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A quality-control trend to delegate receipt testing of raw materials to global composites supplier Cytec Engineered Materials is gaining popularity among a diverse group of aerospace and high-performance automotive manufacturers.
(Published on October-November 2005 – JEC Magazine #20)
BY BOB HARRIGAN, QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER, CYTEC ENGINEERED MATERIALS
In some cases, “the decision to delegate the Q/A work to us has saved individual customers more than $1 million annually,” said Bob Harrigan, quality assurance manager, who directs quality control activity at the company’s European headquarters in Wrexham, U.K. “For upwards of five years, more and more of our customers have begun asking us to complete intricate materials testing analysis that, traditionally, they had handled themselves,” Harrigan said. “Whether they call it ‘Incoming Inspection Delegation,’ ‘Reduced Inspection Delegation,’ or some other name, the delegation of responsibility means our customers trust us to conduct a wide range of their critical material testing.”
From a global leader in the design and manufacture of regional and business aircraft to a European-based innovator in the development, design and fabrication of fibre-reinforced lightweight aviation systems, as well as to a number of trendsetters in the European highperformance automotive industry, manufacturers increasingly are finding value in material testing delegation.
Continuous improvement boon
The initiative has helped drive continuous improvement as standard specification limits are being superseded by control limits based on Statistical Process Control (SPC) data. Establishing excellent correlation between the two sets of data is a must, but is only the first step in the programme. Customers must evaluate and determine the suitability of all aspects of the manufacturing and quality systems in place.
“By assuming responsibility for inspection, we reduce customers’ lead time to the shop floor – while saving them man-hours and appreciable costs,” added David Snyder, managing director for Europe. “Inspection delegation from our customers underscores their confidence in our ability to understand – and deliver to – their exacting requirements. They’ve driven out replication from their quality control process and entrusted important testing procedures to us.”