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Sonoco Products Company Change-In-Control Plan


Control Plan Development

Control plans.

– Control Plan Development –

⇓   Introduction to Control Plans

⇓   What is a Control Plan

⇓   Why Develop a Control Plan

⇓   How to Develop a Control Plan

⇓   Learn More About Control Plans

Quality and Reliability Support | Quality-One

Introduction to Control Plans

Most companies are looking for methods to reduce cost and eliminate waste in their processes. In the business world today controlling waste and maintaining a high level of quality is imperative for a company to succeed. The cost of doing business is ever increasing. Rising costs of raw materials combined with labor and equipment costs have brought scrap reduction into the critical to business category. The cost of steel alone has more than doubled in the last two years. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to assure that parts are being produced that conform to customer requirements every time. In addition, we must have the ability to detect a non-conforming part or assembly as well as a plan for responding to changing process conditions.  The majority of manufacturing companies are experienced at detecting initial problems and developing corrective actions to correct the problem. But many fall short when it comes to sustaining those corrective actions or process improvements over a long period of time. In many cases the process gradually returns to its previous state and the problems eventually resurface. The purpose of a Control Plan is to monitor processes and assure that any improvements are maintained over the life cycle of the part or product. Control Plans are currently being utilized to ensure product quality in the Automotive, Aerospace, Agricultural Equipment, Heavy Equipment and many other industries throughout the world.  A Control Plan is often a Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) requirement for suppliers of parts to companies in these industries. The primary resource for information regarding Control Plan Methodology in the automotive industry is the Advanced Product Quality Planning and Control Plan manual published by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG).

What is a Control Plan

The Control Plan is a document that describes the actions (measurements, inspections, quality checks or monitoring of process parameters) required at each phase of a process to assure the process outputs will conform to pre-determined requirements. In simpler terms, the Control Plan provides the operator or inspector with the information required to properly control the process and produce quality parts or assemblies. It should also include instructions regarding actions taken if a non-conformance is detected. The Control Plan does not replace detailed operator instructions. In some cases the Control Plan is used in conjunction with an inspection sheet or checklist. The Control Plan helps assure quality is maintained in a process in the event of employee turnover by establishing a standard for quality inspection and process monitoring.  Control Plans are living documents that should be periodically updated as the measurement methods and controls are improved throughout the life cycle of the product.

Control Plan Template

Why Develop a Control Plan

Developing and implementing Control Plan Methodology has several benefits. The use of Control Plans helps reduce or eliminate waste in a process. Businesses today must reduce waste everywhere possible. The Control Plan improves product quality by identifying the sources of variation in a process and establishing controls to monitor them. Control Plans focus on the product characteristics most important to the customer and the business. By focusing on what is critical to quality during the process, you can reduce scrap, eliminate costly reworks and prevent defective product from reaching the customer. When scrap and reworks are reduced, throughput of the process is inherently improved. Manufacturing efficiency is improved and your company’s bottom line is impacted in a positive manner.

How to Develop a Control Plan

The Control Plan should be developed by a Cross Functional Team (CFT) that has an understanding of the process being controlled or improved. By utilizing a CFT, you are likely to identify more opportunities for improvement of the process. The Control Plan is more than just a form to fill out.  It is a plan developed by the team to control the process and ensure the process produces quality parts that meet the customer requirements. The information contained in the control plan can originate from several sources, including but not limited to the following:

Throughout the life cycle of a product, the information contained in the list above frequently changes or the content grows. Therefore the Control Plan must be a living document, continuously updated as new information is added. The Control Plan therefore is an integral part of an effective product quality system.

The Three Levels of Control Plans

Prior to completing the Control Plan development, the team must determine the proper level appropriate for the process being controlled. There are three designations for a Control Plan level based upon what point the product is at in the New Product Introduction (NPI) process. They are as follows:

The Control Plan Format

There are many variations of the form used to document the Control Plan.  Most of the forms used are in the Excel format although there are custom software packages available for many quality tools, including Control Plans. The following section will provide descriptions of what general information should be populated in each of the blocks. The types of control plans vary depending upon the process being controlled.

Characteristics Section

This section of the Control Plan describes the particular characteristics of the product or process that may need to be controlled and documented. The characteristic could be product or process related and the data could be variable or attribute data. The difference between product and process characteristics is often confused when completing a Control Plan.

Methods Section

The information contained in the methods section includes the specification to be measured and a plan for collecting the data and controlling the process. The data could be variable or attribute data.

Control Plans can vary depending upon what type of process is being controlled. There are many different applications where the Control Plan can add value to the process. Below are a few examples of the different applications:

The Control Plan can be a very effective tool for reducing the amount of scrap generated by a process. It can be very useful at improving quality and helping contain any non-conforming product prior to it leaving the work cell. It is most effective when incorporated into a larger quality plan. The Control Plan is the same as any other tool, in that to get the most value you must know how to use it properly. Your teams will require training and coaching in order to implement an effective Control Plan system. If you are interested in learning more about Control Plan Methodology, please contact one of our experienced professionals at Quality-One.

Learn More About Control Plan Development

Quality-One offers Quality and Reliability Support for Product and Process Development through Consulting, Training and Project Support. Quality-One provides Knowledge, Guidance and Direction in Quality and Reliability activities, tailored to your unique wants, needs and desires. Let us help you Discover the Value of Control Plan Consulting , Control Plan Training or Control Plan Project Support .

Contact Us | Discover the Value!

(248) 280-4800 | [email protected]

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