Defects happen constantly and everywhere – some have a greater impact than others, but they are never pleasant.

But why is it that the world and technology are becoming more and more advanced, but faultless production still cannot be guaranteed?  There are many reasons for this: The pressure on companies is increasing. Innovation cycles and the time from the idea through the concept to production and delivery to the customer are becoming ever shorter, the time-to-market ever shorter. This means that there is less and less time available to think and consider product development in advance. Many influencing factors are not taken into account and the test phase is reduced to a minimum. A further aspect is that customizing becomes higher, all products become more and more individual, quantity 1 becomes standard. This starts with the configurable muesli and ends with the car, which you can assemble according to your personal ideas since many years. The customers become more demanding and the market chances are low, if you position yourself inflexibly. There is no such thing as the perfect product for everyone, but everyone wants to have the perfect product for themselves. A luxury that often falls to the detriment of product quality. But this must be outstanding despite everything and a still favourable price is tacitly presupposed.

Quality as a requirement

However, it is not only our customers who are making new demands; increasing demands on environmental regulations, more and more standards, compliance, social responsibility, etc. are also influencing the product world in which we currently operate. It is becoming increasingly difficult to supply the right products in the right quality. This change is happening faster and faster. We can’t stop it, we have to adapt to it. However, adaptation must not take place at the expense of product quality and care – as is unfortunately often the case at the moment.

Isn’t this a frustrating development? And isn’t it frustrating to make mistakes over and over again? A high frequency of mistakes has further consequences: Delayed deadlines, poor quality and in the end dissatisfied customers, who in the worst case never come back. By adapting to market requirements, we lose exactly those customers for whom we have adapted. That sounds like a vicious circle that must be broken. But how? Every company has to face all these losses. For some years now, attempts have been made to overcome these challenges with the help of the ideas of digitization and Industry 4.0. But is that enough? We are not questioning the meaningfulness of these trends. We only question the completeness and try to make use of digitization and industry 4.0 for our approaches. In order to develop an approach, however, we also have to go back to the origin – back to the mistakes.

We will deal with the origin of errors and the prevention of errors in the next article of our Zero errors are possible series.

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