Baseline. In the Whirlpool production model, the whole white goods production is tested from quality and safety point of view in order to ensure a high standard level of product quality to final customers.
These type of tests (100%) are executed in all EMEA factories either through the usage of automatic dedicated machines at the end of production line (It’s the case of functional and safety testing) or through automatic, semiautomatic or manual checks in some critical workstation along the production flow (visual quality checks, quality gates).
Currently, the procedure is executed manually by a laboratory operator and it is fixed, statically defined during process design phase both for what concerns checklist and reference parameters, and for statistical product withdrawal rate.
These type of tests (100%) are executed in all EMEA This ZHT procedure is then executed on mass production phase of production lifecycle as a prescriptive list of elements that is rarely modified, generally only in case of relevant quality issues triggered by KPI monitoring and control alerts or by relevant market issues. In any case this review is, generally, not re-looping the product design process, limiting the reaction scope on mitigation actions at production level and reducing the possibility to anticipate similar quality issues for other products in development.
In the same time the quality issue facing procedure is activating only after the issue discovering at market level with impact on customers appreciation, losing the possibility to anticipate the issue for customers and to properly manage the risk.
This approach, not guaranteeing the identification of all the defected products exiting from production lines, leads also to products that experience No-Fault-Found (NFF) effects in the warranty period. This late identification during usage leads to increasing costs of warranty policies and customer dissatisfaction. Moreover, the quality control at the very last stage of the production process constitutes mainly a reactive approach aiming at averting the delivery of defected products to customers and at correcting inefficiencies in the production process for the next batches.
Using COALA Solution
The COALA solution aims at adopting a predictive quality strategy that will link the quality control of the finished product with the design stage and the shop floor. By integrating all available information sources (e.g. sensor data, historical operational data, and expert knowledge), it will be able to a) predict low-quality products and processes (e.g. at which workstation the defect starts occurring) and b) to plan mitigating actions.