March 27, 2023

3 Reasons Why Late Defect Detection is Costing You More

According to an Afnor study, non-quality costs amount to 5% of companies’ turnover. If non-quality can occur at any stage of the process, the later it is detected, the higher the cost.
Avatar Wendy (Klotz) Mlynarek

Today, we reveal 3 reasons why late detection of defects costs you a lot of money and how to overcome it.

Non-quality costs are a serious issue

According to an Afnor study, non-quality costs amount to 5% of companies’ turnover. If non-quality can occur at any stage of the process, the later it is detected, the higher the cost.
Indeed, part of these costs is due to the late detection of defects. Whether they’re identified late during production or worse, the invoice can be quite high once the product is delivered to the customer.

This problem is very real for many manufacturers, involving a strong competitive challenge.

1 – Unscheduled interruption of production

When defects are not detected at critical moments of the process and are identified too late on the line, the consequence is often a production stoppage and removal of the equipment from the line. And when you know the average cost of one hour of line downtime (from €20,000 to over €1 million depending on the industry), the meter is running, and the bill can be high. Not to mention the cost of reworking the equipment in question: disassembly time, repair/correction, and reassembly. Ultimately, you lose time, decrease productivity and accumulate delivery delays. In addition, you interrupt your process and mobilize your teams on a costly repair.

Yet you have probably set up inspection and control procedures at several intermediate stages. But are you sure that the controls are complete and well-documented? Is that information easily passed between teams? That data such as photos and the precise location of defects are collected?

All of these parameters affect the efficiency of your processes.

2 – It’s too late to fix these production defects

In some cases, the repair is simply not possible after certain stages of the process on high-value-added parts or equipment. The result is a high rate of scrap and waste. These many concessions cost you a lot and affect your cost management and competitiveness. However, you can avoid these costs by optimizing the quality controls upstream of the chain.

3 – Non-quality products exported to the customer

The worst-case scenario, yet frequent, is the inability to detect non-conformities on-site and identify a problem once the customer receives the product.  

As a result, your team has to intervene on the customer’s site with all associated costs, reship the equipment at your own expense, and pay possible financial compensations and fees. But this may also impact your brand image and the satisfaction of your final customer. These costs are sometimes difficult to evaluate, but they affect your competitiveness.

If the risk is real, fortunately, solutions exist to reduce these risks of late detection of defects strongly. In this respect, digitalization and 4.0 technologies such as AR are at the top of the list. 

By adopting digital inspection tools that guarantee the completeness and repeatability of controls, and the collection of accurate data, you reduce the risk of missing a defect or forgetting a check. In addition, these inspection assistance technologies, used at integral stages of the manufacturing process in production and during the final check before delivery to the customer, allow you to raise alerts at strategic gates and avoid unplanned costs.

But the solution still lies in reducing errors during production. And here, too, digital tools, such as the AR-based projection of precise assembly instructions directly onto the equipment to be assembled, contribute to “getting it first time right” and thus improve quality. The digitalization of instruction sheets, the 3D visualization of assembly procedures, or the step-by-step guidance of the operator via augmented reality, for example, help to avoid problems of interpretation of the documentation and thus the risk of errors.

Investing in digital solutions: a lever for competitiveness through the reduction of non-quality

Of course, the digitalization of production and inspection processes represents a budget. But the benefits are numerous, and the competitive stakes are high in the current context. Among the expected ROI, we can mention:

  • Reduced costs associated with scrap and unplanned repairs
  • Productivity gains: reduced inspection time, reduced unplanned downtime
  • Brand image: customer satisfaction, reliability, competitive advantage

Wondering where to start with reducing your non-quality costs?

Discover our solutions that are helping customer reach their ambitious goals and postitively impacting their bottom line. Discover how we can assist you. Contact us for more information.

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