Process Control – Product Quality
All new products are studied before production begins so that a quality plan can be established. The principle of “Advanced Product Quality Planning” (APQP) used in the automotive industry is applied to all products from Polydec SA. It is explained by the following elements:
- The failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) determines the sensitive points of the product and allows the entire testing plan to be adapted to the actual needs of the part.
- The monitoring plan indicates in an exhaustive way the best method for guaranteeing the quality of the product at each stage of manufacturing.
- The partnership established with the primary suppliers is a fundamental step in the quality plan.
- The study of process capabilities (Cmk, Cpk) ensures that the product is manufactured without any surprises. The critical rates are continuously monitored by SPC control cards.
- A “Measurement System Analysis” (MSA) guarantees that the measurement devices used are capable of measuring fixed tolerances.
- A maintenance plan is in place for all measurement and testing tools, manufacturing equipment and infrastructure.
- The final inspection of a product by a qualified staff member allows a final check to be carried out from “the customer’s point of view” and, upon request, the testing protocols to be delivered.
- For long production runs, particularly in the automotive sector, the parts are then fed through control robots working on the principle of measurements taken by camera or probe. These systems allow results below the 5 PPM mark to be achieved (number of faults per million parts). This rate can, in some cases, reach 0 PPM (zero faults).
As with any part of the quality system, any discrepancies detected give rise to corrective actions.
For products destined for the automotive industry, the entire quality plan and the tests to which it refers are collected to form an approval file for the product, called the “Production Part Approval Process” (PPAP). This document must be approved by the customer before any production begins.