February 27, 2017
Change for the Better
Today, change is a fact of life, and manufacturers are constantly challenged to keep up with changes in their industries, technologies, and markets. But one thing that never seems to change is that companies that thrive, leave a lasting impression, and have continuous success focus on quality.
For the best companies, quality is always
the goal. I mean, really, you just don’t hear a manufacturer who’s in it for the long haul say something like “I don’t care about the quality of our product; I just want to sell as many as I can.” So they employ people to keep an eye on quality.
But a true commitment to quality also means ongoing change—adapting, testing, and continuous improvement—and that means you must enable your quality professionals with the best tools available.
Most manufacturers remember a time when everyone used paper lists and charts to keep track of things because that’s all there was. As better tools and techniques became available, companies naturally gravitated toward them. They changed, arming their quality personnel with the best tools to do their jobs and help their companies save money and reduce waste.
Here’s a Great Example
Ben & Jerry’s is a world-renowned ice cream maker that prides itself on maintaining the strictest standards of product quality to ensure that its customers get the full flavor experience each and every time they enjoy a pint or cone of Vermont’s Finest. They tracked quantitative data for years using a paper-based system. Operators would take individual readings and calculate an average of those readings to plot on a paper chart. Quality assurance personnel would then perform manual calculations to compute trends and create reports.
Understandably, this eventually proved to be cumbersome for their operators and data administrators. This system was not only slow and inflexible, but it was also costly in terms of the man hours it required for calculation and analysis. Ben & Jerry’s needed a fast and reliable way to collect and analyze the vital quality data of its super-premium ice cream products.
Ben & Jerry’s moved away from a paper-based system and incorporated change, deploying InfinityQS’s ProFicient solution to streamline quality control procedures. The solution enabled measurement, monitoring, and control of four main product attributes—weight, volume, air addition, and inclusion amounts—as the pints of yumminess came off the production lines. The quality teams were able to work with production to quickly make adjustments—in real time—as products or processes approached specification limits.
Since implementing ProFicient, Ben & Jerry’s has used quality data to identify opportunities to improve run capability and raw material usage. Because high-quality ingredients are typically high priced, the ability to fine tune processes with more precise specification limits results in less raw material variation, cost savings, and a higher quality product for the consumer.
That’s a story that resonates throughout manufacturing. Companies in different parts of the world may run very different types of processes and may be challenged by different issues in their manufacturing processes, but they all still see the importance of quality. They still have a deeply rooted interest in saving money and reducing waste. After all, it’s still business…no matter where you are.
InfinityQS can help companies turn gears in their heads that have never been turned before. When you work with spreadsheets or with paper checklists, shifting your thoughts to automation is really a re-education process. But when you can see tangible evidence that your processes need not be wasteful—that you can actually save money by reducing waste—a light bulb goes on.
InfinityQS is helping companies all over the globe re-imagine quality and get past the old “we’ve always done things this way” mindset. When companies are willing to make that bold step into automation, InfinityQS can help lead the way.