No matter what type of equipment you have in place to ensure quality in your manufacturing—be it gauges, micrometers, vision equipment or laser equipment—there’s no substitute for common sense and Basic Inspection by Observation. Say for example that a tap breaks on your machine and a part comes through without a thread. You don’t need a thorough inspection to tell you that that piece is defective. And by not keeping an eye on the parts coming out, you could let a whole run of parts come through without any threads.
Vision inspection equipment is great, but that doesn’t mean the human eye is an outmoded means of quality inspection. And keep this in mind: your manufacturing equipment breaks down from time to time, so what’s stopping your vision equipment from doing the same?
To help make Basic Inspection a part of the culture here at Mid-West Screw Products, we instituted our own game of BINGO. Each employee had a BINGO sheet, and each day at noon we’d pick a number. Each game would start with a pot of 50 dollars. The pot would go up by 5 dollars every day that we didn’t have a rejected part end up in an order. If we got a rejection from a customer, we would drop the pot down to 25 dollars and start again, all the while keeping the BINGO cards going. So if someone won the day after the pot reset, they only got 25 or 30 dollars, as opposed to the 100+ they could have won.
It was a fun game that our team really got into. Before long, employees were checking each others’ work, and the daily number drawing became something to look forward to. In general, people tend to be better motivated by incentive rather than yelling. And in addition to being fun, our BINGO game did a lot of good for our company and for our customers. After we started playing our rejection numbers dropped from around 8 per month to 1 every 6 months.
If you pay attention and catch a bad part as it comes through, BINGO! You’ve saved time and money for yourself and your customer. No matter how high tech manufacturing gets, there will always be a place for Basic Inspection that Needs Good Observation.