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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.

AIAG 2019 Quality Summit Highlights

Nov 15, 2019  |  Ease Inc

On October 2-3, 2019, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) hosted its annual Quality Summit, an event that draws hundreds of industry leaders every year. As in previous years, the event took place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan, a familiar venue for those who have attended in the past.

We talked with Murray Sittsamer, president of The Luminous Group, and John Rose, quality systems manager for Jacobs Vehicle Systems, about the event. Some of the highlights from this year’s summit include key updates from industry groups about new quality initiatives, informational sessions and even a celebrity appearance.

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5 Root Cause Analysis Tools for More Effective Problem-Solving

Oct 30, 2018  |  Paul Foster

Next to defining a problem accurately, root cause analysis is one of the most important elements of problem-solving in quality management. That’s because if you’re not aiming at the right target, you’ll never be able to eliminate the real problem that’s hurting quality.

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Improving Your FMEA Process

Jun 11, 2018  |  Scot Larsen

Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a core tool for reducing automotive and aerospace manufacturing risks. And yet, companies routinely waste 80% of the potential value of the FMEA process.

Particularly for manufacturers on the lower end of the maturity spectrum, FMEAs are simply a theoretical exercise for maintaining a certification or meeting customer requirements. These manufacturers may fill out an FMEA and even add a few countermeasures, but ultimately it’s just another form to file away and forget about.

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3 Quality Tools to Quickly Reduce Defects and Costs

May 21, 2018  |  Stephen Salata

It’s an open secret that many automotive and aerospace manufacturers have unacceptably high defects and costs. And where defects are on the rise, quality costs aren’t far behind.

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Corrective Action: How to Sustain the Gain

Apr 30, 2018  |  Paul Foster

Equipment downtime gets expensive fast in automotive and aerospace manufacturing, a risk many companies try to mitigate by storing spare parts onsite. A machine breaks down, haul out the parts and hopefully you’re back in business with minimal disruption.

The problem is, manufacturers get so wrapped up in hitting production targets that they don’t stop to ask why the machine went down in the first place.

The result? The equipment goes down again, whether two days, two weeks or two months later, causing additional downtime because the “corrective” action was never designed to last.

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How to Use PFMEA to Jump-Start the Layered Process Audit Process

Jan 26, 2016  |  Ease Inc

In a manufacturing environment, it’s common for teams to run into Murphy’s Law - the notion that “anything that can go wrong, will.” A simple day that starts with an employee calling in sick, can escalate through other events such as a workstation running out of parts, a machine shutting down for unknown reasons, or similar issues which result in missing production targets for the week.

In order to minimize risks, plants should use a Layered Process Audit (LPA) program to ensure that the most important controls to prevent defects and waste are in place.  But with so many things that can go wrong, where do you start?  

One great tool to consider is Process-FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). Teams that are looking to start a Layered Process Audit (LPA) program often have a long standing practice of doing PFMEA to determine their areas of high risk and frequent failures. Teams can use the Risk Priority Number (RPN) calculated from PFMEA as the basis for focus areas to prioritize when developing LPA questions.

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Using PFMEA to Recognize Opportunities for Layered Process Audits

Nov 12, 2015  |  Ease Inc

Does your organization use process failure modes and effects analysis (PFMEA) on a routine basis to identify potential failures in product design, manufacturing or assembly processes? If so, this practice could do double duty by also serving as an effective technique for identifying at-risk processes on which to focus your layered process audits (LPAs).

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