In Manufacturing companies, the most critical success factor is the way the product functions in the hands of the customers. The concept of Zero Defects is the result of every operator in the factories doing their tasks correctly every time. When any single element is not right, the customer is vulnerable to a defect and all the engineering efforts go down the drain creating profitability problems everywhere.
The world class companies plan quality into the production process however WE ARE APPROACHING IT THE WRONG WAY. The dominant quality planning tool is the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) process which is looking for all the things that can go wrong and then mitigating risk on each failure mode. This process chases the infinite number of failure modes and you cannot get to Zero Defects by chasing infinity. FMEA's are required everywhere, they are hated by everyone and do not deliver the Zero Defect results.
Nobody SYSTEMATICALLY drives error and mistake proofing devices into the product design and manufacturing process designs. WHY? We are looking at Failure Modes instead of Success Modes. It is like, you want to drive to Chicago and you set your GPS to avoid, New York, LA etc. You need to set your GPS to get you to Chicago and if you veer off track. you want the device to tell you to get back on a best route.
Success Every Time (SET) is a method that drives the product design and process design engineers to install simple devices that talk to the production operators and let's them know they are doing the job properly. The devices are always present and keep the operator in the success lane.
When properly deployed, SET removes operator errors from the equation and the customers receive more consistent products. It stops the finger pointing and whining between Manufacturing and Design on build concerns because SET points out the issues UP FRONT where the problems can be designed out of the production process.
When using SET you achieve:
Robust Product Designs from the manufacturing viewpoint - parts are easier to make
Robust Process Designs for the operator - setting them up for success
Improved profitability for suppliers and customers due to better uptime and elimination of defects
Ask anyone you know that has used FMEA's. They are a major source of waste and frustration. FMEA's are a pain in the neck to create. FMEA's are never complete. FMEA's tend to be a hammer for management to beat on the engineers - why didn't you think of that ??? FMEA's do not deliver on the goal of Zero Defects.
It is time to do something smarter - let's drive Success Every Time. It's time for SET!