Adding QAD Quality Management System (QMS) to our organization, in this very exacting industry, has improved many areas of Saft.
Sherry Campbell, Quality Systems, Saft
Headquarters -->Bagnolet, France
Industry -->High Tech / Electronic
Products--> Multi-Technology Battery
Systems Solutions--> Utilized QAD Quality Management System (QMS)
QAD QMS IMPROVES PRODUCTION, MAINTENANCE SCHEDULING AND TRACKING, AND STREAMLINES AUDITS
THE COMPANY: SAFT
Saft is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of high-technology batteries. Their multi-technology battery systems meet the needs of a wide variety of customers worldwide, and even interplanetary – Saft batteries are currently on several satellites in orbit and the company is scheduled to develop, qualify and test a specific lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system to power the ExoMars Rover vehicle. They produce nickel-based and primary lithium batteries used in industrial infrastructure, transportation, civil and military electronics and lithiumion solutions for energy storage, telecommunications, marine, vehicles, aerospace and defense. Their customers include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), distributors and final end users, all of which require Saft to meet exacting requirements of specific applications. They also serve in a wide range of back-up or mission-critical applications in civil and military markets around the world and demand the highest degree of compliance and quality. Headquartered in France, Saft has manufacturing facilities, R&D sites and sales offices located in 18 countries around the world. Saft was founded in 1918 and currently employs more than 4,000 people with annual revenue exceeding 600 million €.
THE CHALLENGE: CHOOSING THE BEST QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TO COMPETE IN A DEMANDING MARKET
Saft competes in a marketplace with exacting and varying client and industry standards. In addition to constantly meeting client needs, to continue to be competitive the company is required to pass frequent, usually annual, audits to maintain their ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO18001, and TS16949 certifications. “Compliance and quality are high priorities for Saft and a demanding space in our market. We had a team of four people dedicated full-time to tracking production, preventive maintenance and calibration of machines and tools,” states Sherry Campbell, Saft Quality Systems Specialist. “We were able to meet our compliance and quality needs but it wasn’t as cost efficient or reliable as it needed to be.” Production and maintenance tracking were partially automated via a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) system, but largely were tracked manually using forms and spreadsheets. Records were scattered throughout the plant, and analyzing production data was very time-consuming. “There was no transparency to the process, and no cohesive, plant-wide method of analyzing maintenance data to establish predictive maintenance or determine effective preventative maintenance schedules, track the need for spare parts inventory modifications, and trace equipment issue recurrences,” continues Campbell. “Equipment was being purchased and not reported to the person who was responsible for calibrated equipment tracking,” notes Campbell. “Creation of crucial calibration schedules was very much a manual process. We knew there was a better way to handle things and we needed to find the best QMS system for our needs.”
THE SOLUTION: QAD QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (QMS)
“As Quality Systems Specialist, I was charged with discovering the best solution for our plant in Jacksonville, FL,” notes Campbell. “QAD QMS was one of several options I explored. Ultimately, after seeing an on-site demonstration, QAD QMS was chosen due to its robust operating system and configurability.”
THE BENEFITS: CONSOLIDATED SYSTEMS, GREATER TRANSPARENCY, LOWER COSTS, REDUCTION OF ERRORS
“We have realized a lot of benefits with QAD QMS,” states Campbell. “We are saving money because we’ve been able to reduce the amount of man hours spent on manual production and maintenance tracking by our quality control team by 50%. The greatest benefits have come with automation, efficient consolidation and transparency.” Benefits Saft has seen since implementing QAD QMS include:
• Breaking Down Silos: Replacement of multiple stand alone silos with one robust system, translating into productivity gains as data is entered one time and automatically populated to all appropriate areas.
• Ease of Expansion: “We are bringing on 40-60 new engineers this year,” notes Campbell. Without a great QMS system we would not be in the position to increase productivity, capacity and profitability.”
• Improvement in the Quality Control: Improvements in the problem solving process because of easier data analysis, particularly when there are repetitive issues.
• Calibration System Control: “Calibration is critical to our success,” adds Campbell. “It’s essential for our accreditation audits but even more, it helps prevent Saft from getting into a recall situation, which would be very expensive and damaging to our reputation in the industry.”
• Transparency and Error Reduction: People are now out of their silos and better able to see the big picture with information being more effectively shared. “QAD QMS has proved to be an essential tool for facilitating daily production and, more importantly, when an audit is required,” finishes Campbell.
Auditors have come in and stated ‘With your QMS system, it’s never been so easy’.
Sherry Campbell, Quality Systems, Saft
Azienda specializzata nella produzione di batterie multi tecnologiche.
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