Problem Solving – Made Easy
In order to constantly improve the quality of serial production processes, the automotive industry relies on the standardised problem management process (PMP). BMW conferred the search and identification of possible error patterns also to the Formel D Group.
APMP starts with the first possible target-performance comparison and ends with the expiration of the warranty and good will period of each vehicle. In general, every PMP is carried out in three steps – also referred to as levels:
1. Reporting, 2. Directing, 3. Solving. The reporting level comprises identifying, verifying and evaluating a problem. Prioritising the problem and reaching targets with regard to dates and contents are part of the directing level. And the solving level stretches from taking immediate action to proving efficacy.
Clear Division of Tasks in the Area of ML-V
The reporting level is structured into three reporting channels: development, produc- tion and sales/service. On this level, certain areas of the ML-V (“Meldelinie-Vertrieb”) work are passed on to a so-called “Company Info”. The company takes care of constantly analysing, enriching and processing all data. On this basis, BMW employees may evaluate each fact, determine its demand for service and fulfil all requirements for their integration into the problem management process (PMP admission ticket). In its position as external “Company Info”, Formel D therefore performs the following tasks:
- Identification of abnormalities
- Search and identification of new error patterns by making use of all data sources available, especially of GMK data
- Enrichment of new identified error patterns with all necessary information in order to fulfil the requirements for the PMP admission card, e.g. supply of the defective parts in question from the trading organisation for analysis, consultation of the dealers for more information on specific errors etc.
- Comparison with the reporting channels of development and production
- Processing of information
- Processing of error messages from the system for the technical support
- Secondary efficacy proofs in the form of checking, if new GWK cases appear after the serial solution has been applied
Efficient and Accelerated Processes
The work contents described above concern all vehicle modules and passenger car product lines of the BMW and MINI brands. Taking into account regular reports about warranty claims as well as information from other sensors, the Formel D team completes the results and directly forwards them to the responsible BMW employee. Due to this division of tasks, the BMW employees are able to concentrate on essential committee tasks, new production series and technologies. Additionally, outsourcing accelerates the processes: All new relevant error patterns detected at vehicles from customers all over the world are soon integrated into the PMP. Within the solution phase of the problem management process, immediate action is taken or repair works on vehicles already sold are carried out. In addition to that, steps are introduced to change serial production in order to prevent the error pattern in question from affecting vehicles that are yet to be produced.