With increasing pressure on productivity in every industry, it can feel like a tough task to deliver the best possible output, every time. Thierry Mathien, Quality Director, shares some of the Socomec secrets to making sure that quality always remains top of the agenda.
Our approach to quality is all encompassing, spanning projects, suppliers, customers, production and systems. Whether we are shaping supplier management policies or assessing and qualifying new suppliers, managing communications with our customers and building improvement plans, or defining production standards, training programs and developing expertise, our commitment to improving quality is unwavering.
Both strategic and tactical, our quality mission encompasses the entire value chain – with standards designed to ultimately deliver greater satisfaction to our customers.
This focus guarantees the right level of quality for both our existing portfolio as well as new introductions to the range – instilling a culture of quality throughout the organisation. This ensures that we hold the appropriate certification and documentation and meet or exceed audit requirements, whilst also directing activity towards the development of our people and our skills in order to add value to everything that we do.
Controls at every stage. Rigorous project processes – across every function.
Every new product development is subject to a corporate stage gate process. Led by a project manager and cross-functional team, this process ensures consistency and continuous improvement – whilst also setting clear mandatory actions and milestones.
The Project Management quality process governs the quality of the project itself and as well as activities relating to product, process and component quality. A highly skilled team works across functional groups with our development, industrial and purchasing departments, as well as with laboratories and suppliers to master design and process risks, testing protocols and product performance parameters. The same approach applies to component parts in order to mitigate against quality issues associated with inbound materials. The team also ensures quality within the factory once the product moves into the industrialisation phase.
Test, test and test again. Specialist laboratory testing – to the extreme.
Socomec’s products are extensively tested to ensure their reliability under all circumstances. Some tests are carried out in our factories ... and some require very specialist facilities such as those located at the “Centre d'Essais Dynamiques” of the CCI Ouest Normandie. Our MODULYS XL modular UPS, for example, has passed resistance tests to simultaneous triaxial earthquakes and can withstand an earthquake on the scale of Kobe (1995) without interruption. To learn more, take a look at the video below:
Find the root cause. Eliminate recurring problems to extend product lifetime.
To deliver continuous improvements to our customers, we have introduced three levels of governance in each of our factories. This means that we are able to monitor what’s happening in each factory and escalate queries as soon as potential issues are raised. The levels of governance cover the safety of our people, the quality of our products, the delivery to our customers and productivity levels.
Our capacity to monitor and implement remedial activities means that we track daily activities and resolve issues quickly. This Quick Response Quality Control (QRQC) process in our factories comprises four steps; the first is to protect our customers when we discover anomalies in the assembly line. Step two is to define the subject in order to prioritise activity and address root causes.
Steps three and four are linked to the Eight Disciplines problem solving method - 8D – which helps to approach and resolve problems, improve process, and identify, correct and eliminate recurring problems.
The best of both worlds. Highly skilled operators – and the most rigorous production controls.
The Inosys Load Break Switch production line is made up of 16 skilled team members who work with a lean approach. Benefitting from an investment of 800,000 Euros, this high quality pole assembly and manufacturing facility has the highest levels of traceability. Every step of the process is subject to the most rigorous controls, from mechanism testing to final product testing and engraving. With one switch produced every 70 seconds, performance, safety and robustness are critical. To see the line in action, take a look at the video below: