At its most basic, an elevator is a box: its component pieces consist of wall panels, a door or two, a ceiling, and a floor. Yet when all the pieces fit together just right, this simple box performs a wonder of modern technology: at the push of a button, it quickly and safely carries people to high-up building floors and back down again. But if all these pieces don’t fit together perfectly
during installation, then the manufacturer is faced with a difficult decision: non-conforming panels must be thrown away—and new ones produced and expedited to the job site.
This was an ongoing problem for an international elevator manufacturing company. Out-of-spec wall panels were causing job site construction delays that ranged from two to seven days—angering customers, costing time and money, and jeopardizing the goodwill of installation crews.
In 2016, the company that manufactured these elevators implemented InfinityQS quality management software
at their primary elevator panel manufacturing site. According to the company’s project manager, “For our first major InfinityQS project, we implemented a manual entry program designed to gain better control over our panel machining process.”
The quality data collected by our ProFicient™
quality management software solution enabled the company to quickly identify where the process went awry—and to take immediate corrective action. In fact, once they put process controls in place, they were able to prevent non-conforming material from leaving the factory. Now that sounds like a good fit.
Building Upon Success: Shortening Production Times
Statistical process control (SPC
) software from InfinityQS helps operators efficiently and accurately capture quality process data. After fixing their non-conforming elevator panel problem, we worked closely with the company—exploring additional ways to help improve data collection and analysis in other processes.
The project manager and her team focused next on shortening elevator panel Takt time. “Takt time,” or simply “Takt,” is “the average time interval between the start of production of one unit and the start of production of the next unit when items are produced sequentially.”
Before our software was implemented, elevator panels were a 100% inspection workstation, and Takt time was lagging at five minutes. According to the company’s project manager, the SPC data captured by InfinityQS quality management software enabled them to reduce panel production time to just 2-3 minutes per run—a 40 to 60% savings every time.
This means that their elevator panel Takt time was not looking good from a lean perspective. “This process is highly capable now, with a Cpk over 1.33,” added the project manager. “Excel-driven processes became wireless gauge processes with ProFicient, which gives us more accurate, real-time data and saves us time and money
Quickly Spot & Fix Quality Issues
InfinityQS ProFicient helps ensure that a complete, accurate data record is collected—even when processes change—so manufacturers can quickly address any and all problems that arise. This elevator company uses a variety of data collection methods to accurately track quality and process information. Shop-floor operators collect data manually, and semi-automated data is collected through a variety of devices—such as digital gauges.
This company also uses Automated Data Collection (ADC
), a ProFicient add-on service. ADC helps save valuable operator time, provides more accurate data than can be collected manually, and ensures that data are always collected on time.
The company’s project manager and her team decided to add wireless gauge data collection capabilities to their ProFicient implementation and began digitally capturing real-time manufacturing data. The team then used this data to improve other onsite production processes.
By collecting data that exposed exactly where to focus improvement efforts, ProFicient enabled this manufacturer to quickly spot quality issues, tweak processes, and reduce rework.
“We were finally able to collect and analyze data that was good and reliable. We started performing detailed root cause analysis on exactly what part arrangements were driving some of this variation.”
How Can InfinityQS Quality Management Software Help Improve Manufacturing?
Our quality management software can conduct a wide range of SPC-related quality checks across a broad array of manufacturing industries—supporting many types of business improvement initiatives.
- Quality conformance (variable and attribute)
- Process capability/performance
- Setup or startup verification
- Tool wear monitoring
- Acceptance sampling
- Gauge calibration
- Measurement system analysis
- Semi- and fully-automated
- Variation reduction
- Waste reduction
- Compliance (internal and external)
- Process efficiency and reliability
- Lean/continuous Improvement
- From 1 to 100s of manufacturing sites
- Domestic and international facilities
- High mix/low volume environments
- Low mix/high volume environments
- Hybrid and discrete manufacturing
Operator Input = Assured Adoption
InfinityQS has been providing quality management solutions to manufacturing companies (and their employees) for more than 30 years. In that time, we’ve found that operators can be understandably hesitant when it comes to adopting new technology. It often takes extensive time to learn and master new tools, and operators are among the most time-starved employees—because production runs must always come first.
The project manager at this elevator company helped guarantee a quick and seamless adoption of our software by building projects that included direct feedback from operators. She worked side-by-side with operators to learn the intricacies of their daily jobs—and then built ProFicient projects to match.
Operators were asked, for example, “Do you want to enter this information earlier? When do you want to scan this in? At what point do you want to enter this data?” ProFicient is quick and easy to configure, which enabled the project manager to set up the tool to correspond to exactly how the company’s operators work. Each project was then configured to mirror their needs, workstations, and workflows.
ProFicient Data Entry Screen
“If you take operator feedback and modify a process accordingly, that gives them much more incentive to use the product successfully,” says the project manager. “If you set up ProFicient projects to work how your operators work, they will use it—and they will love it. Projects can include detailed instructions and pictures, which are extremely helpful for our operators.”
Certifying Processes with Speed
With our software, this customer is able to conduct rigorous, thorough, accurate audits and process certifications faster than ever before. The process and capability data captured in ProFicient also makes it a snap to quickly provide results to both internal and external customers. In fact, this manufacturer uses our quality management software to quickly and efficiently conduct their annual audits once every eight months
“Before ProFicient, we used to identify 30 data points and run a capability analysis, which took a lot of time. With ProFicient, we just pull up the control chart or capability analysis and can instantly see the exact level at which the process is performing—and we can then certify or decertify the process immediately.”
Seeing the Big Picture
If you don’t capture and analyze data, you can’t make smart decisions. Prior to
implementing ProFicient, it took this company weeks to unite quality process data across various lines and machines—and conducting deep-dive analysis took even longer.
ProFicient™ on Demand
), our cloud-based version of ProFicient, enables users to quickly and easily search for real-time data points and make decisions based on exactly what the data is telling them. Our customers cite “increased visibility
”—a key feature of PoD—as their favorite product benefit, whether analyzing different shifts, lines, products, or plants.
It is an invaluable advantage for companies to capture process data in a way that helps them rapidly compare data across lines and plants, analyze that data in detail, and use it to make smarter business decisions. This expanded visibility helps expose why some lines or plants perform better than others, enables teams to research why these differences exist, and empowers companies to immediately rectify problems.
“With ProFicient, we can instantly see what the data is telling us. Analysis that used to take weeks now takes a few minutes.”
ProFicient Analysis Charts
With ProFicient quality management software, you can take the InfinityQS quality elevator to the top!
Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website
) for more information.