Reliable equipment plays a major role in keeping people and assets safe. Our suppliers’ manufacturing plants are inspected regularly, garnering information that is vital to the safety of equipment throughout its life cycle. Yet inspection data is underutilized due to a lack of interfacing with other monitoring tools and applications. This spurred our teams to develop IQ-All, a web platform that can monitor equipment as soon as an order is placed. This kind of centralized information is more efficient and yields more relevant data, which can be used to continuously improve our facilities’ reliability.
A solution based on Agile Methodology
Before IQ-All, inspections of equipment in production provided isolated data. Yet such information is key to the safety of the critical equipment we use. In 2017, we therefore decided to deploy a new application to monitor the manufacturing process of our safety-critical equipment, ultimately leading to better management of our suppliers’ performance.
We had a number of goals, including going digital, optimization, working with our suppliers as partners and cutting costs. To deliver an up-to-date, efficient solution that fit the bill, we set up a multidisciplinary project team. It took just seven months to design IQ-All, a “Lean” initiative. We focused on value-added, creating functions that could be used right out of the gate and got operational teams involved regularly to optimize the user experience, among other steps.
Proactive, efficient management
Custom-designed to meet all the stated requirements, IQ-All is an effective way to support proactive, efficient management of equipment quality. Security is robust, with Digital Pass authentication giving users secure access that generates a record.
- During inspections, the inspector accesses all the necessary data collected — hosted on the cloud and centralized in IQ-All — via a computer, tablet or smartphone. A number of specific functions were developed to make it easier to fill out an inspection report. They include working offline, adding photos, generating alerts, writing and sending acceptance or rejection reports and an e-signature system.
- To avoid errors caused by duplicate inputting, all information is now entered just once. All the data can then be used in multiple ways, including to generate statistics, provide information for quality improvement meetings and compile documents.
- The approval and communication process is fully automated, giving all our affiliates access to data and the ability to monitor the progress of their orders in real time.
Treating our suppliers as real partners
Thanks to IQ-All, all of our suppliers now have real-time access to information on manufacturing plant performance, handling of off-spec materials or products and inspector performance. Some 1,700 users share access to the same information, from the same web interface, which was an efficient way to make them part of our internal quality processes.
They’re already giving us enthusiastic feedback about the application. We plan to keep this cooperation going, by sharing this application, unique in the industry, with other companies.
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