Quality 4.0 Toolbox
G U E S T A R T I C L E
Industry 4.0 gets much more attention than Quality 4.0 does. While the world is excited by the promise of industry 4.0, only a few realize that Quality is the foundation for the entire fourth industrial revolution. Most of today attention is focused on the technical enablers of Industry 4.0. The latest technology breakthrough is overwhelming: Automation, Additive Manufacturing, Artificial intelligence and 3D printing. From a business point of view, they carry a promise of reduced costs, reducing variance and workmanship, cut logistic and increased time to market. On the other hand, Industry 4.0 will drive down customer tolerance for quality (this is an interesting topic for itself, and deserved a full separate article). All of the above point out that capital investment and infrastructure are only one side of the equation. Without having the right quality culture across the organization, Industry 4.0 implementation will not gain its potential, at the least.
As Steve Jobs once said, “It’s not faith in technology, it’s faith in people”. Eventually, people will be designing the product, defining the manufacturing flow as well as the degree of automation. A successful implementation requires the correct mindset of the people involved (basically we can count it down to the entire organization). The correct mindset should at least be customer-centric, have customer success as a top goal, as well as embracing key quality principals. Otherwise, it is guaranteed that Industry 4.0 will not work for you as you imagined. With all the respect to Robotics and Artificial intelligence, employee’s daily decisions are the ones shaping your company image in front of your customer. After all, humans are the ones that define how to utilize the technology.
The thing is that building a ‘Quality 4.0’ requires a change in organization’s DNA and it takes time, usually longer than the time required to implement the technology involved. If you are leading the areas of quality, business excellence or continuous improvements in your organizations, you can start now by taking a step in that direction. Even if your organization is not currently planning an ‘Industry 4.0’ activity, nothing is stopping you from improving the quality culture and getting it closer to the ‘4.0’. You don’t have to go for the whole spectrum, it’s enough to add one of the pillars to your annual strategic planning.
Where does your company fit?
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About the author:
Carmit Berdugo Cohen
Carmit Berdugo Cohen is a Quality Assurance Manager from Israel with almost 15 years experience in the semiconductor and related industries. Her aim is to be a Quality 4.0 Sensei. See Carmit’s full profile at Linkedin.
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