Manufacture Smarter Blog

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You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

2/14/2020 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
In the past, we've related ISO 9001 documentation to both the Pyramids of Giza and currency. Now, we turn our attention to what is referred to as "retained documented information," or more commonly known as "Quality records."


Recognizing & Eliminating Food Processing Failures Through FMEA

1/31/2020 - BY: JOHN SPILLSON
Anyone with experience in the food processing industry would agree that a lot can go wrong when manufacturing food products. To ensure these food failures are identified and prevented ahead of time, Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) can help.


Quality Document Control - What's in Your Wallet?

12/6/2019 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
Former versions of ISO 9001 detailed the need for a Quality Manual, documented procedures and, at the process-control level, work instructions. These types of documents are no longer prescribed by the international standard.  However, once an organization has determined specific documentation is useful, that documentation must still be controlled to an extent. 


Step This Way: Walking Through AIAG/VDA's New 7-Step FMEA Approach

11/8/2019 - BY: STEVE VAMPLEW
After much anticipation, the 1st Edition AIAG/VDA FMEA Handbook has finally been published and automotive suppliers are starting to become familiar with its contents. One of the most noticeable changes in this new edition is a structured and prescriptive framework defined within the 7-Step Approach.


How LEAN Are Your Internal Quality Auditors?

9/13/2019 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
Commonly, internal quality auditors conduct their audit assignments only to make sure everyone is "following procedures." Unfortunately, this approach fails to address the effectiveness of only doing what is written down. This neglect results in important facets of any QMS being overlooked.


Busting the Myth of 'Quality with a Capital Q'

8/2/2019 - BY: DALE WICKER
Even in today's manufacturing world, differing beliefs surrounding quality still exist. One of the most popular myths in the industry is the belief that 'Quality' with a capital Q, is solely the responsibilty of the Quality Department. That is... False! To truly achieve quality in a given product or process, manufacturers must establish quality as a strategic priority throughout the entire organization, not just the Quality Department. 


No Time for ISO 9001...

5/17/2019 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day…” go the lyrics of Pink Floyd’s song “Time." The meaning behind the song’s lyrics, while strongly applicable to everyday life, also is an apt description for the way certain clauses of ISO 9001:2015 are implemented.


Strengthen Your QMS with Layered Process Audits

4/12/2019 - BY: STEVE VAMPLEW
Manufacturers face an ongoing, daily challenge to make sure quality is maintained in all of their products and processes. Scheduled management reviews and audits required by a certification body are not always enough to ensure quality is consistently being upheld throughout all levels of the organization. For those manufacturers who wish to go the extra mile with quality, Layered Process Audits are a solution.


A New Path for Automotive Manufacturers

3/22/2019 - BY: BOB JENKINS
When it comes to manufacturing, Michigan has a wealth of talent and skills. Many of those skills were established through multiple OEM automobile launches and new product developments. And while the 2008 downturn cost Michigan a lot of skilled performers, they have returned in large part.


ISO: Leave the Pyramids to the Pharaohs

3/1/2019 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
ISO 9001 was released with the visual metaphor of a pyramid often being used to represent the documentation requirements of the standard for Quality Management Systems (QMS). Despite not being a model directly described in the ISO standard or any related guidance, like ISO 9004, some quality teams preferred to envision the hierarchy of documents mentioned in ISO 9001 as a pyramid.


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