Quality - step by step

The role quality plays in the production department is reported on in this edition of our series on "the continual process of improvement".

At HEUFT SYSTEMTECHNIK GMBH it was recognized at an early stage that the most important resource for the success of an enterprise is in the employee´s mind and that this knowledge must be fostered and demands made on it in order to maintain a successful position in the market. This was one of the reasons for introducing group work at the beginning of the nineties. For the employees involved the introduction of group work meant a greater degree of individual responsibility. In conjunction with the wider range of work this also brought about increased motivation which in turn had a positive influence on quality. Quality was given more importance within the context of this introduction. In this connection there are several aspects to quality.

For the members of the production team quality signifies:

Quality in the working environment
We are firmly convinced that quality and order in the working environment has a significant influence on the quality of working procedures and the end product. A smooth working procedure and top quality are rarely achieved in a disorderly working environment. All the workplaces were designed within the context of the group work together with the employees. Check lists and constant quality audits ensure that the orderly state of the workshop is maintained in the long term.

Quality of the working procedure
All the products at HEUFT SYSTEMTECHNIK GMBH are manufactured as part of a process-oriented organization of work. The principle of the satisfied customer is established here in the procedures by means of an in-house customer / supplier relationship. This ensures that everything passed on to the next colleague has to be of perfect quality. Members of the production team are fully involved in all the stages of production - from the development of new products, choice of suppliers and material planning to actual manufacture. It is this knowledge about the complete production process which time and time again generates new ideas in order to constantly develop the working procedure as well as the products during this continual process of improvement.

Product quality
Since the quality of a product is already determined in the development phase with its construction it is here that the members of the production team contribute their expertise in order to achieve good quality products. This extends to the choice of suitable suppliers and constant checks in the form of incoming goods inspections. The principle of being responsible for carrying out one´s own checks applies within the production department. In other words each member of the production team checks his own work and intermediate inspections of the modules are documented and signed. If in-house complaints or those from outside are nevertheless received about the quality of a product these are investigated via a complaints system and resolved by taking the necessary improvement measures. Upon completion of the production process each product is subjected to an extensive examination by employees from the production and quality assurance departments. Working procedures and long-term product quality are analysed in "quality" circles by the members of the production team. Additional knowledge regarding product optimisation is acquired by means of long-term in-house tests which then flows back into the work of the "quality" circles. Find out more about these long-term tests and product optimisation here next month.