Aspen Avionics selects SigmaQuest to improve root cause analysis

aspenefdsAlbuquerque, N.M. — Start-up avionics instrument manufacturer Aspen Avionics has selected SigmaQuest’s product quality management software solutions to deliver comprehensive on-demand insight into its manufacturing test, production and quality processes along with root cause analysis at the desktop.

Aspen Avionics signed a multi-year purchase agreement for SigmaQuest’s SigmaSure software as a service (SaaS) Manufacturing Test Insight and Return Material Authorization (RMA) Insight modules. The company will use SigmaSure for managing and tracking the production life cycle of its Evolution Flight Display System for General Aviation (GA) aircraft.

The key challenge Aspen Avionics faced was spending too much time — about one to two weeks per month — manipulating and correlating data from different departments — production, test and quality — instead of working on solving quality issues, said Kyle Farley, vice president of manufacturing, at Aspen Avionics. The avionics instrument maker started manufacturing product at the beginning of 2008, and needed an automated system to help the company quickly and efficiently analyze its manufacturing test data and easily identify and correct root cause for failures.

“The biggest issue was our ability to take all the [manufacturing, production and quality] data and put it into a format where we could take action on it. The struggle was getting meaningful data so we could take action on reliability and production process issues, as well as other day-to-day issues in the manufacturing and production environment,” Farley said.

Aspen Avionics initially evaluated three quality management solutions from other vendors as well as the possibility of developing an in-house custom solution before deciding on the SigmaQuest offerings.

Farley chose the SigmaQuest solutions for two key reasons — it’s a SaaS solution so the company doesn’t have to house the database along with the associated infrastructure, and the solution delivers real-time, on-demand data to the desktop.

“SigmaQuest manages the database so we don’t need an IT infrastructure or other support within the organization. We will also be able to see payback and data analysis very quickly instead of having to establish an infrastructure before even starting down that road,” said Farley.

SigmaQuest brings a solution to the desktop so the entire organization can see real-time data and key performance quality metrics, including reliability, cost of quality and first-yields, for today, month-to-date, year-to-date, or any custom reports, without having to create and chase down the information, Farley said.

The solution will also enable the company to deliver this information to all 65 employees in the organization so they are aware of the company’s performance metrics and quality goals.

In addition, the SigmaQuest products are expected to help the company meet its tracking requirements under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification.

“As we grow our manufacturing capabilities to meet increasing demand, it is critical that we adhere to high-quality standards while remaining cost conscious,” Farley said. “SigmaQuest’s product quality management system addresses our requirement to track products throughout their life cycles and it gives essential insight into suppliers’ component quality, contract manufacturing, and return material authorization (RMA) processes,” he added.

Once implemented, Farley said the company should be able to eliminate the one to two weeks per month spent on crunching data almost immediately, which will allow the quality manager to focus on other priorities. Farley expects to see initial data within two to three months after the start of implementation.