As more and more industrial and manufacturing organizations digitalize their processes, many are turning their focus to quality initiatives. To evaluate the level of industrial deployment, impact, and effort, LNS Research conducted a global survey in 2019 around a set of quality use cases, asking executives and management in a variety of organizational roles about their readiness for industrial transformation and quality maturity.
Their report, “Quality 4.0: The Quality Innovation Foundry,” categorizes and defines the use cases and examines the state of industrial transformation and quality efforts in the real world.
The Point of IX and Quality 4.0
LNS explains industrial transformation—also IX, Digital Transformation, or smart manufacturing—as “a coordinated approach to leverage digital technologies to create step-change improvement in industrial operations.” The results for those leading companies who have undertaken an IX strategy that includes a Quality 4.0 initiative are impressive:
- Achieve 90th percentile performance in quality and manufacturing metrics
- Seven times more likely to have high support for quality from the IT organization
- Three times more likely to implement any given quality process with technology
- Have aggressively adopted use cases within quality but also those that extend the quality focus outside the quality function and organization
- Are significantly more likely to adopt voice of the customer use cases, which represents a monumental change for quality and dramatically impacts their organization
- Focus on 8 of 33 use cases that deliver the most improvement for the least cost/effort.
Quality 4.0 is all about the digitalization of quality management in order to improve quality monitoring and outcomes, as well as the impact of digitalization on people, processes, and product. LNS further explains:
“At its core, Quality 4.0 is quality data enhanced with other data sources such as manufacturing, machine sensors, supplier management, and product lifecycle data, to derive new analytical insights to be used across the entire enterprise.”
The value of implementing Quality 4.0 initiatives is the ability to realize improved quality, costs, efficiency, market share, and brand recognition. Like any major organizational change, there are challenges associated with accomplishing Quality 4.0 efforts:
- Poor quality data impeding success
- A lack of engagement and support by the IT department
- A lack of an enterprise system that captures not only data but context for that data, such as an enterprise quality management system (EQMS)
- The old idea that the role of Quality and its expertise is siloed into a single group’s function
This silo concept creates another big organizational issue that was highlighted in the survey: LNS found organizations face hurdles in achieving quality objectives because they view quality as only a department and not a responsibility.
Therefore, it is no surprise that in more than half of the organizations surveyed, quality teams were unaware and not involved in broad, enterprise-wide quality initiatives.
In fact, LNS reports that the most fundamental process change organizations can make is moving quality from a standalone process executed by a low-profile department to a core part of the corporation’s fabric—and to do so by changing the basic role of the quality team to make it core to the organization’s business.
The Quality 4.0 Survey Results
LNS Research tracks (33) Quality 4.0 use cases, divided into six categories. They asked survey respondents not only if they tracked specific manufacturing and quality metrics, but also to rate performance and recent improvements for the measure. The following highlight the 6 categories where progress was being made in Quality 4.0 initiatives:
Digital Voice of the Consumer:
This initiative helps organizations understand customers’ perception of products and quality, and is usually the easiest one to implement and measure. Statistical customer complaint analysis is most commonly deployed from this category, while online benchmarking analysis is identified as the most impactful. The percentage of survey respondents implemented:
- Online marketplace benchmarking 22%
- Online marketplace semantic analysis 27%
- Social media sentiment analysis 23%
- Statistical warranty analytics 24%
- Machine learning/AI warranty analytics 22%
- Statistical customer complaint analysis 31%
- Machine learning/AI customer complaint signal detection 22%
Connected Supply Chain:
A category that LNS has found offers the greatest impact on operational metrics. Many organizations start in this area. The six use cases have already been implemented by 21-34% of companies, and each yielded an average of 31% improvement on the quality and manufacturing metrics. The percentage of survey respondents implemented:
- Real-time supplier operations visibility 24%
- Predictive supplied good variance reduction 27%
- Inspection optimization 34%
- Multi-tiered supply chain traceability 34%
- Prescriptive edge analytics 21%
- Predictive critical parameter optimization 20%
Mostly predictive efforts, such as predictive customer experience and predictive end product variance reduction. On average, the six use cases in this category deliver as much value as customer experience use cases, but they are more effort-intensive. The percentage of survey respondents implemented:
- Predictive Asset maintenance 32%
- Predictive in-process variance reduction 19%
- Predictive end-product variance reduction 22%
- Predictive in-service performance 27%
- Predictive customer experience 28%
- Inspection optimization 25%
Allows companies to improve worker competency and compliance, while also accelerating the availability, accuracy, and effectiveness of insights received and acted upon. Remote operations centers are the example most actively piloted, though not widely deployed yet, likely due to it representing the biggest effort. The percentage of survey respondents implemented:
- Mobile/augmented reality customer complaint capture 27%
- Mobile/augmented reality audits 18%
- Remote operations centers 15%
- Engagement and retention apps 22%
- Connected SOPs 24%
- Connected training 19%
Represents the underlying vision of Industry 4.0 and IoT, where manufacturers increasingly connect their products to the internet to provide insight about actual use and performance and enable more proactive service. Performance monitoring is the most widely implemented of all 33 use cases. The percentage of survey respondents implemented:
- Performance monitoring 30%
- Predictive maintenance 25%
- Early Failure detection/recall 20%
- Remote diagnostics 13%
- Prescriptive service 11%
Robotic Process Automation:
RPA is a core tool to enable the reengineering of business processes that’s at the heart of IX. Of the three use cases in the category, audit data extraction is the one with the greatest attention—and a low implementation effort however, the impact of the use case is mixed, without significantly higher quality or manufacturing metrics so far. The percentage of survey respondents implemented:
- Audit data extraction 31%
- Root cause suggestion 20%
- Predictive routing 27%
Quality 4.0 Findings
LNS found three major results around Quality 4.0 initiatives:
- Positive Impact to the Enterprise. Use case implementations have a positive correlation with more than just quality. Virtually all of the 33 use cases “meaningfully improve both quality and manufacturing performance,” delivering an impact across the enterprise. That validates a core tenant of Quality 4.0, that quality is the responsibility of the whole organization and has an impact enterprise-wide.
- Continuous Performance Improvements. The second finding is that the more use cases a company adopts, the better it performs in quality and manufacturing.
- A Holistic View of Quality Enterprise-wide. The third finding addresses the effort for result, contending that expanding the traditional idea of quality to include the voice of the customer—through customer experience use cases—delivers the greatest improvement and provides the greatest return.
To get more information about specific use cases, the outcomes, and how Quality 4.0 can transform your organization, download the LNS Research report.
Or, let’s discuss how we can help you implement Quality 4.0 initiatives with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The platform will support many of the Quality 4.0 use cases identified in this report, and help keep the larger enterprise process well-managed and tracked in your organization.