VOL. 16 May ISSUE YEAR 2015

Standards Forum

in Vol. 16 - May Issue - Year 2015
System Improvement with RCCA and 8D
Paul Huyton

Paul Huyton

The objective of quality management standards is to enable organizations to:
a) consistently deliver products or services that meet customer, statutory and regulatory requirements, and

b) continually improve the processes and systems needed to satisfy these requirements.

ISO 9000 is an international standard that can be applied to a wide range of organizations including both product manufacturing and service provision. Similarly structured quality standards exist in industry sectors that need to emphasize their particular priorities, such as those in aerospace, automotive or bio-medical industries. These quality standards detail the requirements of what is to be achieved to be accredited to the appropriate standard. The challenge for participating organizations is to determine how to satisfy these requirements.

A key part of how to satisfy the requirements is an effective system to analyse any lapse or failure to conform to the requirements and thereby improve the system with an effective corrective action. Aerospace quality standards are over-seen by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAGQ) and they have defined an effective process of Root Cause Corrective Action (RCCA). This is a planned, systematic analysis of any "event" and the determination and evaluation of the required corrective or improvement action.

In the automotive industry, the Ford Motor Company devised a similar process, which is flowing-out to other sectors such as Bio-medical. The 8D (Eight disciplines or steps) process evolved independently from RCCA but the two techniques share a very similar structure, as can be seen from the comparison as a table:

Each of these techniques requires detailed training and disciplined management as the requirements and significance of each step must be well understood. Within the framework of these processes, many other problem-solving tools need to be used. For example, the "Is, Is-Not" technique can be effective for defining the problem, whilst the "5-why" method is normally used for determining root cause. Ishikawa or Fishbone diagrams are commonly used to analyse a complex event and Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) can be used to compare the effects of different corrective actions.

From the obvious similarities in the structure of RCCA and 8D, it is clear that these steps lead to the elimination of deficiencies in quality management and process control systems. Understanding and implementing these techniques will improve conformance and reduce escapes of non-conforming products in a wide range of industry sectors.

For questions contact: paul@mfn.li

Standards Forum
by Paul Huyton,
MFN Course Director World Wide
more information at www.mfn.li/trainers