MANAGING MATERIALS

Case Study

A batch drying process for an moisture sensitive inorganic material with a strict quality limits was experiencing a high degree of failed batches resulting in repeat resampling and batch rework despite no equipment failures or procedural non-conformances.

  • Material sampling was not standardised, operators differed on how samples were taken and stored.
  • The laboratory quality control test required a high degree of skill and technical expertise to carry out.
  • The testing consumables were expensive, highly toxic with a short shelf life.
  • The lead time to obtain a test result was very lengthy and confidence in the results were low.

THE ASSESSMENT

Identified the following:

  • A full review of the sampling techniques and measurement system was undertaken.
  • An statistical review of the historical data performed
  • An internal reliability study completed (Gauge R&R)

THE SOLUTION

  • An alternative and simplified test technique was identified and equipment sourced.
  • The sampling technique was standardised to ensure consistency between all operators.

THE BENEFITS

  • The new technique was cheaper to run and did not require the use of expensive consumables.
  • The new technique was inherently safer as the need for toxic reagents was removed.
  • The test did not require highly skilled personnel increasing the accuracy and reliability of the test between lab personnel.
  • The lead time to obtain a test result was reduced by over 50%
  • Resampling and retesting was eliminated and confidence was restored to the test result.
  • There were less false failures between production batches resulting in reduced rework.