Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Automated Nonconforming Material Record System
The Automated Nonconforming Material Record (NMR) System is a computerized tracking system for recording, monitoring, and processing defects and corrective actions in manufactured products. Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) has used a paper system for reporting, evaluating, and dispositioning minor nonconformances in manufactured products. The NMR was routed sequentially through several factory and office areas until disposition and corrective actions were fully documented. Analysis showed that on average, a NMR document was touched by 38 people and took 25 days to process. Problems with lost forms and unreadable entries were also encountered. It was difficult to get defect and rejection histories from existing databases to use in analyzing a nonconformance.
Around October 1996, an automated processing system was implemented to improve the NMR system and to provide paperless processing. A cross-functional team approach was utilized in developing this system which now uses automated signatures, parallel routing, and e-mail notification of required actions. Delrina Forms Flow software was used in conjunction with an ORACLE database.
A nonconforming condition is now entered into the automated form at the time of identification. Part and system codes are entered at that time which automatically create the specific routing and signatures required. An e-mail message is then sent identifying this record as needing action. A tracking system identifies where the NMR is in the process and how long it takes at each location. On initial implementation, average processing times were reduced from 25 to 14 days. Screens are available to check on previous NMR condition histories, and these can be sorted by part number, date, cost center, or characteristic. The system also shows all open NMR actions at any given point in time, and can identify those actions requiring high priority disposition.
This automated system has reduced the average processing time by 44% due to parallel processing and by eliminating the need to move paper from office to office. A tracking mechanism shows where all open items stand, and the problem of lost documents has been eliminated. Data has been entered into the system for developing part and nonconformance histories. This provides ready access to necessary information for all those involved in the dispositioning process, and improves analysis capabilities. RIA’s cross-functional approach has successfully developed an automated tool to more efficiently process nonconforming material dispositions.
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