Friday, December 31, 2010

Serial/Lot Tracking Could Save Your Manufacturing Business

CNN reported today that Ford is recalling thousands of trucks due to a faulty module that could potentially start a fire.

Ford discovered the fault on the assembly line and decided to investigate. It was traced to a single part called a body control module; a part manufactured by Lear Corp. As Lear investigated, they were able to find out that this specific part failed because "a new hire failed to clean a soldering machine over a 6 day period in October".

Wow! Now that's an impressive level of detail. This recall could have been much wider... maybe millions of vehicles. But instead, its limited to 6 days! How did they know? It's because they use software similar to MISys Manufacturing that provides visibility and detail into their manufacturing processes.

Because Lear was able to isolate and track down that specific part to a specific source location - which led to a specific place and time in the manufacturing process - they were able to quickly tie it back to the vehicles that received these parts and limit the damage and cost.

Mistakes happen. And when they do, make sure you have the right tools in place to fix it!

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New Chapter Now Available: How To Choose A Right-sized Manufacturing System - The Basics of Planning

It is easy to say “We should do better planning” but actually accomplishing this goal is often very difficult – virtually impossible without strict procedures coupled with a computerized system.
Effective planning is often illusive for manufacturing firms whether they are small or large, but for different reasons.

Small manufacturing firms usually lack the manpower required to “get organized” and implement sufficiently strict policies and procedures where planning is possible. Without strict procedures, small firms generally will revert to “seat-of-the-pants” operations where all efforts of focused on getting through to the end of the day... read more