With over 850 employees in 20 locations around the world, Oerlikon Solar is one of six business segments within Oerlikon Corporation, a 20,000-employee world leader in production systems, components, and services for thin film, vacuum, drive systems, textile manufacturing, and precision technology products. Oerlikon Solar designs, produces, installs, and supports manufacturing lines for solar panels. Their turnkey production lines are highly automated, completely configurable, and must comply with the high standards for quality imposed both by Oerlikon's own product warranty and by their customers' industrial standards.
Oerlikon Solar selected Windchill FRACAS to systematically track the occurrence, analysis, and resolution of failures and incidents for solar panel manufacturing equipment. In addition to requiring a high degree of communication between field personnel responsible for installation or maintenance and in-house engineers responsible for analysis and resolution, Oerlikon required a system that could automatically track system metrics and keep account managers apprised of the condition of their customers' systems. This functionality helps the company meet its high system uptime requirements, which are part of both its company-wide commitment and its product warranty.
An essential first step in implementing any FRACAS is to identify the key personnel who will need to be involved in the system, and to pinpoint their responsibilities throughout the process of discovering, reporting, evaluating, analyzing, and correcting any failures or incidents that might occur. In this case, these are:
A variety of other stakeholders need to participate in the FRACAS as required, including managers responsible for signing off on recommended changes, system engineers responsible for root-cause analysis and design modifications, and individuals responsible for keeping spare parts stocked, among others.
Each of these specified goals can be achieved using features and functions available in Windchill FRACAS. And thanks to its high degree of flexibility, Windchill FRACAS can be configured without the need for programming skills to ensure the software workflow matches each stated business need. The goals of the company and the software functionality leveraged to fulfill them are:
Managing workflows with subtables in Windchill FRACAS:
In this case, incidents initiated by on-site field personnel are forwarded to an evaluation process, which determines action to take: No Action, Spare Parts Workflow for an immediate parts solution, and/or Engineering Change Workflow for long-term quality improvement. The ability to associate an incident with two workflows simultaneously, each with their own workflow and level of complexity, is effected using subtables and problem tables. Problem tables provide for the association of like incidents that will be solved by the same design change.
Ensuring the success of the system is a major goal of any FRACAS implementation. Built-in features in Windchill FRACAS contribute to system success by offering ease of use, standardized processes, streamlined data entry, and the security and integrity of data. The goals for ensuring a successful system, and the features in Windchill FRACAS that help meet these goals, are:
The features and functionality of Windchill FRACAS contribute to meeting the business goals of Oerlikon Solar for enhanced communication, timely customer response, and improved system reliability. Windchill FRACAS enables workflow configurability to match Oerlikon Solar's specific business needs for timely parts replacement as well as quality assurance and improved product design. And communication features ensure that field technicians can contribute incidents, inhouse engineers can address them, and account managers throughout various locations can track system metrics, allowing for a corrective action system that efficiently addresses every reported incident.
Windchill Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Corrective Action System (FRACAS) is a comprehensive, closed loop corrective action software tool that enables you to collect, quantify, and control a wide range of incoming incident reports, such as test, field, or repair data. Windchill FRACAS streamlines your corrective action processes, including incident analysis, root cause determination, incident close-out, trend analysis, and corrective action tracking. Supporting a wide range of processes and compliance standards, such as ISO 9000, 8D, and RMAs, Windchill FRACAS offers a robust, scalable system which can be tailored to your requirements. Features include customizable data entry and outputs, workflow support, security and role based permissions, custom calculations, reliability analytics, a zero-client web-based user interface, data connectivity, reliability growth calculations, and alert capabilities.