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By Thomas Gordon, CFPIM, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

An earlier newsletter in this series addressed responsibility and authority, (ISO 9001:2015/AS9100D:2016 §5.3).  At a management and/or supervisor level it is straightforward to do this; however, looking at what Marx termed “the alienation of the worker from the product of labor”, it is rather more difficult to push this down to the shop floor, where the traditional structure is Operator -> Inspector.

Appraisal or Inspection is, at best, considered a business value added activity (BVA) when viewed as a part of the cost of quality, but it can also be viewed as an additional activity necessary to check on the work of the  operators, in which sense it is really a cost adder.

AS9162:2016 is the Aerospace Operator Self-Verification Program.  It is a process aimed at verifying that a product conforms to all applicable requirements by the individual who produced the product.

The development and implementation of an effective operator self-verification program can improve the overall awareness and quality culture of an organization’s manufacturing department, and will promote a greater first pass quality.  Operator self-verification programs highlight operator responsibility and accountability for quality, promoting employee pride of ownership, and recognition of superior performance.

This is really an exercise in intrinsic motivation, giving the operators the training, tools, authority, and responsibility for the product of their labors.

Although the standard is primarily aimed at the aerospace and defense industries there is no good reason why it should not be applied by any organization enjoying a robust quality management system (a basic requirement of AS9162), perhaps as part of the requirement for 9001/AS9100D §10, Improvement.

Thinking ‘outside the box’ it does not make sense to restrict AS9162 application to the shop floor.  Lean Office techniques show that there is great scope for improvement in the “office” environment.
The overall goal of any organization is to effectively service the Customer.  Anything that hinders this goal is bad and should be eliminated.  AS9162 is aimed at reducing BVA, which improves overall throughput and enhances the Customer experience, and, of course, profitability.

Missouri Enterprise manufacturing specialists have extensive experience in helping companies increase productivity and profitability. To see how they can help you, call your Missouri Enterprise Area Business Manager at 800-956-2682 or visit us on the Web at www.missourienterprise.org.