Being the world’s largest construction-equipment manufacturer is an accolade, but a challenge. The Caterpillar plant at Pontiac, Illinois, is expected to manufacture critical parts on a scale which perhaps would be impossible for many others, yet we do not tolerate any compromises in quality. Our 1,000,000 square foot plant in Pontiac, Illinois, is responsible for making Engine systems for Caterpillar engines, which used in off road-building machinery. Production involves both high volume and extremely rigorous specifications and tight tolerances. In Factory Systems we’ve found an SPC provider who goes above and beyond in helping us achieve our goals and shares our love for perfection and continuous improvement.
We’ve always been on the forefront of SPC and began using it in the late 1970s. Through the decades of experience, we are now one of the leaders in the space, but the road was at times an arduous one. Finding suitable SPC solutions for high-cost, high-volume production wasn’t easy, and this led us to create our own custom solution, as well as performing thorough market research. Eventually, this led us to eight potential vendors, of which Factory Systems emerged as the clear winners. Factory Systems not only impressed the in-house quality committee but even the Technicians commented that it was “much easier to work with and interfaced well with all gauges”. It led to such a smooth operation that we had to leave the trial units in-place because the Technicians didn’t want them taken away.
Working in conjunction with Factory Systems we have managed to establish and maintain world-class quality, by relying on SPC for Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM), internal and external grinders, screw machines, lathes, test stands, rotary dial machines, abrasive flow machines and other equipment. More than 600 Technicians have been trained to use Factory Systems workstations, with a unique focus on teaching Technicians the “why” behind the process and not just the “how”. For the Technicians to have a good understanding of their role in the process, we believe they need to know more than merely how to take measurements, but to understand the fundamental principles of SPC. After working with Factory Systems for nearly four decades, they continue to provide us with excellent support and training services.
6 Sigma Black Belt 2