12Sep2016

Want to know why BALLOONING is important for manufacturing zero defects?

Any product or component manufacturing in today's world has a set of clear specifications for various characteristics that need to be met. The goal is to make sure that all the characteristics have the least variation well within the tolerance limits to achieve a 6-Sigma capability. BALLOONING is the foundation and the first step in meeting this goal. I have listed the hints for comprehensive ballooning.

  • The manufacturing engineers are classifying and organising all their activities around the characteristics as the core and therefore see ballooning as an important foundation to further planning.
  • Thorough complete drawing and specification documents are available 100% of all the material, dimensional, geometric, functional, visual, physical, etc. characteristics can be ballooned.
  • A thorough understanding of the product/component function is evolved and then all the critical to function (CTF), critical to quality (CTQ) and critical to process (CTP) characteristics are identified.
  • For every process step the ballooned characteristics are assigned including if preparation or final and if the characteristic is being inspected (Pre, In or Post) manually or automatically.
  • The ballooned characteristics are then linked to a controllable component of the process (Tool, Fixture Position, Additive, etc.) so that the control can be optimised based on the criticality.
  • Predicted, potential and observed defects (Inwards, Inprocess, Outgoing-PDI, Customer-0 mileage and Field) are thoroughly captured and assigned to the respective ballooned characteristic.
  • Pat on the back based on the positive feedback and recognitions for 100% First Time Right, 100% Every Time Right and for Zero Defects.

Checking for coherence and practicality in complying to the manufacturing documentation will reinforce thorough ballooning.

Finally, recognising that each one of us can only influence the future and not the past is a strong motivator to start making sure that ballooning is thoroughly done before proceeding to the next steps.
Happy Reading!