An overall map of and approaches to the assurance of reliability and safety for industrial products are proposed. The front-line activities of workers and staff in R & D, design, production, etc. play important roles in assuring the reliability and safety of industrial products. These activities require the support of the organization's management and culture, of the quality assurance system, and of society at large. The front-line activities for assuring reliability and safety include ① immediate resolution of problems,② prevention of problem recurrence, and ③ prevention of problems in new products. Crisis management is important for ① the plan-do-check-act cycle based on effective standardization is important for ②, and prevention by prediction using both deductive and inductive approaches is important for ③. Deductive approaches focus on function, functional mechanism, usage and environmental stresses, failure mechanism, and failure modes, and inductive approaches focus on reliability testing and failure analysis.
Recently, news of quality trouble/accident are often heard. When investigating these troubles/accidents more closely, it is found that most of them are not caused by the immaturity of the new technologies developed aiming at the creation of customer value, but they are due to simple overlooks/misunderstandings in the existing technologies. Therefore, to prevent these failures, it is not effective to run after the problems that happened and take corrective actions against them. It is needed to prevent them beforehand. In the background where such preventive approach is not carried out fully in an organization, there is weakness in the management system of the organization including top management and managers. It is necessary for the organization to notice and improve the weakness by itself. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is expected to be an effective method for this purpose. However, the implementation of RCA is not easy with many companies/organizations relying on a few competent people and repeating trial and error. Based on the above recognition, this report explains basic concepts of RCA and proposes a useful procedure for implementing RCA.
Present executives play the roles in the product realization process, the management supporting process, and the organization ability management process. Manager's roles in the future include items for the senior management and the strategic management, and for CTO, business executives, organization ability directors, and CQO, etc. It is necessary to educate preventive actions based on the oriental philosophy besides the education of the science and technology of the Western style. Under various business environments, long-term on-the-job practices are necessary to make a decision adequately. The ability education of the manager candidate is started from the instance of joining the company, and it must be done at every occasion of his promotion. Though the judgment of value is formed in the high school age, examining the sense of values is important on every occasion of employment and promotions. A candidate of the executive on quality assurance must learn JIS Q9004, JIS Q9005, and JIS Q10006, and he learns not only from the failure cases, but also from the success cases. Also it is important that he learns by other organizations and foreign countries. In addition, he learns the methods of improving organizational ability from intellectual properties of the organization besides on the job site guidance.
The quality control activities based on methods and systems developed in Japan since the 1950's have contributed greatly to Japan's remarkable economic growth. In the second half of the 1960's, a quality assurance system which is important for assuring product reliability and safety was constructed based on the concept of total quality management in response to the ever-increasing needs of an advanced technological society. Nevertheless, there has recently been increased concern about vehicle safety and consumer product defects. New safety standards have been established and consumer protection laws have been revised to address these problems. In this paper, a quality assurance system for assuring reliability and safety from the early development stage is presented that is based on present social tendencies and factors such as the use of highly advanced technologies and the diversified market structure.
In Ricoh group, we are aiming to realize business constitution that can realize customer satisfaction and competition predominance simultaneously as a basic business policy to provide the product which is prominent in "kind to the human and kind to the earth". In this report, it is described on safety which is basis for product such as 1) overall activity system and major actions to fulfil social responsibility in the corporate (called as CSR, hereinafter), 2) risk management as constructing element for CSR, and 3) construction of "product safety" which is the major subject of risk management, respectively for each actual matter.
Construction and mining equipment have both functions of running and loading rocks and sand. On the working fields or sites, employee or operators always have risks of coming across the accidents. Komatsu has been executing Product Reliability Activity and Product Safety Activity since 1970s. To prevent the failures on products, Komatsu thinks that the most important factors are the organized implementation of Product Reliability Activity, Product Safety Activity and their proper implementation. This is the report of Komatsu ways on Product Reliability Activity and Product Safety below.