Using quality tools to identify cost saving opportunities in hand layup process
Muhammad Sajarul Elyas, Samsuddin
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The hand layup process is used for producing the composite sandwich panels by laying different composite materials on and bottom of the core to make a sandwich structure of the panel. Vacuum bagging process is one of the process involved in completing layup process. This process is important in order to ensure no air trapped between the plies, allow plies to be drawn together perfectly by creating secure bond between them. In this process, perforated release film is also used to accomplish the vacuum bagging process. It plays the role to act as a contact material to avoid the contact occur between the breather and the matrix resin during compaction and autoclave processes. Non-perforated release film among the high cost material that used frequently for every layup process. Material waste occur by the excessive use of this material will ultimately affect the cost expenditure. This study will focused on the hand layup process area because this area is requiring high cost for its operation. Finding the cost saving opportunities on activities performed along this process that use nonperforated release film will give high profit and cost balance. Based on the data collection, several potential causes and problem are identified which can lead to the difficulty in finding cost saving opportunities. In order to study this problem, the 8D Method, Cause and Effect diagram, Five Why’s Method, and other quality tools are used. From the potential causes that identified, the above stated quality tools are used to find the solution to save the cost intelligently by finding the root cause and solution of the problem. The improvement is implemented at the hand layup process like used again the same FEP Red for the second time, and the data on quality level of composite panel fabricated using recycle FEP Red also gathered and analysed and showing good results.