Right first time

Apeer has concentrated on streamlining and standardising it quality control procedures.

As a result, customer complaints regarding loose items have almost been eliminated, and around 98% of Apeer and Lumi products are consistently manufactured right first time, the company said.

Apeer doors and Lumi windows are produced in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, using 100% end-of-line inspection along with inline process auditing to ensure quality assurance.

“100% inspection has always been a part of our quality process,” quality manager Eric Crawford said. “However, it is only in the last two years that it has been standardised and documented.

“Currently, we have two inspection instructions in place that cover over 90% of the total manufacture, with the rest to follow in the future. The documented instructions are used to standardise the inspection process in a way that all inspectors cover all the critical care points needed to ensure door and window quality.”

All new inspectors are trained using the instructions from day one to ensure a consistent approach, while all key processes are audited at least once a week to check they are being carried out in line with the standard operating procedures.

Specific improvements have also been made to the quality control processes.

“Fixed gauging has recently been introduced for better knocker hole positioning and cylinder hole alignment,” Eric said. “Standardised inspection stations have also been introduced with a standard set of tools, and new high-definition cameras have been purchased along with additional CCTV cameras. We’ve also introduced loose item/kit box content photography to resolve issues customers were having with missing parts, which we are pleased to say has virtually eliminated the problem.”