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Striking the Balance: Collaborative Strategies for Quality and Production Managers.

Written by:

Emily Smith

For quality and production managers working within aerospace manufacturing, collaboration is crucial to achieving exceptional standards of quality while meeting demanding production targets.

Within the  aerospace industry, there are numerous governing standards ,such as the AS9100. This defines what requirements have to be met to implement a proficient Quality Management System (QMS) within the aviation sector.

AS9100 splits into several child standards covering each section, each meticulously delving into specific aspects of the quality process. Notably, AS9145, titled “Requirements for Advanced Product Quality Planning and Production Part Approval Process,” and AS9102, known as the “Aerospace First Article Inspection Requirement,” play a pivotal role in ensuring uncompromising quality and adherence to stringent guidelines.

What is this blog about?

This blog post highlights the challenges faced by quality managers and production managers and explores how the integration of metrology solutions can help overcome these challenges, fostering a collaborative environment and driving success in the aerospace industry.

Whilst the emphasis and responsibility of component quality is often aimed at production and quality managers, it’s important to note that everyone in the business should have an interest in quality. Ultimately, if the person manufacturing the part on the machine doesn’t have the attitude to get the component right the first time, then the production managers won’t have any conforming product to sell.

It is crucial that a culture of quality is maintained across all departments and job roles to ensure success.

The process for quality and production managers

The process starts with quality and production managers engaging in collaborative discussions to address key questions that arise.

The quality managers typically pose questions about:

  • Meeting required quality standards
  • Ensuring consistent accuracy and precision
  •  Minimising defects and non-conformities
  • Proactive identification of quality issues.

On the other hand, the production managers  inquire about:

  •  Meeting production targets while maintaining quality
  • Optimising production processes for efficiency
  • Reducing cycle times
  • Identifying opportunities for automation.

Both of these roles also seek answers regarding effective collaboration, sharing data and metrics, enhancing communication, and leveraging metrology solutions for improvement. 

These questions serve as a foundation for productive dialogue, aligning goals and objectives, and driving mutual understanding between both roles.

Challenges Faced by Quality and Production Managers.

We understand that both roles encounter several common challenges in aerospace manufacturing. 

These include:

a.  Cultivating a right first time attitude 

A right first time attitude is characterised by employees who are motivated to consistently strive to maintain and exceed the highest level of quality. This attitude is a mindset that everybody should share in order to understand the goals of the business. To cultivate a right first time attitude this should be reinforced by leadership to all levels of employees, so that everybody takes pride in their work and shows ownership for high levels of quality. Fostering a quality culture, means there is greater productivity, less compliance risk, and less reworks needed.

b. Ensuring Accuracy and Precision: – 

Aerospace components require high levels of accuracy and precision. Achieving and maintaining these standards consistently can be challenging due to complex geometries, tight tolerances, and the need for meticulous inspection and verification.

c. Timely Identification and Resolution of Quality Issues:

Detecting quality control issues promptly and implementing corrective actions in a timely manner are critical to prevent defects, minimise rework, and avoid costly production delays.

High Precision Metrology Solutions: Bridging the Gap between Quality and Production:

High Precision Metrology solutions offer valuable tools to address the challenges faced by quality and production managers, enabling effective collaboration and optimising both quality control and production optimisaiton

Here’s how metrology solutions can help:

a. Advanced Measurement Techniques: – 

Metrology solutions, such as coordinate measuring machines (CMMs), laser scanning, and non-contact optical measurement systems, provide precise and accurate measurement data. These technologies enable quality managers to detect deviations from specifications early on, facilitating quick identification and resolution of quality issues.

b. Real-Time Data and Process Control: – 

Metrology solutions integrated with production systems can provide real-time data on dimensional accuracy, surface finish, and other critical parameters. This empowers production managers to monitor processes closely, identify potential variations, and make data-driven decisions to maintain quality while optimising production efficiency.

c. Automation and Efficiency:

Automated metrology solutions, such as robotic inspection systems and inline measurement technologies, streamline inspection processes, reduce human error, and increase throughput. These solutions help production managers meet production targets while ensuring consistent quality.

Metrology solutions facilitate the collaboration between quality managers and production managers by providing a common platform for data analysis. Sharing and interpreting measurement data together enables joint decision-making, identification of process improvement opportunities, and effective resolution of quality issues.

The Benefits of High Precision Metrology to Aid Collaboration and Quality Assurance.

The integration of metrology solutions offers several benefits for quality managers and production managers collaborating in aerospace manufacturing:

a. Improved Communication and Alignment: 

Metrology solutions provide a common language and understanding between quality managers and production managers, fostering effective communication and alignment of goals and expectations.

b. Early Detection and Prevention of Quality Issues: 

Metrology solutions enable early detection of quality issues, allowing quality managers to implement corrective actions promptly, preventing further production delays and minimising rework, and reducing the overall cost of the product.

c. Data-Driven Decision-Making: 

Metrology solutions provide accurate and reliable measurement data, empowering both quality managers and production managers to make informed, data-driven decisions, leading to improved overall performance.

d. Drives Quality 4.0 

Quality 4.0 uses industry 4.0 technology, integration and digitalisation to drive greater robustness, productivity and efficiency for manufacturers.

High precision metrology tools and technology make manufacturers quality processes effective as well as connecting departments, processes and employees to work together in real time. 

A quality manager who has invested in Quality 4.0 technology will achieve significant value chain improvements across service or operational efficiency. This also links back to what we discussed earlier about fostering a quality culture and improving processes to connect all departments within a business.

Collaboration between quality managers and production managers is essential for achieving exceptional quality standards while meeting production targets in aerospace manufacturing. 

If you would like to find out more about the metrology solutions we offer the aerospace industry contact our team today.

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