     
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  6. James O'Malley

    James O'Malley New Member

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    Thank you all for your thoughts and recommendations.

    Jennifer, I think I will use a hybrid version of points 1 & 2. Thanks a million for your input.

    James,
    (aka Tamale)
     
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