問題解決能力の向上が複雑な製造業の品質を支える

 

COMAU, a company part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group, designs products – including robots – systems and solutions in the industrial automation field for its customers worldwide.

One piece of equipment COMAU manufactures is the body-side framer. It is a large and critical component on automotive body assembly lines. It holds and aligns the left-half and right-half vehicle body sides to the underbody, so they can be welded together precisely. Operational quality and reliability are of extreme importance both to COMAU and its customers.

During 2016 and early 2017, COMAU was preparing a body-side framer to fulfill a customer order. During prototype testing, it was discovered that a small, but significant part, the Y-axle closure, would not open completely. Since the body-side framer must move into the assembly process with extreme precision in the X, Y and Z axes, the failure of the Y-axle affected the entire operational effectiveness and efficiency of the equipment, by creating an entire station stop.

This resulted in an average MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 50.000 cycles during Q1, 2017 prototype testing (see chart below), but the standard MTBF for the Y-axle, according to the supplier, is 500,000 cycles.

品質が有形・無形のコストに与える影響

To the CFO, achieving and delivering maximum quality is a matter of the cost of making and fixing the company’s products. To the quality manager, quality relates to optimizing or improving customer relationships. Failing to determine and resolve the root cause of the Y-axle problem in a timely manner, however, would have impacted tangible and intangible costs in many ways.

In virtually all manufacturing environments, quality’s impact extends well beyond ROI calculations. The intangible connection to quality is also the perception by the industry and current and prospective customers that the products, equipment and machinery they use in their production processes are reliable and the company manufacturing them is a dependable supplier.

The tangible costs could be represented by potential delay caused to the customer’s industrialization planning, and the potential request penalties for delay. The second is directly connected to MTBF. OEMs have a special procedure to calculate the loss brought by a line stoppage.

The intangible costs, however, were much greater. This equipment is potentially suitable for all the next customer’s new projects. Thus, customer’s dissatisfaction, followed by a change in terms of his equipment strategy would have had a short-period impact on costs and ROI for COMAU; however, it’s the impact of future sales that is more significant.

COMAU’s framer is designed for the entire lifespan of customer products. With good maintenance, life could be extended up to more than 20 years as it was for the previous version of COMAU’s framer product. In that period of time, several new customer’s product launches and customer’s products could be extended to other plants. A lack of reliability on COMAU’s new framer could affect the company reputation in the Body in White market, where COMAU maintains global leadership.

無形のコストには、長期的な収益だけではありません。自動車のような世界最大の製造業であっても、小さなコミュニティであることに変わりはありません。したがって、このような大規模な品質問題は、業界全体に波及し、評判、信頼性、信頼性の喪失、そして将来の会社の収益と成長の未達成をもたらします。

Kepner-Tregoe社のPSDM(Problem-Solving and Decision-Making)手法による品質問題への対応

COMAU社のエンジニアは、ボディサイドフレーマーの品質問題に対して、根本的な原因を想像し、様々な仮説を立てて解決策を検討しました。お客様の納期が100日に達しても、根本原因や解決策が見つからなかったため、エンジニアはFCA EMEA地域のリアクティブマネージャー兼トレーナーであり、同社のKT(Kepner-Tregoe)プログラムリーダーでもあるLuca Baciarelloに相談した。

Baciarello氏は、KT PSDMのトレーニングと経験から学んだように、探偵のように質の高い課題に取り組みました。犯行がどのように行われたかを想像するのではなく、質問をし、手がかりを探し、事実を集め、事件の対照的な要素を検証することに集中した。

「Baciarello氏は、「KT社のPSDMから得られた最良の教訓は、プロセスを整然と適用した後に、ソリューションの仮説を検討するということです。

Mr. Baciarello asked for 30 days to investigate and determine the root cause of the quality issue with the body-side framer. By working closely with the supplier of the Y-axle and applying the KT methodology specifically, distinction logic, and building a KT problem specification using is, is – not pairs then, applying KT distinctions and changes, the root cause was identified and a solution was implemented.

Following the adjustments to the body-side framer, the MTBF increased 10 times without stopping during the subsequent 5 months prototype testing. In addition, the supplier of the Y-axle re-designed and started to produce a new version of its previous standard Y-axle part.

Because of Mr. Baciarello’s successful application of KT PSDM, COMAU’s leadership recognized its potential and initiated KT training for various groups of employees, with a final objective to establish a strategy for an efficient problem-analysis approach throughout the company.

  • FCAリアクティブプログラムのコースで2017年中に22名の研修生が参加
  • 2018年中に30人の実習生を採用し、次年度も継続的に拡大する
  • COMAU NAFTA地域もこのトレーニングに参加しています。
COMAUについて

With more than 40 years of industrial automation experience, COMAU is a global leader in the industrial automation field. Its competencies range from joining, assembly and machining to complete, robotized manufacturing systems and asset management services, which includes the application of advanced technologies that are fully connected for real-time monitoring and control. COMAU has 35 offices, 5 innovation centers and 15 manufacturing sites in 17 countries worldwide.