Re-measure the product till you find it is OK!

  • Why did you put that part there? – I asked the operator as an external VDA6.3 process auditor. We were at the final test station, and I just observed the tester measured one part as NOK, but the operator did not put it into the designated red box. She put the product away on a separate pallet.
  • They will be re-measured later on once more – answered the operator.
  • What happens if they pass the test on the 2nd measurement? – I asked again.
  • Then they are OK – answered the process engineer now.
  • What kind of settings are you using for the re-measurement?
  • The same parameters, just a dedicated program is chosen, but it equals the regular final test – the engineer further explained.

I turned to the operator again.

  • How do you know that such parts need to be separated? – I asked.
  • I was told – she replied.
  • Would you show this to me in the FlowChart?– I asked the engineer again.
  • Well, it is not described there.
  • Can I find this in the Control Plan?
  • Not at this moment. We have special instructions in place.
  • How many times can you re-measure the failed parts?
  • Only once more.
  • Why only once? How was it determined?
  • Well, we agreed on it as a team.
  • Could you please show me the relevant studies? How can you be sure that what you measure first as good they are really OK parts?

Finally, it turned out there were no relevant studies available.

The final tester was explicitly made for this new project. The customer approval was still missing, but the PPAP parts were already built.

Without considering the re-measurement in the Flowchart, in the PFMEA, no reference to the CP, which also means the customer does not know about it.

PPAP parts were built without having an MSA study in place. But due to the high fall-off rate, one re-measurement has been internally allowed.

How can we trust the tester’s judgment if it is not proved the system is applicable to the desired task?

How can I say that one re-measurement is allowed? Why not three? Or five.

How do I know which time the system judges correctly? When it shows an „OK” or „NOK” result?

If OK, I accept the judgment immediately, but if NOK, I doubt the result?

Most of us in the automotive quality field believe such a story can not happen in our plant. Only at small Tier-3-4… suppliers. Do not be too sure about this.

Anyway, it worth thinking about this story for a moment when you ask yourself, „What MSA is for?”.

Or when you make such a decision: „Let’s re-measure the failed parts once more, we might find some good parts!”

As always, think in system with Pro Automotive.

If you are interested in reading articles about automotive quality management topics, best practices, case studies, follow Pro Automotive.

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