by John Niggl
What is QRQC? QRQC – or Quick Response Quality Control – is not only a quality control tool and method for troubleshooting but also an innovative concept in the field of global quality management. QRQC integrates a simple and logical solution to a given production or business operation problem within 24 hours’ time and has applications in many different segments along supply chains, including project management, manufacturing, logistics and others. QRQC focuses on quality control to ensure that any problem is identified and isolated and that a solution is found and implemented quickly and effectively.
QRQC is based on a Japanese concept known as San Gen Shugi, meaning “3 reals”. San Gen Shugi is a scientific method and concept of problem solving and analysis with far-reaching applications. The 3 reals are defined as follows:
Now that we’ve discussed the origins of Quick Response Quality Control, let’s delve into the steps for implementation:
Can the problem be detected and recorded as well? A “red box” is a an effective method for isolating defective units found on the production line. A red box is a receptacle used for depositing problematic or defective units or components identified by workers on the production line. Red boxes should be easily accessible to workers, and each product or semi-product in the red box must be logged in a QRQC list to serve as a record of production issues.
When we’re discussing Quick Response Quality Control, there is emphasis placed on “quick”. That’s why any problems with production should be communicated quickly to the relevant person or team. If a particular process is being worked in the wrong manner resulting in defects, the issue cannot be corrected until the relevant person is made aware of the problem and advised on how to respond.
How do we analyze and develop an approach to the problem so that we can begin to resolve it? Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is an iterative, four-step problem-solving process typically used in process improvement. It is also known as the Deming cycle, Shewhart cycle, Deming wheel, or Plan-Do-Study-Act.
Develop a plan that addresses objectives and how they can be met. Devising an effective plan starts with asking the right questions: What are the important accomplishments for the team? What data are available and on what observations do we need to focus? What are our expectations for output? Decide what will determine the success or failure of the plan.
Carry out the action or test outlined in your plan. It’s preferable to try it out on a smaller scale initially.
Observe the results of the action or test and compare them to expected results.
Study the results to determine why the action was or was not successful. What changes can be applied to the plan that might illicit improvement? Make changes to the plan and repeat the same four steps. Narrow the scope of the plan until you reach improvement. You’ll need to collect some data for deep investigation, and then find the root cause to take permanent corrective action. The aim should be to avoid the same issue happening again.
Has the problem been fully resolved to meet expectations? Take the time to monitor the production run (click here to learn about hiring a professional 3rd-party to monitor your production line). Normally, a QRQC check list will be created for use at the production line to follow-up on all steps of the process in order to arrive at a clear determination and clearly and accurately record results.
Remember that San Gen Shugi is the foundation of QRQC based on data collection to explain quality issues, quick response to take action and deep analysis to assess effectiveness. Only after these steps are taken do we arrive at permanent corrective action. Let’s learn to consider the problem logically and approach it scientifically. QRQC serves as the bridge that links different responsible people and departments to cooperate on finding real solutions. QRQC drives people to continuous improvement action.
Let’s take action for quick response quality control!