Disparate QMS Platforms Prevented a "Big Picture" Quality View
Wabtec’s freight train business struggled with disparate quality management systems — 30 different tools across more than 60 locations — that made remediating quality issues inefficient and ineffective. With a complex supply chain infrastructure, company leadership realized they needed robust supplier quality and new product introduction (NPI) process across the full product lifecycle, including pre-production. Furthermore, users couldn't share data, preventing the company from running system-wide reports or gaining insights into the organization's overall quality management environment.
SENIOR TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGER, WABTEC
“Reliance has effectively paid for itself…year over year.”
Wabtec Slashes Quality Costs by Tens of Millions of Dollars
To identify quality problems before they appeared in customer stock,
the freight train business purchased ETQ Reliance in 2012. In 2019, following the merger, Wabtec expanded licensing and usage of ETQ Reliance across all areas of the company.
Since deploying ETQ Reliance, Wabtec has consolidated multiple legacy applications into a single enterprise application with more than 50 integrations. Wabtec gained a unified view of the company's quality data, providing insights to both production staff and business leaders.
In addition, ETQ Reliance powers Wabtec's production part approval process (PPAP) supplier integration processes, providing tight controls over parts ordering and shipping from tens of thousands of suppliers.
More effective defect tracking has helped Wabtec adhere to regulatory standards and frameworks, and the company's total cost of quality has been slashed by approximately 35% — which translates into tens of millions of dollars.
In sum, their key challenges were:
• Lack of visibility into shop floordecisions
• Inability to calculate the cost of rework
• Trouble with on-time delivery
• Avoidable machine re-tooling
• Lack of visibility into total re-tooling time
• Lack of visibility into FPY accuracy
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About Wabtec: Wabtec is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and value-added services. Whether it's freight rail, transit, mining, industrial or marine, our expertise, technologies, and people - together - are accelerating the future of transportation. https://www.wabteccorp.com/
About ETQ: ETQ, part of Hexagon, is the leading provider of quality, EHS and compliance management SaaS software, trusted by the world’s strongest brands. More than 600 customers globally, spanning industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, heavy industry, food and beverage, and medical devices, benefit from ETQ to secure positive brand reputations, enable higher levels of customer loyalty and enhance profitability. ETQ Reliance offers built-in best practices and powerful flexibility to drive business excellence through quality. Only ETQ lets customers configure industry-proven quality processes to their unique needs and business vision. ETQ was founded in 1992 and has main offices located in the U.S. and Europe. To learn more about ETQ and its various product offerings, visit www.etq.com.
Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions. Learn more about Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) at hexagon.com and follow us @HexagonAB.
© ETQ, LLC, part of Hexagon.
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Supplier quality &
new product integration
Expanded usage to
Integrating quality control -shop floor with quality management
Wabtec Uses ETQ Reliance to Cut Total Quality Costs by 35%. In 2010, freight train manufacturer GE Transportation, ultimately acquired by Wabtec in 2019, began experiencing significant quality "excursions" – product failures in their locomotives that made it out to customers in the field. The failures were chronic and cost the business more than $100 million annually, but the company had no insight into what was causing the failures or how to prevent them. At the same time, the global economic downturn caused the company to lose resources and staff.
Wabtec integrates quality control with quality management to provide shop floor insights and streamline on-time delivery.
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Addressing Data Gaps between Quality Control and Quality Management
In October 2021, ETQ and Hexagon, a global leader in sensor, software, and autonomous technologies, announced a partnership to integrate Hexagon’s quality control systems with ETQ’s QMS for customers to achieve productivity gains, cost reductions, quality insights and process improvements. Following the announcement of the partnership, Wabtec kicked off a project with ETQ and Hexagon to integrate their Hexagon metrology systems with their existing ETQ QMS deployment to streamline processes. The goal of the integration was to deliver consistently high quality products, automate nonconformance processes, and gain shop floor insights.
Before the ETQ/Hexagon integration, Wabtec had limited visibility into how much rework was occurring and how exactly rework decisions were being made. As a result, human-driven decisions meant that nonconformances were measured inconsistently and subjectively.
Defects slipped through, and a lack of traceability meant Wabtec
was unsure when and where in the process problems occurred. When defects occurred, disposition decisions were being made on the shop floor and not being captured. This data is very powerful for trend analysis, providing earlier prediction of defects and helping to identify when compound issues arise. Furthermore, some nonconformances, whether critical or not critical to quality, were subjectively and manually entered into the system, which opened the door to human error,
took time, and missed capturing nonconformance data important to informed decision-making. In addition, the lack of insight into
the process meant that first article inspection results were not differentiated from in-production quality issues, making it more
difficult to determine where time was wasted and avoidable rework costs were incurred.
senior technical Manager, wabtec
We have seen the power of the machine integration elements through our ability to connect using Hexagon’s PC-DMIS/CMM machine that automates nonconformances directly
inside ETQ Reliance.”
ETQ Reliance/Hexagon integration puts Wabtec on track for improved on-time delivery
Using the integrated ETQ Reliance/Hexagon solution, Wabtec now has greater insight into quality data. With a single click, Material Review Board staff can now launch a nonconformance report right from the automatically created quality record, eliminating the need for manual data entry, issue resolution tracking, and the potential for human error. When issues are found, traceability back to the dimension test results saves time and speeds root cause analysis.
Information about rework is automatically captured, allowing Wabtec to refine rework vs. scrap vs. return to vendor decisions, calculate quality costs, and identify areas of improvement.
Additionally, with many customers not accepting partial shipments, Wabtec needs to fulfill orders completely. The ETQ Reliance/Hexagon solution allows Wabtec to make decisions on product quality more confidently and consistently, ensuring on-time delivery, while improving product quality.
Integration Informs Smart Decisions, Streamlines Operations, Reduces Costs
ETQ Reliance has helped Wabtec save tens of millions of dollars, reducing its total cost of quality by more than one-third. In addition, Wabtec has realized efficiency gains across the organization including its supply chain and continues to find efficiencies across the organization, such as the recent integration between Reliance and the Hexagon metrology systems.
Wabtec has consistently invested in making its quality processes more efficient, first Supplier Quality, then New Product Introduction, expansion of the QMS to additional sites, and now integrating quality control systems on the shop floor with quality management, to ensure product quality and continuous improvement.
And what’s the overarching benefit of this? Higher customer satisfaction, improved sales and reduced costs.
• Informs Smart Decisions
• Streamlines Operations
• Reduces Costs