Requirements for a seamless quality management system

A seamless quality management system (QMS) allows companies to close gaps across product lifecycle manufacturing (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enhance continuous improvement and Lean manufacturing initiatives.

By Valérie Goulévitch January 20, 2018

When you look at non-computer-aided quality processes, the seams are everywhere. Not only across systems and the functions they support—for example, gaps across product lifecycle manufacturing (PLM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and manufacturing execution systems (MES)—but quality often is its own patch and is surrounded by seams.

In this type of environment, it is almost impossible to understand root cause of deviations, much less institute corrective and preventive actions, and have any certainty those actions are carried out. Continuous improvement and Lean initiatives are hamstrung and quality is hampered. 

Advancing quality requires a shift in mindset from compliance to the team sport of quality improvement to create a system that weaves together the fabric of the information infrastructure. There are some key requirements for that type of computer-aided quality management system (QMS).

First, the QMS must be an integrated, bi-directional solution for the exchange of all relevant order data, and provide a smooth flow of information and alignment of master data. It must simplify the connection of complex measuring devices to reduce manual inspection and the associated costs. That is foundational to gaining visibility into product quality across production.

To identify the causes of waste, all relevant data across the production process must be accessible. And that data needs to be captured in a way that allows it to be acted upon for quality purposes. Visibility across the shop floor, and into ERP and PLM, is what drives the insight for results. With a seamless QMS, users should be able to: 

  • Reduce process times
  • Reduce quality and defect costs
  • Manage key performance indicators (KPI) and transparency for target decision support
  • Provide a single solution for production, quality and traceability management
  • Support lean management methodology
  • Support corporate compliance
  • Leverage vulnerabilities analysis, best practice software solutions, implementation in the existing information technology (IT) environment and professional training of employees.

A QMS that is truly seamless with ERP, PLM, and the shop floor provides companies with real-time information on the state of your company’s production and quality. It becomes integral to the support of risk management. Full traceability allows you to check product history at the touch of a button, and optimize processes.

MESA International 

Valérie Goulévitch, head of marketing and communication at Siemens PLM Software, member of MESA International. This article originally appeared on MESA International’s blog. MESA International is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

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