Husqvarna use Asset-i (inspection module) to ensure best Quality Control practice on the factory shop floor.
Swedish company, Husqvarna, is a global leading producer of outdoor power products for forest, park and garden care. The groups’ brands include household names such as Husqvarna, Gardena, McCulloch and Flymo to name a few. Products are supplied and serviced through a dealer/distribution network in more than 100 countries and the Group has more than 13,000 employees in 40 countries. Net sales in 2017 amounted to SEK 61 billion.
Husqvarna has a 44,000 square meters distribution centre and factory with 65 injection moulding presses in Newton Aycliffe where components are made for their own products and for the automotive industry. The detrimental costs of manufacturing poor quality parts make it imperative that all parts made are to the same high consistent quality.
Challenges & Installation:
The previous system required the QA inspectors to record reported production issues manually on paper before retrospectively updating a PC based Access Database. Whilst this system provided the information required, due to its manual nature and reliance on the QA inspectors updating it, the data was not always readily available and data entry was time-consuming.
The challenge, therefore, was to revolutionise the QA inspection on the shop floor. ExPD is a supplier of Auto-ID solutions, trading for over 25 years. Having previous experience of dealing with factory environments enabled ExPD to understand the importance of the Husqvarna challenges. Working in conjunction with Husqvarna, ExPD constructed a solution based on their standard Asset-i (inspection module) product with specific mobile device inspection processes built to meet the exact business needs.
Asset-i is a web-based asset tracking and inspection system whereby specific quality control processes are built for tablets, PDAs, PC’s and phones and used to enable QA inspectors to follow a controlled process to manage production issues.
Now when any fault is identified by a user or QA inspector on the shop floor, whether it be a fault with the end product or the production machine, using a Handheld Algiz RT7 tablet computer, the QA inspector will follow a series of questions/prompts – which are driven by the fault/product type to ensure questions are valid to that issue type.
By addressing questions in a common, consistent and correct approach, resulted in an increased likelihood of a resolution at that point.
The benefits of using the mobile devices in conjunction with Asset-i to record every issue is multi-fold:-
- Every engineer follows the same tablet-based inspection/testing procedure
- Improves accuracy of work
- Reduces downtime – meaning optimum production capacity
- Provides better ‘data’ to reduce future issues
- Improves complacency
- Tablet computers talk real-time to the Asset-i system
- Real-time info, the business knows exactly where & when there is a problem
- Jobs available downloaded directly onto devices, saving time and eliminating paper
- All transactions are logged, even quick fixes, which improves analytics
- Management information is up to date
- Preventative maintenance can be better scheduled
- Production planning is optimised
The new Asset-i system has been deployed across all of the moulding shop at the Newton Aycliffe site – During the development of the system, ExPD worked closely with Mark Hugill the Senior Quality Engineer at Husqvarna to ensure the system provides the functionality and information required.
Mark Hugill commented, “implementing a real-time QA system into our process was always going to be a challenge, and whilst it wasn’t an instant fix, working with ExPD we have been able to get it exactly right, it now meets the QA challenges”, Mark continued, “since the initial rollout, we have added further functionality, ExPD have been on hand to help all the way, it’s a real partnership”.