Behind your labor force, your assets are the workhorses of your business. Can you afford for equipment to fail? What if you could accurately predict the behavior of your production machines? Using Statistical Process Control (SPC) software data, you can do just that. Read more

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Whether it be a customer or regulatory audit, each one is unique.

Proactively preparing is the key to success:

  • Documented processes in place
  • Historical data to verify that your processes are in-control or in-specification
  • Worksheets or visual aids to train your operators properly
  • Appropriate procedures to follow if something is out-of-control or out-of-specification

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Measuring Product Weight

Product measurements and weights are often an issue for companies that produce food products. In a recent incident where a major food manufacturer was cited for their products being underweight, Judy Cardin, the chief of weights and measures for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection called the shortages:

“’very significant … These kinds of shortages should never be leaving the plant.’”

When a gram can cost you a significant sum of money, you want to make sure that your machines are running at optimal efficiency without compromising customer expectations. That is where Statistical Process Control (SPC) comes in. SPC software ensures that your product stays within control and within specification.

Are manual processes bogging you down? In 2 weeks you can streamline your data and see the stability and capability of your processes.

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 Company-Wide View of All the Process Performance

Facilitating instant communication, a SPC software package should provide you a company-wide view of all of the processes and how they are performing. The system should notify you if a process is trending towards being out-of-control or out-of-specification. If an issue should arise, a user should be able to right click to instantly email from any chart or report that is open to the appropriate person to take corrective action. This provides for immediate communication and a reduction in errors.

“Using Synergy, we are saving money by decreasing considerably the amount of rework we are performing. Now we have the visibility to see when a process is trending towards going out-of-control. We can make adjustments so it doesn’t go out-of-control—saving us a tremendous amount of repackaging,” said Tim Stutzman, Manufacturing Systems Analyst for Oregon Freeze Dry.

Food companies are managing the fragile balance between providing the specified amount of product, while still running a profitable company. Leading-edge companies are constantly working to maintain these tolerances.

“Considering we are running 5 packaging lines a day, if we can reduce our range by a gram that saves a lot of money. Since our packaging runs are in the thousands, that gram saves us a ton of money. Without Synergy, we would not be able to set such tight tolerances,” Stutzman said.

Industry leading food and packaging companies manage this balance every day. Companies recognize that issues will occur and build continuous process improvement procedures to prevent them from leaving the plant.

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With Ongoing Recalls, The Automotive Industry Has a Challenge When It Comes to Quality. 

That is why the auto industry developed the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in 1982 as a not-for-profit association where professionals from a diverse group of stakeholders work collaboratively to streamline industry processes via global standards and harmonize business practices. AIAG standards are involved in the production of virtually every car in the United States, as well as the international production of American automotive companies. With 750 member companies covering every step of the supply chain, AIAG standards define the industry.

AIAG has made Statistical Process Control (SPC) a requirement for supplying the US automotive companies. Implemented well, SPC software can enable suppliers to profitably meet their automotive customers requirements.

SPC Software Meets AIAG Automotive Requirements and More

Putting in place a high quality SPC software product will not only meet these AIAG requirements, but also enable your company to eliminate scrap, reduce rework, maximize employee productivity, and proactively look at areas for improvement. Through:

  • Maintaining your desired Sigma level
  • Monitoring more closely the lifecycle of your equipment
  • Reducing your customer defects to zero
  • Using your SPC data to test out the viability of improvements to the production line
  • Working closely with your suppliers to prevent rejects before they occur

Here is one example. Grakon LLC is a global leader in the design and development of advanced lighting systems and engineered trim components for premier Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) vehicle manufacturers. Don Bartlett, Director of Quality and Customer Service for Grakon LLC uses Synergy 3000 to meet their AIAG capability requirements.

“Typically, the standard is a Cpk of 1.67, however, our internal goal is to be greater than 2,” Barlett said. ”Synergy 3000 has really helped us with quality system compliance, and continuous improvement.”

A photo of Schoeneck Containers operator using Synergy 2000 SPC software on shop floor.

An operator at Schoeneck Containers uses Zontec’s Synergy 2000 SPC software on shop floor.

The Plastics Engineering website is highlighting Schoeneck Containers using Synergy 2000 to save 33 man-hours a day!

In the article, Scott Chambers, Quality Facilitator  for SCI, says he likes the mult-tiered approach to the Synergy Statistical Process Control (SPC) software.

