Implementing SPC in a P/M Operation- The Results 880115
For years, Brockway Pressed Metals, Inc., (BPM) of Brockway, PA, has been a supplier of quality pressed metal parts for a wide range of industrial applications. Until 1983, Brockway had been using standard quality control (QC) procedures based primarily on inspection. With the increasing emphasis on total statistical process control (SPC), Brockway's management decided that BPM should be one of the leaders in the P/M industry in making the transition from QC inspection to SPC. Upon making the commitment to SPC, management decided to use expertise from external sources to aid them in designing and implementing the SPC system.
This paper details:
the stages and implementation schedule used at BPM, as well as identifying the numerous problems encountered along the way;
the approaches used to solve some of these problems;
some of the advantages that are beginning to materialize from the SPC system;
the current state of the implementation schedule; and,
Brockway's plan for continuing improvement in the quality of its products.
The final section of the paper identifies some of the difficulties inherent in implementing an SPC program in a P/M operation that is primarily job-shop oriented. It contrasts this setting to the situations generally encountered by operations that involve long-running jobs. The summary makes recommendations for designing and implementing an SPC program in a job-shop type P/M environment.