Certificates of Analysis were one of the first report-type documents that we developed that gave QW5 the power to produce reports for outside users, as the reporting form QW5 was always geared towards internal use.
The power of collecting and analyzing data
One of the benefits of collecting and using the data with Quality Window to manage your processes is what you can do with the data after. This could be as simple as making the data available to other systems so it does not have to be re-created each time or creating formatted outputs to be used as customer interfacing information like a Certificate of Analysis. In other words, proving to your customer that what they are receiving meets or exceeds their requirements.
We have a materials manufacturing company that produces products from several locations. These locations were acquired over time and operated under their previous names for customer loyalty reasons. Each facility would ship to customers directly from their locations. In some cases, the same customer ordered from two different locations and the documentation from each of the plants was different.
Where there is a need, there is a way
Quality Window was rolled out in each of the locations to standardize the Quality efforts and allowing for the central management of Products Specifications and Targets. With this in place, the divisional Quality Manager would deal with individual customers and soon learned the documentation issued from each plant was very different. So much so the customer did not realize they were ultimately from the same company. What came next was a dialog between the Divisional Manager and Busitech to explore what could be done.
Typically Quality Window generates reports that are best suited for internal use.
We introduced the certificate of Analysis to QW5
The need was for a report, Certificate of Analysis, to be generated and sent with product as it was shipped to the customer. This report should be standardized across all locations to present a consistent view to the customer. In addition, the report should be generated on a Lot or Customer Id basis as required and any non-standard product would be identified and removed from the shipment.
Busitech undertook the task of accomplishing this and we used a very powerful customization capability available within Quality Window called “Scripting”..both Java and Visual Basic scripting can be used. Using VB Scripting our Application Specialists created a solution that was generic in nature, meaning it can easily be reapplied and needs little maintenance over time. Because the design allowed for the flexibility for an end user to select what characteristics such as Variable name, unit of measure were all defined based on a View. Each View also allowed for the selection of what Statistics will be displayed along with the filtering requirements. In this case a specific Batch Number. So when a Certificate of Analysis had to be different based on customer specific needs then all that was required was the creation of customer specific View in Quality Window. A simple task for any QW user.
We defined a Certificate of Analysis specific template for our customer that included the necessary components like logo, Company name and location information as well as a signature block. This template can be reapplied for all Certificates generated by our customers at all manufacturing locations with minimal need for changes.
Now to generate a Certificate of Analysis for a specific batch number of product there are three easy steps.
Step 1 of the process would be to query the Quality Window application for the specific Batch or Lot number for the shipment.
Step 2 was to take that information and add to it any additional information that was needed for the final report like customer related information not available in the Quality Window application. Another version of this solution for a different customer included a reference file of customer information to decrease input requirements.
Step 3 would be for the selecting Macros menu in Quality Window and picking Certificate of Analysis item. This would run the customized script to generate the final output which would make use of the custom template mentioned above. It would include things like company specific logos and location data.
Once created the Certificate of Analysis can be printed, e-mailed or filed for future reference. A once very repetitive time consuming process is reduced to just a few moments and provides the customer with a consistent professional looking document.
Want more power and flexibility?
When you blend Busitech’s Custom Scripting support with Quality Window 5’s data power, you get an endless path of possibilities and opportunities.
Creating Certificates of Analysis is just the tip of the iceberg for what QW5 can do for your Statistical Process Control (SPC), your Statistical Quality Control (SQC) or your Continuous Improvement efforts. Check out our solutions for other pain-points that you’re having like Process Monitoring, Event Tracking, or Downtown Management.