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Case Study
  • Manufacturing

Chinese OEM Reduces Returns With Improved Product Testing

Publication:
ASQ.ORG
Date:
December 2012
Author(s):
ASQ staff writer

Abstract

When Continental Automotive Systems, Tianjin, China, beganproducing an electronic component known as the silver box, the return rate was more than 1,200 parts per million (ppm), versus a goal of less than 100 ppm. A Six Sigma improvement team used quality tools including trend charts,Pareto charts, and cause-and-effect diagrams to analyze the failure modes for the reported defects, finding that many were not being covered by product testing processes. A combination of technical innovation tools, includingtest coverage analysis, fault insertion, and a testmethods selection matrix, along with Six Sigmaprocess improvement and statistical tools, ledthe team to the solution of adding new testingitems and a new testing station to the process. Adding the new tests reduced silver box returns to fewer than 50 ppm,producing cost savings of $130,000 per year while also strengthening relations with a major customer.

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