Errors in Manufacturing Industry
Published 19 Aug 2016
The implications for reducing errors in manufacturing industry.
In engineering and manufacturing quality control and quality engineering are meant to ensure the products and services meet customers requirement. However it is not often the case, human factor has defects which give rise to mistakes and errors, which on one hand derogates the quality, and on the other creates unnecessary delay. The author in the article has pointed out that in traditional manufacturing, quality control techniques do not address problems in manufacturing. In order to overcome the problem, they have proposed a model borrowed from Japanese idea of poka yoke, which is “a mistake proofing device”, meant to eliminate errors in production stage.
There are many implications of the reducing error, which can be used in a number of ways.
For example one advantage of removing errors can help to improve speed, reduce production time and managing waste, yet product is error free yet meeting customer expectations. Other benefits can include reliability safety and maintainability due to reduction in errors. These benefits can be achieved by properly meeting the conformance to the product specifications, such as drawing, standards and other relevant specification mentioned in the manufacturing process. The strict inspection and test carried out neither during the inspections stage can ensure that the quality of the product is not affected nor beyond the standard. And any error found at an early stage can save enormous time and money for the manufacturers. Sometimes there is some flaw found in the basic design of the system, the early detection of the error enables the engineers to redesign the product and fix the errors at in early stage. Even though there are enormous benefits attached to the reduction of error due to the process being automated, still there are chances that human error might enter the production process, which can cause a company million-dollar loss due to the blind reliance on the system. Therefore it is essential no matter how much safety measure is taken, checking and rechecking the system for human error is of utmost importance.
How this knowledge should be shared in industry?
Knowledge developed in one industry can be useful in similar industry. There are several ways to share knowledge, for example knowledge developed in one industry can be shared by doing join research projects in the same industry. Normally in such kind of manufacturing projects, researchers can develop tools to support engineers to ensure quality of the manufacturing, which can be adapted by engineers and technicians to make production smooth and solving problems related to production, enabling them to save time and money. The knowledge sharing in international manufacturing companies also enable companies to increase their knowledge and re-use the shared knowledge from the geographically dispersed locations that have similar problems. There are many things to be considered for sharing knowledge, such as need for sharing the knowledge, all the participating manufacturers need to have a common motivation to share their experience with others manufactures.
However knowledge sharing requires more than putting people in conference room. It is about creating an environment where people are willing to learn and listen to extend their knowledge and be benefited, which requires creation of trust among the industry people. It was this sharing of knowledge which gave rise to Silicon valley, where engineers came together, trusted each other and shared knowledge and learning from each other and became a mature (IT) industry in a short span of time due to knowledge sharing among each other.
Identify an example of a manufacturing error, which could be reduced using these techniques?
One such example is spreaders and bars in the lifting equipment, which normally cause lift failure. All lifting equipment is normally constructed in accordance with ANSI standard and has the manufacturer’s name and serial number, but it has little affect on the amount of accidents, which takes place every year. Normally the equipment is hazardous, especially when it is used for a different load than specified. Management assumes that the lift will still work, if welding is applied to the structure. But normally problem occurs when workers walk or stand under such load, disregarding the rule not to stand under the load. Often loads falls occurring injuries and some times death. There are countless reasons for such failure, ranging from oversize lifting equipment and not taking safety measures or the presence of a false sense of safety among supervisors and workers.
The higher the load, the greater the danger, and the greater will be path of projected fall resulting in injury or death. One solution is to carry load as close to the ground, but it is not possible. Another technique is using tagline on the panels, even that is not feasible in all kind of situations.
The only solution is to use U bracket mounted on the end, which easily fits the side of the panel. This can be done in the design and manfaturing stage, where manufacturers can add up the u brakcet in production stage keeping the lifts safe. Further more, such kind of design can achieved by a collaboration between producers and manufacturers to reduce the occurrence of such incidents, which takes place due to an engeering fault, but can be avioded by remvoing error from the equipment
One prime example of testing the model is airlines industry, which has very low level of accident rate. The reason for such excellence in airlines industry is that the cost associated with systems failures are high, in human and machine terms, airlines industry ensure that such errors do not occur. Airlines manfacuresr bulid systems which are fail safe as the indusry constantly focus on removing human errors.