In manufacturing, it is essential that you deliver products that are of high quality to your customers. One of the main factors that determines customer satisfaction is the quality of the product they purchase. No one wants to buy a product that is prone to breakage or will need to be replaced soon. In addition, products of poor quality negatively impact manufacturing operations as it can be costly to perform re-work on items that don’t meet quality standards.
One of the most essential responsibilities within manufacturing operations is to ensure that the final output of your plant complies with any internal and external quality standards. Quality standards are set in place to ensure the safety and durability of your products.
While quality assurance may sound like a simple and easy process, it can be a bit complex. A complete and thorough evaluation of your manufacturing facility’s quality performance relies on many metrics that will identify whether you are producing a high number of quality products in the most efficient manner. In addition, there are some questions to consider:
- Are suppliers delivering quality raw materials?
- Is your process defined to manufacture quality products?
- Are you considering customer feedback and complaints?
The 3 quality metrics below will help you gain an understanding of the current quality performance of your production facility while highlighting areas of improvement. While this list is in no way extensive, it will help you start to identify processes and areas that are in need of improvement so that you can reliably produce items of high quality.
3 Types of Quality Metrics for Manufacturing
The top three types of quality metrics for manufacturing include the following:
- Yield - This metric is measured in most production facilities. Yield can be measured in two ways: First Pass Yield and Overall Yield. Both metrics are able to provide insight into the efficiency of your quality management process. First Pass Yield is measured as the percentage of items produced that comply with company or industry standards and are not in need or re-work. This metric can provide insight into the efficiency of your operation processes as consistently having a high First Pass Yield means that your processes are reliable in producing quality products. Overall Yield is similar to First Pass yield but includes all items that comply with quality standards, even if they require re-work. It is important to note that a Yield of 100% does not mean that your processes cannot be further improved.
- Supplier Defect Rate - The overall quality of a finished product highly depends on the quality of the materials used to produce it. Supplier Defect Rate is measured as the percentage of materials or products received from suppliers that do not meet the required quality standards. If you have multiple suppliers, it is helpful to calculate the supplier defect rate for each and identify suppliers that have the most reliable quality of materials. Finding alternative suppliers for those with the highest defect rate is also recommended. Supplier Defect Rate is an essential metric for industries that have supplier-based operations such as automotive, aerospace, and electric industries.
- Scrap Rate - Another way to measure product quality is to gain an understanding of your scrap rate. In manufacturing, scraps refer to the units that have defects or errors which prevent them from being sold. Scrap rate is a percentage that can be measured by taking the number of scrapped units and divide that by the total number of units produced in the same time period. A production facility may also choose to measure Defects per Million Opportunities (DMPO) which measures the percentage of defects (scrap units) for every million products produced. This is by far the most accepted metric for operations that uses a Six-Sigma-based culture.
These quality metrics are the first step to gain insight into the quality of your manufacturing operations. When quality inefficiencies are identified, manufacturers can work to improve their product quality by:
- Using high-quality raw materials and parts
- Defining standard production procedures
- Assessing and improving your manufacturing processes
- Investing in automation
- Increasing training for shop floor operators
- Implementing continuous improvement while considering customer feedback
A software that can adequately analyze quality metrics for manufacturing includes PlanetTogether’s Advanced Planning and Scheduling Software. PlanetTogether is packaged with various KPIs as well as Analytics Reports and Dashboards that allow users to analyze their production schedules, improve their operations, and keep track of changes to customer orders.
Our quality has improved as a result [of implementing PlanetTogether]. The software assigns the best person to the job.
DICK MARX, MATERIALS MANAGER, KNAPHEIDE TRUCK EQUIPMENT
Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software
Advanced Planning and Scheduling Softwares have become a must for modern-day manufacturing operations as customer demand for increased product assortment, fast delivery, and downward cost pressures become prevalent. These systems help planners save time while providing greater agility in updating ever-changing priorities, production schedules, and inventory plans. APS Systems can be quickly integrated with an ERP/MRP software to fill the gaps where these systems lack planning and scheduling flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency.
With PlanetTogether APS you can:
- Create optimized schedules that balance production efficiency and delivery performance
- Maximize throughput on bottleneck resources to increase revenue
- Synchronize supply with demand to reduce inventories
- Provide company-wide visibility to resource capacity
- Enable scenario data-driven decision making
The implementation of an Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) Software will take your manufacturing operations to the next level of production efficiency by taking advantage of the operational data you already possess in your ERP system. APS is a step in the right direction of efficiency and lean manufacturing production enhancement. Try out a free trial or demo!