Car makers still rely on spreadsheets for quality control, says InfinityQS - The EE

Car makers still rely on spreadsheets for quality control, says InfinityQS

Jason Chester of InfinityQS

New research reveals that 55% of manufacturers are still conducting capability studies in Excel spreadsheets to satisfy industry certification standards.

According to research by InfinityQS, a global provider of quality intelligence software and services, most manufacturers in the automotive sector are still reliant on outdated, manual processes for critical quality management tasks.

A poll of 215 tier one and tier two automotive suppliers reveals that 55% are still conducting capability studies in Excel to satisfy the SPC requirements of IATF 16949:2016, a technical specification for automotive sector Quality Management Systems.

According to the research, less than a third (30%) are using real-time SPC software, with 12% running SPC software checks manually, either every week, month or quarter.

Jason Chester, director of global channel programs, InfinityQS comments, “For many years the manufacturing sector has been steadily improving its level of digital maturity by moving away from outdated manual processes and legacy technologies. Covid has significantly accelerated this pace of transformation, with many turning to cloud-based SPC tools as a cost-effective solution for staff to monitor the production line in real-time from the safety of their homes, or any location with an internet connection.”

InfinityQS works closely with many of the most capable partners in the world who support and drive forward their manufacturing client’s digital transformation objectives. In response to the pandemic, demand for the company’s cloud-based SPC solutions has increased dramatically, as end-users seek new ways to maintain business performance and continuity as well as ensuring staff can work safely while adhering to government guidelines on social distancing.

Jason continues, “It is surprising that despite the recent widespread adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions across the manufacturing sector, such a high number of automotive manufacturers from tier one and two suppliers are still using an inefficient method of manually inputting SPC data into Excel spreadsheets for capability studies.

While it is good to see around 30% of respondents actively deploying real-time SaaS solutions to satisfy the SPC requirements of IATF 16949:2016, as this is the most effective and efficient approach, it does show that the industry at large still has a long way to go.

“We also expect that the 12% who are still reliant on manually deploying SPC software will soon migrate to the cloud as a way to overcome the many logistical and economic challenges currently impacting this sector.”

Jason concludes, “Cloud-based SPC tools have become a key component of the modern manufacturer’s digital ecosystem as they can help to drive down costs, increase agility and enhance competitive edge.

Without the right technologies in place, manufacturers are missing out on the full benefits of digital transformation and those in the automotive sector should be looking to invest in real-time SPC solutions as a priority, to future-proof their operations and ensure they are as resilient and efficient as possible.”

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