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Are Control Plans Typically Posted in Work Areas?

Discussion in 'Other Quality and Business Related Topics' started by Jackie, May 2, 2016.

  1. Jackie

    Jackie New Member

    May 2, 2016
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    I've been in the automotive manufacturing industry for the past 12 years and have not seen or heard of Control Plans being posted in employee work areas. It was my understanding that these documents should be used as an aid in developing and selecting control methods for the manufacturing system, but is it standard practice that they be posted in production areas?

    The reason for my questions is because I've recently started working for a different employer of which is not automotive (heavy machinery - ie. construction equipment) and my new Quality Manager has stated that the practice of posting the Control Plans is something that is typical (even in the automotive industry). I'm just curious if this would be considered true as I'm a recent college graduate from a quality program and really don't have a lot of experience with these things. I just want to make sure that what I'm learning here is, in fact, correct.

    Thanks in advance for your guidance. :)
  2. Pancho

    Pancho Active Member

    Jul 30, 2015
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    Cypress, Texas, USA
    Quality plans are documented information. ISO 9001, has a requirement for documented information to be "available ... for use where and when it is needed". (Sec. (a))

    You can meet this requirement in many ways. One way may be to post the information in a visible place, as your QM has experienced. But that is not the only way. We make documented information available at points of use through tablets that crew leaders carry or that are available at different work stations.
  3. ncwalker

    ncwalker Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2015
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    North Carolina
    I have been in a LOT of automotive plants.

    10% of the time the control plan is posted and the employees use it. JUST the control plan. Usually a very high tech environment that requires more than average training of operators.

    20% of the time the control plan is posted and nobody uses it because it's all words and no pictures and they don't understand it. They do whatever they want or what they always did. This scares me to death.

    60% of the time what is posted is work instructions based on the control plan and the control plan is stated as "available." Usually stuffed in a setup book that is near the process and gathering dust. Invariably, these control plans are always revisons behind. Also pretty scary.

    10% of them "get it." And distill the key elements of the control plan down to visual, easy to follow work instructions and there's a clear chain of custody between the control plan and the work instructions. The control plan is controlled and there aren't loose copies willy-nilly squirreled away on the shop floor at various revs.

    There is nothing "typical" in automotive. It usually involves a bunch of managers who get keyed in to some concept that they don't really understand. They then propagate this on the floor as a "requirement" without thinking how it is interconnected. All the while polishing the mess until it shines like a TS-16949 fruit. But it's just a shiny skin. The result of this is that each plant is individual. A somewhat Frankenstein-y monster that is the child of the last 3 plant managers and the last 5 quality managers.

    Sometimes they get lucky.

    But the actual number of plants out there who effectively deploy ALL these concepts is few. Seriously. I have audited hundreds of plants.