How to Minimize Manufacturing Rework & Repairs
As technology develops, quality management systems (QMS) also change. It’s important to evolve and adapt to newer technologies and systems to meet customer demands more efficiently and stay ahead of the competition. Companies need to find ways to reduce manufacturing and production rework and repairs to save money and achieve higher quality. Reducing manufacturing scrap requires proper planning and implementing certain strategies to enhance value in your supply chain. Here are some ways you can achieve quality scrap management.
What Is Manufacturing Rework?
Manufacturing rework is defined as the process of correcting defective, failed, or non-conforming items after inspection. This process includes responsibilities like disassembly, repair, replacement, reassembly, and more.
Causes and Cost of Rework in Manufacturing
The main causes of defective or problematic products include machine malfunction or human error, design change not communicated, improperly implemented design change, and product damaged in transit or during use. When this happens, the manufacturer or supplier will need to sort, rework, wash, and repackage the product. The document that reports products for rework will list the necessary tools and process to complete the rework. Reworks aren’t always complicated either. They can be as simple as replenishing the paint that was scraped off a product during shipping and improving the shipping process to prevent further products from being damaged.
How to Reduce Rework & Scrap
Being proactive is the best way to problem solve, as it predicts potential issues before they happen. The goal is to find the root cause of any potential issue and resolve it as simply and early as possible. Consider solutions such as:
- Acquiring new equipment and fixtures
- Improving employee training
- Software upgrades or additions
- Greater attention during design phase
- More emphasis on pre-production processes
- Additional packaging/handling procedures
Make a Plan for Scrap Materials
It is always ideal to repair or alter a product, but sometimes you have to throw products away. If this is the case, you should try to reduce the amount of waste as much as possible. Ask yourself: Can you avoid dumping fees? Can the product or parts of it be refurbished or repurposed? Are the parts recyclable? As much as you try to avoid it, rework is sometimes inevitable, but it should not use all of your time and energy.
Maintain Compliance Standards
QMS can help you understand what you need to do to evolve and keep up with the compliance standards. Most industries have mandatory requirements from government agencies, and all companies have customer requirements they must abide by. For most, the manufacturer needs to show detailed compliance records on a timely, accurate, and consistent basis. This process is highly time-consuming for companies who still use paper-systems and spreadsheets. The risk of errors is also higher with these systems. By implementing QMS, you will be more efficient at understanding the compliance requirements and standards, and better able to ensure accuracy, shared responsibility, compliance, and quality.
Applications or software that track data entered by workers work as a one-stop shop for all information, and reduces errors made during the manufacturing process. Companies that rely on manual paperwork need to upgrade their systems to automated QMS tracking software to be more efficient in today’s high-tech environment. This will help reduce a multi-step cross-verification process, and simplify data management.
Increase Quality Output
QMS offers features like real-time data analysis, which allows for faster problem solving. They ensure that process monitoring occurs and provides tools for corrective actions. Some QMS programs take it a step further and implement advanced product quality planning (APQP) to help create products and processes designed for successful results.
Reducing defects and wasted products will reduce your costs as well. The less products you need to spend time on reworking or scrapping, the more profit you will make from selling quality items to your customers.
Paper files must be backed up digitally, but with the incredible features and improvements in technology, paper documentation doesn’t cut it. If you haven’t already invested in digital software and filing systems, now is the time. Managing your drawings, bills of materials, and operating procedures manually wastes time and leaves you at the risk of falling behind. Using digitized files will make tracking revisions easier and ensure your staff are referencing the most current information.
Communication throughout Supply Chain
Changes can cause serious disruptions to your production process if they are not handled properly. They can affect the flow of production, required training, scheduling, total cost, and more. You can avoid this issue by making design changes after a production run, rather than in the middle. This will also make tracking product revision easier for you, your supplier, and your customers.
Identify & Correct Issues/Quality Control
To minimize costs associated with rework, you need to establish continuous improvement. By adopting a philosophy of ensuring your management of products is working its best, you can begin transforming your operations. Lean manufacturing practices will help you reduce waste and improve the quality of your products.
Our Approach to Rework & Scrap Management
Product rework and scrap management is something no company wants, but needs. These processes are fundamental to a good supply chain, and the use of QMS can help you provide consistent, quality products. Product rework helps companies deal with errors and problems more efficiently, while saving time and money. Managing these responsibilities on your own may be too much to handle, so working with a third-party logistics provider is a wise choice.
Lean Supply Solutions rises to the challenge of meeting our clients’ needs through our services which include product fulfillment, retail distribution, manufacturing logistics, supply chain management (SCM), transportation and delivery, repackaging and packaging, product rework and repair, and more! Let us help you reduce product rework and scrapping, so you can get the most value out of your time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.