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Beacon Quality Blog

A blog on plant floor quality: IATF 16949:2016, ISO 9001:2015, layered process audits, 5S, health and safety, gemba & more. Our software, Beacon Quality, simplifies these processes with our mobile auditing solution.

A Buyer's Guide Checklist to Mobile Layered Process Audit Software

Sep 20, 2019  |  Shawn Faircloth

Under pressure to achieve zero defects, many automotive and aerospace suppliers are leveraging mobile technology to strengthen their layered process audit approach. Layered process audits (LPAs) have traditionally been a time-intensive activity, requiring scheduling, follow-up and reporting on process checks taking place every single shift.

This complexity makes LPAs a prime target for automation, but like any digital transformation initiative, making the right choice requires careful consideration of a wide range of product capabilities. This checklist highlights some of the most important, so you can make an informed choice that helps enable process excellence.

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Gemba Walk Checklist Template

Jun 25, 2018  |  Shawn Faircloth

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What Auto Suppliers Need to Know About New GM BIQS

May 15, 2018  |  Shawn Faircloth

In 2016, General Motors (GM) instituted a new supplier quality program called Built in Quality Supply (BIQS), representing a major departure from its previous Quality Systems Basics (QSB) program.

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5 Reasons Why Corrective Actions Miss the Mark

Mar 26, 2018  |  Shawn Faircloth

The cost of ineffective corrective action can be astronomical when you consider the monetary and reputational impact of delayed problem-solving. On a small scale, repeat problems—even minor errors—send a message to customers that you just don’t care to get it right.

And when poor problem-solving leads to more significant quality escapes? You could be looking at $10,000 per minute from the customer in line stoppage charges, or even a $10 million dollar recall.

To ensure corrective actions reduce risk, automotive and aerospace suppliers need to avoid key mistakes around measuring effectiveness, root cause analysis and tracking closure.

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How to Improve Layered Process Audit Questions with Real Examples

Mar 05, 2018  |  Shawn Faircloth

Compare the following process audit questions, asking which would be more effective at preventing defects:

Question A: Does the operator know how to handle non-conforming material?

Question B: Can the operator describe each step of the non-conforming material process according to the quality manual?

Clearly, Question B is more likely to identify errors that result in defective product reaching the customer—the main goal of layered process audit (LPA) requirements for General Motors (GM) and Fiat Chrysler suppliers. These high-frequency audits focus on how products are made, and are also gaining traction in industries like aerospace as a best practice for minimizing variation, defects and quality costs.

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User Summit Notes: Layered Process Audit Tips from Leading Companies

Aug 08, 2017  |  Shawn Faircloth

The 2017 Beacon User Summit convened auto and aerospace manufacturers looking to trade strategies on creating a culture of quality and using layered process audit (LPA) software.

One of the most interesting sessions was a customer panel discussion on how companies are leveraging LPAs to improve quality. To help you learn from their expertise, we’ve distilled the discussion into the top best practices for companies looking to implement LPAs.

(image by http://caeventphotos.com/)

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IATF 16949 Countdown Checklist

Jul 07, 2017  |  Shawn Faircloth

 In 2016, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) published IATF 16949, which replaced the popular ISO/TS 16949 used in over 62,000 facilities globally.

IATF 16949 certification is required for all automotive suppliers, and with compliance deadlines coming up, the countdown is on for companies to make the transition.

As you prepare, you’ll want to educate yourself about the new changes, assess any gaps in your process, and create an implementation plan that addresses them. Documenting compliance can be one of the biggest hurdles for companies - an area where automated audit platforms can have a big impact.

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Rising to the Challenge: How Automotive Suppliers Are Addressing IATF 16949

Mar 09, 2017  |  Shawn Faircloth

In accordance with the new standard, IATF 16949, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently published a document updating its customer-specific requirements. This publication, along with similar documents from General Motors and other large automotive customers, lays out tighter requirements that are prompting automotive suppliers around the world to evaluate their existing processes and systems to ensure compliance.

Notably, the document requires suppliers to conduct an internal quality audit at least once per year, and also mandates they conduct Layered Process Audits (LPA) on all elements of manufacturing and assembly lines that produce parts for FCA. In this article, we’ll highlight some of FCA’s specific requirements, evaluate their significance and in some cases, discuss potential solutions that can help companies with compliance.

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Your Transition to IATF 16949: 5 Critical Things to Think About Right Now

Nov 08, 2016  |  Shawn Faircloth

Over the years, ISO/TS 16949 has emerged as the leading standard for quality system requirements in the automotive industry.

But now, as a result of last month’s publication from the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), the industry will have to brace for an evolved global industry standard, referred to as IATF 16949.

As organizations start thinking about compliance, there are critical insights and decisions that will need to be considered along the way. In this blog, we’ll highlight five key factors that are shaping this change, what they mean, and why your organization should start thinking about them now.

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