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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.

MFG DAY 2018: Tier 1 Automotive Suppliers You Can Visit!

Sep 24, 2018  |  Grant Nadell

Manufacturers open their doors to give students and the public an opportunity to visit and tour the facility and find out what it’s really like to work in manufacturing on October 5th, 2018, during the 6th annual Manufacturing Day.

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Best Apple 2018 iPhone for Manufacturers

Sep 14, 2018  |  Paul Foster

Apple releases new iPhone XR : a new device for mobile auditing

A few days ago, Apple announced its 3 new iPhones for 2018: iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR (pronounced “ten-R”), and it’s the iPhone XR that we’re excited about. Although we wouldn’t call it ‘cheap’ at $749, out of the 3 new iPhones, it’s the most cost-effective for manufacturers needing mobile devices for company use.  

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7 Mistakes to Avoid with Layered Process Audit Checklists

Sep 04, 2018  |  Richard Ruiz

Consider the last time you conducted a layered process audit. What did you learn? How much insight did you get to improve the process? Did you have the opportunity for coaching and feedback?

If the answer to any of these questions was “not much,” then you’ve got work to do on your layered process audit checklists.

Layered process audits (LPAs) are a type of high-frequency audit common in automotive and aerospace manufacturing. The audits take place multiple times daily and require participation from all levels of the organization, creating a series of checks to catch process errors before they become defects.

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14 Metrics Every Quality Exec Should Monitor & How to Calculate Them

Aug 27, 2018  |  Eric Stoop

As the saying goes, what gets measured gets managed. Though sometimes it’s hard to know which metrics are the most important when focused on in quality.

This post gives a high-level overview of 14 metrics every quality executive should consider monitoring, depending on your specific goals and improvement needs.

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8 Key Japanese Quality Management Terms to Know

Aug 21, 2018  |  Zach Baker

Why are so many quality terms in Japanese? Since the majority of quality management principles can be traced back to Japan’s automotive industry, it’s not entirely surprising. But what do these terms actually mean?

While many still debate the true origins of some of these Lean and Six Sigma terms, there's no question they play a major role from the plant floor on up to accounting.

If you’ve ever wondered about the translation and meaning behind these terms, here’s a list of eight terms underpinning common Lean principles.

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How Mobile Audit Tools Accelerate AIAG's Quality Road Map

Aug 13, 2018  |  Paul Foster

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has many resources for companies focused on continuous improvement, represented as a set of key checkpoints on its Road Map to Quality Success.

While it looks like a simple set of steps, the path isn’t necessarily straightforward. Each step is a process in and of itself, but there is one common tool that will help you get from point A to point B: audits.

Today we're looking at how audits, and specifically mobile audit tools, can help accelerate your progress towards quality goals.

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Celebrating the Life of Quality Visionary Sergio Marchionne

Aug 01, 2018  |  Eric Stoop

On Wednesday, July 25th, Sergio Marchionne, longtime CEO of Fiat Chrysler, died due to complications after a recent shoulder surgery. We at Ease express our deepest condolences to Marchionne’s family and friends during this time.

Marchionne was a visionary, always working diligently to make positive and profitable changes to FCA and to the automotive industry as a whole.

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Manufacturing Quality Control: The Difference Between Product and Process Audits

Jul 30, 2018  |  Paul Foster

Imagine you’re a supplier seeing a troubling spike in returns over a component with high failure rates. After a lengthy investigation and millions in warranty costs, you discover certain workstations haven’t been heating a product element to the right temperature.

Having already distributed tens of thousands of faulty components, you realize the problem is far from over, putting your most important contracts at risk.

How does this happen, even with a robust system of product audits? The simple fact is that product inspections don’t always catch process issues responsible for defects. And while quality checks in manufacturing tend to center on product audits, process audits are just as (or even more) important to quality. Let’s look at the difference between product and process audits, and how they work together in the big picture of quality.

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7 Types of Questions to Include in Process Audit Checklists

Jul 23, 2018  |  Paul Foster

Companies that implement a layered process audit (LPA) system must account for a wide variety of questions. Which process areas will you audit?  How often will you audit them? What will the process audits cover? How will you take action when you find non-conformances?

At the heart of these high-frequency checks, however, are the questions you include in your actual audit checklists to verify processes are being done right. We’ve discussed strategies for writing LPA questions, such as providing context on why and how to check individual items. Today, we’re examining 7 types of questions to consider for your process audit checklists, including:

    • Safety
    • Materials
    • Motions
    • Workstation design
    • Process for reporting issues
    • Documentation
    • Follow-up

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