Quality for Reliability

CIM Montreal 2003
Paul Glapa, Kent B Henschen,
Abstract Quality is much more than providing a product that functions properly. True quality is a way of thinking, a way of doing business, and, ultimately, a way of satisfying a customer’s long-term needs. A true commitment to quality requires a top-down management commitment, with a willingness to change what needs to be changed and to expand upon “best practices” that are already done well.

Is there a cost to creating and maintaining a quality program? Of course there is, but the cost of not having a focused program is much greater. We have come to regard quality as an investment that pays dividends to both the supplier and customer. The lack of quality costs everyone and the customer pays the ultimate penalty. With modern, highly engineered surface mining equipment the end user calculates cost in terms of lost production (revenue), not simply the cost of the part.

Bucyrus International, Inc. is a company that has listened to its customers and has dedicated itself to implementing an advanced quality program. The ultimate goal being the creation of a high quality product with extended reliability for the customer. The result is reflected in Bucyrus’ current product offerings and highlighted by the new 495HF electric rope shovels at Albian Sands mine.

Using a comprehensively designed ISO9001 “Total Quality Management” system, Bucyrus has implemented tools such as SolidWorks design software and E-Matrix tracking software to promote design accuracy. Independent product verification consultants are utilized to verify product design accuracy. Field validation is performed to ensure the product will satisfy and support the customers’ performance requirements.

Throughout the manufacturing processes a series of in-process checks are in place to ensure that the end product meets all design criteria. An important part of any high performance quality system and one that has been fully implemented at Bucyrus is the empowerment of factory personnel to bring concerns to light and develop solutions before a product leaves the plant. Those solutions are then carried into future production runs ensuring the highest possible product quality is supplied to the customer.

What does this mean? It means that Bucyrus has taken a hard look at how it did things in the past. A course of action was then set using a quality-based program as its foundation. Steps were taken and accountabilities put in place to ensure that any product shortcomings are rectified and issues are resolved before they reach the field.

Built into Bucyrus’ quality program is the expectation for continuous improvement throughout the company. Our engineering design, supply chain management, manufacturing, and field service execution strategies have been, and will continue to be upgraded to support this strategy. The end result is a product that consistently meets and exceeds design criteria as well as the expectations of the customer. It is product that the customer can have confidence in for it’s superior performance, value , reliability, and … quality.
Keywords: Bucyrus, Reliability, Quality
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