“Walking the line” is something we have been doing at Atlas Copco for years. In partnership with our customers, we will walk up and down their assembly line, working together with engineering and production personnel at the plant to find opportunities for improvement. When we walk the line, we are typically looking for production improvements that can increase efficiency and potential ergonomic improvements. Once a potential solution is identified, we will investigate to see if there is a return on investment for it, and if there is, we’ll install a test on the line to prove out the solution.
Now, we have a new method to walk the assembly line at our customers’ facilities. While we have always done line walks with an eye on production processes, our Quality Assurance team is now using the same methodology with a focus on quality improvements. The goal of a “QA Walk the Line” is to work with the quality department within the facility, spend time with them, review the quality processes and equipment being used and, together, determine if there are opportunities for improvement.
Quality processes in a plant are often the last to be modernized, with many factories still tracking quality data through paper and pencil methods. These practices create opportunities for error and are also very inefficient, taking up time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. With a variety of new equipment, we can apply to improve quality processes and efficiency, and the expertise to understand existing quality practices and apply new systems in the right way, Atlas Copco strives to work as a partner with our customers. Now, that partnership even extends past production and into the quality department as well.