How to Stay on Top of Non-Conformance Reporting

NCRs highlight process flaws, guiding corrective actions to enhance quality and meet standards efficiently.

Manufacturers can lower non-conformance costs by making a detailed non-conformance report after each incident. This process helps identify flaws in the system that can be fixed to minimize future occurrences.

Non-conformances (NCs) are unavoidable realities in manufacturing. They can happen at any time; during the planning process, during production itself, or when products are being shipped to market. Minimizing non-conformances helps manufacturers reduce how much time, money, and materials get wasted on scrap.

However, to take the proper steps and lower non-conformance costs, manufacturing leaders need an accurate account of how each non-conformance occurred and what the associated costs were. That's where a non-conformance report comes into play.

What Is Non-Conformance?

In manufacturing, non-conformance means something didn't meet the set standards. It happens when a product or process doesn't follow the rules for quality and safety. This can occur due to mistakes or issues at any point in the process, such as prep, production, or delivery.

Identifying and fixing non-conformances helps make sure products get made correctly, with zero or minimal scrap or waste. It also helps to guarantee safety and reliability throughout the manufacturing process.

Where Do Non-Conformance Costs Come From?

When non-conformances happens, the first objective of many manufacturers is to clean up the mess and move on, minimizing the time and manpower spent on it. They toss the affected product or products in the scrap bin, fix (or put a band-aid on) the machine that caused the issue, and get back to work. The thought being — the sooner they can resume normal operations, the less the non-conformance costs.

But non-conformance costs involve more than those associated with the immediate loss of product and the man-hours associated with disposing of scrap. When defects in the manufacturing process aren't addressed, non-conformances can become a recurring issue, resulting in higher costs over the long term. For this reason, it's critical to document all non-conformances in as much detail as possible. Reliable MES manufacturing software can simplify this process.

Why Use MES Production Software for Non-Conformance Reporting?

Here are a few reasons all manufacturers should be using MES software to document non-conformances:

  • Identifies the source of a non-conformance and reveals changes that could prevent similar occurrences in the future.
  • Provides permanent documentation of every instance of non-conformance that can be revisited later during strategy sessions or system upgrades. As much as managers like to think they can remember things, without proper documentation, this is often far from true.
  • Helps individual department managers hold their teams accountable by identifying the origin of each non-conformance.
  • Assists with assigning costs to each non-conformance and keeping up with the total non-conformance costs incurred during a given period.
  • Prevents non-conforming goods or products from accidentally being mixed in with conforming goods.
  • Lets manufacturers assign an NC code to each incident, making it easier to reference in the future when working on upgrades or design changes to reduce non-conformances.

What Should I Look for in MES Manufacturing Software?

Deciding to implement MES manufacturing software is the first step toward using non-conformance reporting to minimize future occurrences and any associated costs. Here are a few things to look for when deciding which software to use:

  • User-friendly interface: The best software is rendered useless if 90% of your team can't use it. Before investing in a piece of MES software for manufacturing, make sure key team members try it out and are comfortable with its interface.
  • Scalability: Just because your MES software is sufficient today, doesn't mean it will be in 3 or 5 years when your manufacturing operation has doubled in size. Your software should be scalable so that it can grow with your business.
  • Real-time data reporting: Look for tools that provide up-to-the-minute information for efficient decision-making.
  • Integration: Manufacturing systems can be complex, so be sure your software integrates into your process as a whole.
  • Cloud-based: Ideally, your software should be cloud-integrated so that it stays online even during periods of local downtime.
  • Customization: The best MES software can be customized to your specific non-conformance reporting requirements.

To learn more about MES reporting software and how it can help with your non-conformance reports, contact StartProto today!

Try StartProto Today to Optimize Purchasing and Materials Management

Our cloud-based MES, MRP, and Bill of Materials software is purpose-built to help consolidate information in one spot- allowing easy tracking on non conformance or QA issues.  Stay ahead of the curve and lead your shop towards success by giving StartProto a try today.


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