Original Date: 07/10/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Process Certification of Product, Process Lines, and Work Centers
Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Certification Program places greater authority in the hands of production workers, allowing them to sign off on all their own work. As a result, redundant inspections have been eliminated and cost savings have been realized.
Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) continues to develop and improve internal process control procedures aimed at reducing its inspection costs without sacrificing product quality. The process certification procedures effort has evolved throughout the 1980s and 1990s to include the certification of product lines, process lines, and work centers. In 1998 a more comprehensive certification concept was fully implemented under the current TYAD Mission Directorate Standing Operating Procedure, Mission Directive-56.
As an integral part of the TYAD Productivity Improvement & Innovation Directorate, the Process Certification of Product, Process Lines and Work Centers organization aligns with the Lean and Six Sigma efforts. Lean events have been conducted in 18 of the 20 currently certified work centers. The implementation of the certification process has given TYAD employees the opportunity to perform their own quality inspection requirements, contributing to the production process in a cost-effective manner to ensure that Lean, Six Sigma, and quality initiative gains are sustained.
Tangible and intangible benefits are also being realized. The reduction in man-hour execution by the inspection process equates to an estimated savings of 19,800 man-hours per year along with other intangible process-time cost avoidance. Metrics include the Total Mission Scorecard quality index results, which are consistently in the 98% range. Since the 1998 inception of the Certification Program, 14 work centers have been maintained and six process/product lines have been implemented.
Components of the Process Certification of Product, Process Lines and Work Centers include: Work Center - "Everything produced" that was first-article-accepted in a previously certified shop
Product Line - One production line previously certified within the scope of the work center's expertise, limited by product type and national stock number
Process - Refers primarily to support of or phase of the production (applies to all products)
The certification process defined in MD-56 consists of a three-step approach leading to final certification of candidate shops to perform their own quality inspection requirements: Step I - Conception phase (application for candidacy, Certification Review Team [CRT], CRT implementation tasks, program package and contents). The CRT will identify and develop the certification program requirements, determine what procedures are required, and establish performance indicators.
Step II - Evaluation phase (interim probationary period before review). Focus will be on auditing to confirm that procedural documents are being followed, noncompliances are documented, and corrective action(s) are initiated.
Step III - Determination phase (Certification Panel Review). The CRT will reassess the established requirements in Phases I and II to verify implementation, compliance, and performance. Certification occurs when the candidate has satisfied and demonstrated the requirements set forth in the memorandum of understanding with approval from the Certification Review Panel.
Examples of processes that enhance support of the program include but are not limited to the following: The Logistics Modernization Program has taken over for numerous legacy systems, enhancing TYAD’s business process in certification data collection, analysis, and reporting
Shop areas now have a standardized form and process for data input
Annual product surveillance audits have been instituted and conducted in recent years to ensure that a quality product is consistently produced
The implementation of Web-based access to work instructions, standard operating procedures, regulations, and other mission-related documentation has resulted in better document control. The audit processes that support the monitoring of certified and noncertified areas have been improved with the institution of a more structured internal auditing program to sustain the depot as an ISO 9001-registered facility.
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