How Lean Methodology Improves Custom Manufacturing Operations

Updated: Feb 25

Bluestreak Reading Time: 3 minutes

Despite the advances in manufacturing, most quality problems in manufacturing are the result of preventable errors. While some mistakes are easily correctable, nearly a quarter of all unplanned downtime in manufacturing can be attributed to human error.

Almost 80% of quality issues can be traced back to the people working in the organization. In some cases, it’s human error. In others, it’s because of the process, training, or monitoring. In nearly every case, however, it’s a people-procedure-monitoring issue that can be resolved using the right manufacturing execution and quality management system (MES + QMS) software.

Cause of Errors in Manufacturing

The human factor in eliminating mistakes and improving quality shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take a look at this list of the causes of errors in manufacturing:

  1. 24% procedures

  2. 23% human error

  3. 20% equipment or materials

  4. 15% training

  5. 9% management oversight

  6. 8% design problems

  7. 1% external factors

Procedures are the most often reported cause of problems. Many of these errors are due to improper planning or failing to provide the right information at the right time in the process.

If 20% of errors come from equipment, you might think that this is due to equipment breakdowns or faulty equipment. In reality, however, it is the result of another preventable error: maintenance and calibration. That is a people/process issue as well.

Equipment failure or lack of maintenance is cited as the leading cause of equipment issues. Yet, more than two-thirds (70%) of manufacturers admit that they don’t have the full picture on tracking when equipment is due for maintenance, upgrade, or replacement.

Eliminating Mistakes and Improving Quality

Here are common symptoms that appear in manufacturing facilities. If you are experiencing any of these problems in your production facility, you need to take action to improve your quality and cut down on mistakes:

  • Difficulty meeting customer or market demands

  • Problems coping with change (change-management challenges)

  • Information latency

  • Lost or misplaced paperwork

  • Product or material traceability

  • Poor visibility into work in progress

  • Not meeting production schedules or being optimal throughout

Many of these problems can be traced to their root cause: a lack of the “unified version of the truth,” so to speak. When paperwork hasn’t been updated during the entire production pathway, down to the individual machine and operator level, you’re asking for trouble. Yet, this happens all the time when manufacturers use manual processes or printed paperwork.

Eliminating mistakes and improving quality are all about data control. Fortunately, advances in manufacturing by utilizing the right software to manage your production pathway can provide the data visibility that you need. Total visibility grants total access to every essential process in your manufacturing chain and makes it accessible to anyone who needs it. From one centralized location, every employee with authorized access can see the latest, real-time information. Complete visibility provides for more coherent workflows, tracking, and consistency. Production, testing, and compliance can be handled within one system that makes compliance audits manageable.

Some manufacturers justify the waste, scrap, and rework as a necessary expense of doing business. They accept high levels of waste—and cost—without taking the required steps to improve operations. It doesn’t have to be that way. While quality management software is indeed an investment, it’s an investment in the sustainability of your business.

How MES + QMS Software Eliminates Mistakes and Improves Quality

The right QMS + MES system, such as Bluestreak’s integrated quality management system, ties quality control and quality assurance directly to individual work centers and processing steps on the production floor, all in one inclusive database with no separate silos of disjointed data. Features include:

  • Real-time data

  • Ability for accurate data to be accessed by everyone

  • Complete audit trail

  • Integrated control plans

  • Test data results

  • Management of non-conformances

  • CAPAs

  • Paperless workflow

  • Work orders

  • Tracking of every part in work orders

  • Equipment monitoring

  • Maintenance orders

Bluestreak QMS + MES is a complete end-to-end manufacturing solution for the whole process, from the time purchase orders are issued until the final product is delivered to the customer.

Using Bluestreak, you can achieve greater consistency in your production, so you see fewer mistakes and improved quality. This leads to less frustration for your employees and more satisfied customers. It also provides a pathway for continuous quality improvement in products, processes, and systems. Last but not least, the right QMS can reduce your overall costs of producing parts and products, leading to reduced risk and higher profit margins.

Eliminate Mistakes and Improve Quality

One of the biggest advances in manufacturing in recent years is the precision and control afforded by QMS + MES software solutions. Contact Bluestreak today for more information, and see firsthand how advances in manufacturing systems can eliminate mistakes and improve quality.

Bluestreak’s MES + QMS solution helps service-based manufacturers drive quality straight down to the production floor to minimize scrap and rework and, therefore, protect their profit margins.

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