Fact Finding Mission Rejected Sheet Metal Products
Time spent: 6 weeks

During a regular engineering job at a manufacturer of aircraft parts, Hans van Veen was confronted with the rejection of aircraft skin parts for 40 weeks delivery. Nobody knew the rejection cause.

The Project
On special request, Hans van Veen picked up the fact finding mission, using the Six Sigma approach. At that time Six Sigma was an unknown tool box within the company.
First action was to warn the customer. The customer was worried, but also convinced that we would do anything possible to solve the problems as soon as possible.
The urge to get production going again was extreme. Based on FMEA techniques the troubling process step became clear. Within an experimental design, minor changes were applied to that process step. Within 3 weeks, production of the concerned parts was started up again with an adapted process step.
Simultaneously saving as much parts as possible from the 5 rejected batches was carried out with a thoroughly accompaniment. This saved 40 % of the rejected parts.
After resuming the production, we concentrated on finding the cause. This was found within 2 weeks.

The material supplier had made a simple mistake that only could be fount with electronic microscopy.
The rejection caused a 3 weeks bump in the delivery scheme, but this was only a logistic matter since the customer was warned in an early stage.
The law department was able to charge the material supplier, using the Six Sigma based project report with unambiguous facts.
Because the proven relyability by the customer, more sheet metal work was ordered at the manufacturer.