Quality Control, Compliance, and Regulatory Adherence in the Age of Manufacturing Innovation

by Epicor, on Nov 30, 2023 10:28:39 AM

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A surge of new technologies in the automotive industry has unlocked new possibilities in the production of electric vehicles and game-changing advances in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. Automakers today operate in an industry that bears little resemblance to the one that existed even just a few short years ago.

But new technology also comes with new complexity. That complexity drives the growth of both new liability exposures and a corresponding increase in the rigor and extent of regulatory oversight. To be clear, the automotive industry was already highly regulated, a state of affairs that reflects the inherent health and safety concerns of vehicular travel. Faced with this new surge in technical and regulatory complexity, however, automakers have understandably heightened their expectations and requirements when it comes to quality control and detailed part- and product-specific monitoring. If and when a part or process fails, everyone involved in its production or sale needs to know exactly why and exactly where it came from. Today’s part-specific traceability and genealogy standards are so high that virtually every part of a modern automobile—even seemingly non-essential parts like a piece of decorative plastic trim—has serial-number identifiers. To work with original equipment manufacturers (OEM), vendors must meet this non-negotiable standard.

The automotive industry is hardly alone in this regard. From aerospace and food and beverage to pharmaceuticals and medical devices, heavily regulated industries have increasingly strict quality control criteria and high standards for compliance and documentation. There is good news for manufacturers, however: the best of a new generation of connected process control solutions offers the verifiable quality control metrics and granular traceability capabilities that meet the demands of the modern marketplace.

For example, Epicor Connected Process Control features 100% traceability at every stage in the production lifecycle: from source materials to production and through to a finished part or product. Every part can be traced to its origins, and compromised or sub-standard materials can be identified by batch, lot, or serial number before becoming a much bigger problem. Sophisticated real-time production monitoring identifies not just when something goes wrong, but when and why. When rejects are identified, instead of being taken offline for repair, the parts can be torn down to the earlier state before the reject. These parts are then reintroduced into the process to be built again. In other words: the result is not just verifiable higher quality, but a healthier bottom line.

Traceable. Trackable. Verifiable. Precise.

These attributes define the cutting-edge solutions that bridge the gap between complexity and quality. In an era where reliability directly impacts liability, risk reduction becomes paramount. Proven quality control and meticulous tracking, made possible by connected process control solutions, not only fulfill rigorous regulatory and compliance mandates, but also instill newfound confidence in the quality of products and processes. Ultimately, these technologies contribute to a safer, more accountable, and more prosperous future for manufacturers and their partners.

Topics:TraceabilityLean ManufacturingQuality ManagementVehicle AssemblyConnected Process Control

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Our team is a creative bunch that loves learning and pushing the limits to find the best solutions for today's lean manufacturers.  Internal discussions at the office might range from new features that manufacturing process control software should have to machine learning, blockchain technology, or what the future of AR on the plant floor looks like. Check out our blog for opinions, news and trends that we find interesting and think you might too!