Anoplate Corporation is a plating job shop that publishes a quarterly newsletter covering not only activities at the company, but also explaining to its employees and customers the intricacies of the finishing processes it provides and why management does the things it does.
The most recent issue is a super example of how Anoplate lets its employees know how certain decisions affect the entire company and make the company a better place for all the employees. In the Spring 2001 issue, Anoplate describes the benefits of having an ISO 9002 quality management system by providing practical, everyday examples of how and why it works.
Example 1: Dry-film lubricants and various organic coatings are applied to parts following various chemical treatments. Many of these require various cure schedules prior to final inspection. Whether or not a part is finished often is not evident to an untrained inspector. For one such job, the customer needed parts, and the parts looked finished, meeting adhesion and thickness requirements. The parts were shipped even though the paint operator's signature was not on the job sheet.
Whoops! The paint operator returned the next day to give the parts their secondary cure and found them shipped. ThisTeflon required two cure temperatures and had only seen the first cure. The parts were returned and cured. However, now with ISO 9002, that should not happen.
Example 2: Some tubular parts were designated for nickel plating with a specification that said "for corrosion resistance." The plater rationalized that EN would better coat the ID of the tube and provide more corrosion resistance. Well, in the customer's assembly the parts were heated to 1000C and the EN softened and fused the parts together. This would not have happened with pure electroplated nickel, which melts at 1453C. Anoplate now avoids such departures from control using Process Control Element 9 of its ISO 9002. Documented work instructions are issued that demand operators obtain any departures in writing along with suitable authorization.
Letting the employees know why things are done the way they are and how they are affected by management decisions can make for a more cooperative work force. Anoplate has found a practical way to accomplish this.