Original Date: 06/02/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Process Control
Sharretts has achieved significant improvements in process control as a result of its quest to attain ISO-9002 certification. An important step was the company’s decision to hire a chemical handler to augment the laboratory technician that had previously functioned in both roles. These positions are responsible for ensuring that the exact chemical additions and adjustments are made to the processing baths at all times. By collecting extensive data from various production processes (e.g., set points, cycle times, control parameters), Sharretts can calculate the precise amounts of chemicals needed on the production lines to produce quality parts, and ensure the exact chemical amount is allocated for each processing bath that will require chemical additions.
The laboratory technician collects samples and performs analyses to evaluate the condition of the processing baths. By combining this data with historical information which relates product information to bath chemistry, the laboratory technician can determine the exact quantity of chemical additions needed for the subsequent operating shifts. This information is then given to the chemical handler who locates, dispenses, and provides the exact quantity of chemicals needed for each processing bath. This method enables operators to receive the correct quantities for maintaining proper bath chemistries during their shift. Sharretts plans to cross-train the two positions to increase the flexibility and coverage of its work requirements.
By implementing the new procedures, Sharretts can predict its chemical requirement needs and streamline its process control. Inventory control also improves since the company knows the chemical quantities needed based on known production parameters. Sharretts’ process control improvements have increased the overall productivity of zinc- plating processes by 33%, and reduced material costs during the last three years by 35%.
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