“I like the fact that with Synergy SPC software we have three levels of operation to protect the data; the operator, manager and engineer levels,” said Chambers. “I also appreciate how easy it is to cut and paste information from Synergy to share with customers. This is a feature that differentiates Synergy from other SPC packages out there. And although this happens relatively infrequently, I like the fact that during a customer audit, they can view the information real-time in Synergy.”

MASS Precision operators using Synergy SPC software on production floor.

MASS Precision using Synergy SPC software on production floor.

When it comes to supplier management, good data makes all the difference, according to Dan Heimann of MASS Precision, Inc. during the Zontec Best Practices: Supplier Management Webinar. Because your suppliers affect the product you ultimately deliver, making sure that their products are made correctly becomes part of your job. You need quality information to share with your suppliers that tells them how they are performing. You need information that tells you before your suppliers’ product goes out-of-control. Where do you get this information? From the Statistical Process Control (SPC) software data that you are collecting. Capturing this SPC data can help you:

  • Prevent defects before they occur
  • Reduce rework
  • Eliminate customer rejections

Read more

A photo of an operator at United Gear & Assembly using Synergy 2000 SPC Software.

United Gear & Assembly uses Zontec Synergy 2000 real-time SPC software on the shop floor.

Assembly Magazine highlighted United Gear and Assembly for using Synergy 2000 software to help them bring in new business!

One of the things in the article that Douglas Winfrey, Director of Quality for United Gear and Assembly, talks about is that with the Synergy Statistical Process Control (SPC) software you can talk to customers about new business.

“I have been in meetings at the customer’s location where we are discussing a new product. Synergy SPC software gives us the ability to log into our server, show them the exact machine that would be used to produce the new product, what tolerance the machine is currently running and the capability history of that machine,” Winfrey said. “This type of information shows the customer what they need to see before moving forward. Synergy provides us that edge to win the business.”

The following link gives you access to the Assembly Magazine article. PC Software Speeds Data Collection, Business Growth

A photo of an operator at United Gear and Assembly using Synergy 2000 SPC Software.

United Gear and Assembly using Zontec’s Synergy 2000 SPC software on the shop floor.

Quality Magazine highlighted United Gear and Assembly as a case study. They use Synergy 2000 SPC software and it helped them bring in new business!

Douglas Winfrey, Director of Quality for United Gear and Assembly, talks about how Synergy 2000 Statistical Process Control (SPC) software helps them talk to customers about new business.

“I have been in meetings at the customer’s location where we are discussing a new product. SynergySPC software gives us the ability to log into our server, show them the exact machine that would be used to produce the new product, what tolerance the machine is currently running and the capability history of that machine,” Winfrey said. “This type of information shows the customer what they need to see before moving forward. Synergy provides us that edge to win the business.”

“Case Study: Software Brings New Business”

Customer service from your SPC software partner is critically important when you have quality issues that halt production. In these situations, you have one priority—getting the issue resolved and the line up and running. There are many reasons for manufacturing disruptions and all cause lost time and increased cost.

The Statistical Process Control (SPC) software vendor you have built a relationship with should treat your issue as their top priority. Here are some hallmarks of excellent customer service:

  • Picture of a woman customer service rep to show Zontec SPC software support.Personalized Service – Each production environment is unique. As your vendor of choice, you want to talk to someone who understands your implementation of the software. You want to work through issues with someone who retains the knowledge of past issues related to your implementation.
  • Persistent Service – Occasionally complicated issues take time to resolve. When this happens, you want to work with someone who will remain with you until the issue is resolved.
  • Prompt Service – Because every minute counts, you want a prompt response as well as a knowledgeable team to work on your issue or concern.

What do Zontec SynergySPC clients say about the customer service we provide?

“One of the things I really appreciate about using Synergy is the personalized service I receive.”— Heidi Beaver of Portage Plastics

“We have found Zontec service to be very helpful. We had an issue where we were redesigning how we perform data collection. The Zontec service person was very knowledgable and helpful. She helped us figure out a way that would work.”— Mike Demko of Tecnocap

“I was really surprised how quickly my questions were answered instead of taking days like other service providers. I think Zontec provides excellent service.”— Cristina Martinez of Stanley Black & Decker

The SPC software you are using should reflect your own quality standards. Remember that in addition to building a quality product, the software vendor should offer you excellent customer service as well.