Quality management: Handling first article inspections using the standard Dynamics 365 Supply Chain quality management applications.

Manufacturing companies often require an inspection at several times during the process. A common inspection process is the first article inspection. This process involves checking the critical dimensions of the first piece, sometimes a few pieces, completed in the manufacturing process to verify all the features are correct. A first article inspection can be completed many times throughout the manufacturing process when critical dimensions are applied to the product. To integrate the first article inspection process within D365 Supply Chain using standard functionality, a semi-manual business process will need to be implemented with the Quality Management setup. The following scenario will explain how item sampling and quality associations, along with other required configuration, are created to allow for first article inspections in D365 Supply Chain.

As a plumbing plastics fixture manufacture employee, Barb understands the importance of quality. Barb is currently the head inspector at her place of employment. She wants to ensure the ERP system is setup for first article inspections. With her access in D365, she is allowed to create Tests and Test Groups, that when assigned to a Quality Association with a specific item sampling setup, will allow her to add results of the inspection process required for the plastic plumbing fixtures.

Barb starts with creating tests in D365. The tests can be specific to critical dimensions required at first article inspections.

Creating a test record in D365 Quality Management

Once Barb has completed setting up the tests, including the test instruments and variables if needed, she can setup the Item Sampling. Item sampling will dictate how the items will be blocked until passing quality results are entered in D365 quality order. In the example below, the item sampling has been created to block the full transaction quantity and require quality results to be entered for just one piece. This item sampling follows most standards for first article inspection, as the work should not continue until the first piece passes the required inspection checks.

Additional item sampling can be created for various types of quality checks. Quantity specification can be defined by fixed quantity (specific quantity value) or percent (percentage of the quantity value of the transaction). Various process points can be selected to narrow the scope of the quality order quantity or created multiple quality orders based on specific dimensions.

Graphical user interface, text, application

Description automatically generated

Barb creates the test groups based on the business processes requiring inspection. Here she can group tests needed for a specific machine operation, specific dimension, outside process checks, etc. She is also able assign the acceptable quality level, item sampling scope, effective/expiration dates, and other options as needed by a specific business process that requires inspection. As seen below, there are two test groups created for Cut Dimensions with the ‘1st article’ using the 1pc Item Sampling described previously and the ‘cut dimension check’ group using a 10% item sampling.

Test groups in D365 Quality Management

A quality association can then be created to (automatically) trigger the creation of a quality order during various business processes, however the first article inspection will need to be handled manually. Below is an example Barb used for a route operation, the quality order will be created automatically when the job card is started during manufacturing execution. The quality order will need to be completed (validated) before reporting the current operation as completed, else an error message will appear for the operator.

Completing the routing operation in Dynamics 365

Manual quality orders for first article inspection can be created by navigating to the Quality Order grid.

Inventory management – Periodic tasks – Quality management – Quality orders

Barb knows to create the manual quality orders and has completed the example below, choosing the required information: Reference type, Reference number, Operation number, Operation and Test Group. Note, the quantity field will populate per the item sampling selection of the test group. This quantity can be changed as needed.

Creating a quality order in Dynamics 365
Quality order view in D365

Barb can then use the “Results” link to enter the required data for each test in the test group. Once the data is entered, the passing results will show a checkmark while the failed results shows the encircled red X. The final step is validating the quality order to pass or fail the manufacturing work.

Quality results view in Dynamics 365
Validation screen for quality orders in D365

Quality management requires precise setup throughout D365 to ensure manufacturing will continue without a systematic hitch. Using standard functionality in Dynamics 365, the first article inspection is a manual process requiring the inspector create quality orders as needed by the business. A new feature, Quality management for warehouse processes, has allowances for purchased items to use additional transaction types and item sampling to make certain first article inspections more automated. To learn more about the D365 feature, Quality management for warehouse processes, please visit our related blogs titled: D365 Quality Management: Blocking Inventory using a Quality Order and D365 Quality Management: Procurement Inspection.

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