Pacific Steel Review by: Jennifer Stepniowski, Regional Operations Manager, Pro QC International
Located in Berkeley, California, Pacific Steel (www.pacificsteel.com) is the fourth largest surviving steel foundry in the United States. With over 80 years of experience and 700 employees working three shifts a day, their major markets include truck parts, oil field equipment, construction, mining, oil and gas metering valves, high speed train coupling and chassis components and wind power.
We spoke with Bob Neely, Pacific's Quality Manager, regarding their experience utilizing Pro QC as a product monitoring and supplier development resource. Bob noted that "with Pro QC’s expertise on TS 16949, lean manufacturing and additional quality system elements we have made progress in developing our suppliers to comply with the strict system guidelines which will be required for Pacific Steel to continue doing business in China."
Throughout 2008 Pro QC has worked with two of Pacific’s suppliers in Ningbo, China. More specifically, Pro QC has provided Supplier Readiness Review (SRR) and process audits, Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance (GD&T) training, in addition to 8d corrective action and "5 Why" root cause analysis. Regularly scheduled status meetings are ongoing to assist with the development and implementation of all corrective actions.
Bob Neely explained that "monitoring product quality at our suppliers in China has helped our Chinese foundries understand the level of quality Pacific Steel and our customers expect." He added that utilizing "services for supplier development has helped them understand the quality system requirements Pacific and our customers expect them to comply with in an attempt to improve the reliability of products coming from China. We believe that Pro QC has helped enlighten them as to the European and North American quality expectations which will ultimately improve their competitiveness in the world markets. We still have quite a ways to go and hopefully with Pro QC's assistance, we will get there."
Pro QC's Supplier Development Services (SDS) team documents issues and requirements for the supplier, audits the supplier facility, analyzes the supplier operating conditions, creates a corrective development profile with the supplier and then guides them through successful completion. The SDS group is staffed by team members with various credentials including mechanical and electrical engineers, lead auditors, six sigma black belts and other quality industry accreditations.
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