Canadian Plastics

Moldmaker Gains Insights Into Operation With Qs-9000/Te

To be best in class is what Redoe Mold Ltd. (LaSalle, Ont.) strives for, and the moldmaker has certainly captured top spot on quality-related issues. Redoe recently became one of the first moldmakers ...

September 1, 1999   Canadian Plastics



To be best in class is what Redoe Mold Ltd. (LaSalle, Ont.) strives for, and the moldmaker has certainly captured top spot on quality-related issues. Redoe recently became one of the first moldmakers in North America to achieve registration to the TE Supplement to QS-9000.

The supplement applies specifically to tooling and equipment suppliers to automotive companies, and incorporates specific elements relating to reliability and maintainability in addition to the QS-9000 standard.

“We started from scratch, and put programs in place for ISO 9001, QS-9000 and the TE supplement all at once,” says Paul Taylor, controller.

“Surprisingly, the biggest changes didn’t take place on the shop floor,” notes Ken Soulliere, Redoe’s QS co-ordinator. “It was at the management level that we had to change the way we do business and communicate.”

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Life cycle data is a new twist

A change in business style could be afoot for many moldmakers if the TE Supplement becomes widely accepted. The requirements relating to reliability and maintainability have implications for sharing of information among moldmakers, their customers and other moldmakers.

“We are finding that the standard helps us to find out what other moldmakers are doing, and how they may be doing things better,” says Soulliere. As part of QS-9000 TE Supplement, customers are requested to track mean time between failures for the mold, downtime, production time and whether the mold has met its cycle time targets, among other things

“The data helps to determine overall life cycle costs,” says Taylor. “It contributes to a database that will be published, and eventually should indicate better ways to build molds.”

The potential problem is that the mold users must go through the time and effort to track and communicate this data to the moldmaker.

Soulliere says Redoe has asked for the data, and received some portions of it, “but we’ve had to improvise and draw our own conclusions.”

Soulliere says the biggest challenge of implementing the TE Supplement is that the standard isn’t fully developed in a way that is applicable to tooling. Because it is so new, there was little feedback from industry to assist Redoe.

Richard Clements, group leader with the not-for-profit ISO 9000 Support Group (Caledonia, MI), says there has been little push from automakers to have tooling suppliers registered to the TE Supplement, so not many moldmakers are pursuing the quality standard yet.


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