What happens in your manufacturing organization when a product or process falls out of spec? Can operators see the issue right away? And just as important, do they know what to do about it? Do they call the supervisor, maintenance, or put the whole lot on hold? Can they find a historical log of similar issues to help diagnose the problem and apply a solution? And who is recording that solution for future reference?
Standardizing responses is essential to ensuring you’re meeting the three pillars of product quality compliance:
- Data is accurate
- Data collections happen correctly and on time
- Appropriate corrective actions are taken
Your entire organization should be in lockstep when responding to and correcting issues that prevent you from meeting:
- Internal product specifications
- Customer specifications
- Industry specifications
These are intricate challenges, but the solution doesn’t have to be complicated. A quality management solution like Enact® by InfinityQS® ensures your entire organization is well-equipped to remain compliant across lines, plants, and sites.
Exception-based Triggers and Reporting
No one wants to create or send out bad product. It can damage your organization’s reputation, cause dissatisfaction and harm to customers, and cultivate a culture of confusion internally. One issue can lead to another before long, so responding—and recording that response—is crucial.
Exception-based reporting helps teams stay ahead of the curve. Whereas control charts are useful for finding granular datapoints, Enact dashboards give you the perspective to see the bigger picture. Dashboards enable the kind of analysis that manufacturers find valuable. Rather than take an exorbitant amount of time with paper and pencil, you can make the comparisons you need to make in a dashboard with just a few clicks.
Instead of slogging through compilations and calculations once a quarter only to get information that’s already obsolete, Enact’s exception-based triggers and reporting give real-time visibility into your operations. For instance, the dashboard below shows both statistical violations and missed data checks in side-by-side view, translating to greater efficiency for operators.
Most operators are not statisticians or math majors—their focus is primarily on operating the manufacturing equipment. With Enact, operators can work throughout the day, accomplishing their myriad tasks, and when a violation occurs or a data collection is due, the system notifies them. There’s no need to study control charts or keep one eye on the software; the system sends a notification when something is amiss so operators can quickly respond.
When something unexpected happens, Enact immediately alerts the appropriate personnel in multiple ways. Using color-coded alerts on the dashboard for the operator and emails for management and other relevant staff, everyone involved stays in the loop.
Enact does more than notify the operator and other appropriate personnel when an issue occurs. When a problem has a corrective action associated with it, event workflows can help ensure that the right procedure is followed for the issue in question.
Workflows help promote accountability and adherence to an established process for corrective actions. Sometimes a workflow requires a team effort, in which an operator is responsible for one task, a supervisor for another, and the quality manager for yet another. To help with these different situations, event workflows can be assigned to specific roles. These assignments can be mandatory or not.
For example, one worker may be required to take an action like entering a reason code, while another worker may add a comment based on an observation along with a photo, as in the example below. Then the supervisor may need to enter a resolution.
Users can create their own sets of event codes to fit their organization’s needs. Event workflows then can be assigned to a static or dynamic list of manufacturing processes. Enact continuously scans for possible events and sends out appropriate notifications of the event to the workers or managers assigned to the workflow. The operators, supervisors, or quality managers involved can easily see what and where actions need to be taken.
You control who is accountable for certain event codes. And from a compliance standpoint, accountability is crucial.
Here’s an example of how a workflow can be used:
- At 10:27am, there is a statistical violation on Line 1. At this time the following roles are immediately assigned actions:
- The operator is notified immediately regarding the violation.
- The operator is assigned to select an appropriate action taken.
- A process engineer is assigned to select an appropriate assignable cause.
- A supervisor is assigned to enter a comment.
- At 10:30am, the operator selects the action taken and enters a comment.
- At 10:32am, the operator takes a photo related to the issue.
- At 10:35am, one of the process engineers reviews the event and selects the cause of the violation.
- At 10:44am, a supervisor reviews the event timeline and leaves a comment.
When you see them in a list, those steps are somewhat intricate. But Enact makes all such activity easy to understand and dramatically shortens the time to resolution, as the image below shows.
Enact captures all information in time order while documenting the users who responded to the workflow. This is important because the workflow is assigned to a role (e.g., supervisor), but the actions are taken by individuals. With Enact, you have the flexibility to assign workflows to a role that should complete the task and you can trace the individual who completed a specific action.
Workflows ensure that operators know what to do when issues occur—and empowers them to do it. They don't have to memorize what they must do for each specific event—the system stores and tracks all that information for them. Then, the next time an operator runs into a similar issue, information is at their fingertips about what another operator did to resolve it, and management has a running record of how events were handled.
Enact’s workflows and exception-based triggers and reporting are available to help your operators focus on what they do best—keep manufacturing lines rolling and product quality high—instead of worrying about control charts. It facilitates accountability, adherence to best practices, and compliance.
InfinityQS quality management software is there for every step of your compliance efforts. Learn more about Enact on our website.