Lean & Lean/Six Sigma Case Studies
Case study for external failure analysis - How does Omnex do it?
Find out in this case study
Several of Company X's external customers had described the results of its current
process for providing timely permanent corrective action as unacceptable. The company
was woefully behind on its failure analysis and corrective action lead-time. Though
the company had desirable, patented technology, customers were threatening to pull
out and go elsewhere.
Company X and Omnex determined that we would study this process and develop solutions
to significantly reduce the lead-time and improve the quality of Company X's external
corrective action process. This case study outlines the definition of the problem,
how it was measured and analyzed, and the steps taken to make improvements and hold
Two approaches were used to improve the current process results:
1) Omnex developed a current state value stream map of the customer returned parts
process and performed a process analysis of the External Failure Analysis Lab to
identify performance gaps.
2) Omnex conducted a Process Review and implemented Product Line Teams (PLTs) to
improve the manufacturing process and ultimately prevent defects.
Analysis of the current process demonstrated:
(1) a significant lag in the performance of the failure analysis to determine the
failure mode, and
(2) once a corrective action was opened, multiple process owners resulted in no
one taking ownership to resolve the customer returns. Additionally, 26 corrective
actions had violated clean dates.
The Failure Analysis Lab
We identified two primary issues in the Failure Analysis Lab:
1) Since Failure Analysis Fault Trees had not been developed, the FA Lab technicians
did not have a standard procedure to determine the failure mode of a customer returned
part once parametric testing was done. Because of the technicians' current method,
standard times to determine each failure mode were not known, errors might have
been replicated, and the competency of each technician limited his or her ability
to work on various technologies. As a result, overtime averaged $7,802 per month.
2) The FA Lab Supervisor had no way of knowing how long failure analysis took and
was limited by a narrow skill set, so he did not perform any manpower planning and
didn’t have any defined objectives to complete the failure analysis. There was no
FIFO method. Whatever arrived in the FA Lab sat there and did not become a priority
until various program managers, engineers, supplier quality, etc. dictated to the
Supervisor his priority to perform failure analysis.
Omnex created a Future State Map (FSM) and Road Map to implement a best-in-class
external corrective action process.
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