Peter Colsoul, Resident Engineer at VDL Nedcar
The biological clock does its work in the morning, so we wake up sometime before the “beep beep beep” goes off. A quick check of the smartphone, whatsapp, mailtraffic, etc. After a first coffee and some sandwiches, it is off to the plant. Say hello to colleagues, start up the laptop and check emails once more.
If nothing very urgent, we make a tour around the plant: first stop is incoming goods for a profound check of the latest delivery. As a resident, we have a more than a good knowledge of our product and we carry the history of all complaints in the back of our heads. This allows us to carry out a thorough visual (and where possible functional) check. If all is ok, we have a short chat to the guys from production and possibly the line operator to make sure everything is going smoothly. Mid-morning is the first audit of the day and if our product is involved in running quality issues, we want to be there to pick up the latest remarks.
If, during our incoming goods check, we detect a potential problem, we contact our client immediately. Nowadays photos and videos are our most powerful tool to communicate an issue, so this comes first: make good pictures! Send them over to the client and call them afterwards to discuss a strategy for direct action and, if possible a long-term solution. Also, agree if a customer is to be informed right away or if we can solve the problem without having to inform the client. Despite of good pictures, sending some parts to our client is often necessary to make a deeper investigation possible. Use the “express” service!
Other reasons for direct action are of course an official production or audit complaint from the OEM. Here we do a level zero analysis often together with quality and decide on how to proceed. The first thing to do is to check if the complaint is justified. Experience is again very important: could the problem be caused by production or somewhere else in the process? Is the part really out of spec.? In case the complaint is justified the best scenario is to get a temporary acceptance, the worst scenario is if all stock is involved and all parts will have to be exchanged later. In between is a possible sorting or rework action. If this is the case, we need to set up a work instruction, have it confirmed by client and OEM, arrange workers and start up. Very important, don’t forget to pick the breakpoint! Percentage of scrap is of the greatest importance and info needs to be frequently updated to the client and to the quality department of the OEM. Keep in mind to minimize the ppm rate as this is a cost for our client. This can be a bit tricky: thing is to keep ppm as low as possible, but without losing our credibility towards OEM staff!
Part of the resident task is a regular visit to our client. Always interesting and so important to keep the good relation going. Same if our client comes to visit us. Also, upgraded parts and new project parts take some of our time: receiving them, bringing them to the right location, do the obliged trials, measurements etc..
End of the day, we update our daily reports in extranet360, this way our clients have access to the latest information. Modern technology has provided us with the means to follow up the latest info, so we are expected to check emails after regular working hours and if necessary, take immediate action.