Had a piece to translate on Friday, not all that difficult but it was revealing again as to what makes this ghetto company tick and why it has the problems it has.
At the plant in Japan, one defective part was made, which then reached the main customer who caught it. The issue was the part, stamped metal, was missing a couple of the ‘teeth’ it was supposed to have.
Upon investigation, it was learned that the part, which should have been automatically ejected from the stamping die, had not been and that upon air blowing the die, to remove metal shavings, the piece was partially blown back onto the die where it was double-stamped with the next part, cutting off some of the gear teeth.
Was releasing was the conclusions the ghetto company reached in its version of the Toyota 5 whys, analysis. At the end of their 5 whys exercise, it was concluded that because the inspection procedures did not cover taking into account looking for missing gear teeth, and only to check for burrs from stamping, that that was the root cause and the countermeasure was to add an additional item to the inspection procedures to keep this from happening again.
Revising the inspection manual is NOT the answer or the true root cause. Taking this thinking to an extreme, there could be at some point, just for inspection item, a book think enough to pass as a novel.
If the line worker was properly trained to think and have 問題意識 (mondai isshiki-problem consciousness) there would have been a ‘Hey, wait a minute’ moment the part would have been pulled off and checked and from there, never have reached the main customer.
Further, it was discovered the reason the part hadn’t been fully ejected was a problem with the air cylinder mechanism, which powered the eject mechanism. That leads me to believe the ghetto company missed another true root cause; they may have not had any prearranged maintenance or inspection protocols in place either.
I see the ghetto company has a couple of engineering intern on the floor, to learn a thing of two. Hope they can see through the fog and learn what is really important.