In our quest for constant and proactive improvement, Wiley Metal is pleased to welcome Joe Weimer to our team as new Quality Director. Joe, or “JDub” brings over 10 years of various manufacturing experience to Wiley Metal. He has served as a Quality Engineer, Quality Manager, CI & Inventory Manager and as a Department and Operations Manager. He is a 2009 graduate of Purdue University with an MBA from California State University in 2013.

Part of the reason for Joe’s hiring was that he is a firm believer in root cause analysis and finding process improvements. His goals include creating a culture of process management and root cause analysis for Wiley Metal. Why is this important for a metal fabrication shop? That will be the subject of our three-part series which starts with defining what process management and root cause analysis are all about.

What is Process Management in Manufacturing?

Manufacturing Process Management (MPM) helps better define how products are manufactured so production processes can be more responsive and efficient.

It starts with design and manufacturing engineers working together to prepare a manufacturing bill of materials listing the product’s components. Machine tooling is requested and time & cost estimates are produced. Here, there could be design-change requests submitted with the intention to improve the manufacturing process.

Production options and alternatives are compared including the viability of using certain production lines or work centers or partnering with an outsource partner. In many cases, simulation software can be used to assist in the process. A production plan is then created using a CAD program or similar software. Production operators are given work instructions and Enterprise Resource Planning is sent a process definition. The software then produces printed or digital work instructions.

What is Root Cause Analysis in Manufacturing?

A root cause analysis explores the root cause of a manufacturing problem with a goal of eliminating it so it never occurs again. Far too often manufacturers resolve surface or secondary causes of problems without adequately exploring the root cause. This can take an in-depth look at an issue by considering potential causal factors like the people, processes, machinery, management, and others. There are four basic steps in root cause analysis, including:

  • Gathering data about the issue
  • Charting causal factors
  • Target the root cause or causes
  • Creating solutions to root causes

This is often a group effort that is much more involved than replacing a part or a person. It is designed to backtrack on a problem sufficiently to discover those root causes. We will get into root cause analysis more deeply in our next blog.

Welcome, Joe!

We are glad to have Joe Weimer on board at Wiley and look forward to his implementation of ISO as a daily staple of our core fundamentals and ISO Certification in 2019. We invite you to learn more about our commitment to quality.

At Wiley Metal, our family name is on the building, and for us, that’s a big deal we take seriously.

In our next article, part two of three on the subject, we’ll discuss how to perform a root cause analysis for your metal fabrication product problem.