Quality comes first

Please meet Filip Macel, Quality Manager. He's been working for us at HAAS+SOHN Rukov since 2017, before that he gained experience in the field of quality at Bombardier for over 14 years. We asked him a few questions:


Quality. Topic still relevant. How has the perception of quality changed in the last 10-15 years?

The perception of quality has also changed a lot in general from the customer's viewpoint in regard to the field of stove production. Today's customers are very demanding of all product attributes. They're interested in the gaps between the individual parts of the stove, the offset of parts (we know mainly from the automotive industry), the ease of operation, etc. Last but not least, it is the stove's functionality and efficiency.


What did customers previously tolerate but don't today? Has the quality changed in any way?

In the past, customers were primarily concerned with price and with the stove warming up. Today it's a so-called "design card". In the words of the company owner: "the customer also wants to see the heat", i.e. to see it differently.

How quality has changed in the last 10 - 15 years can only be judged by employees who have been with us more than the afore-mentioned 15 years. This I cannot judge, because I've only been with the company for four years.

Therefore, we asked a colleague who has been working here for a long time, and he confirmed to us that while the quality of processes has increased rapidly, we're constantly struggling with the quality of people in production and setting processes to simplify and facilitate their work (visualisation, ergonomics, digitisation, etc.).


What measures, changes or procedures are being put in place to improve the quality of products or production processes?

In every industry, the emphasis is on self-control in every part of the process and methods that generally improve production itself. We've gradually introduced or are introducing trends in the use of new methods, such as Poka-yoke, workplace visualisation, 5S workplaces, workplace / product / process inspections using internal audits.

Purchasing a welding robot, which is still used for welding heat exchangers for almost all types of manufactured stoves, was great progress in its time. This investment in modern technology was immediately reflected in a drastic reduction in the number of complaints about leaking exchangers. In addition, the weld made on the robot looks simply differently!

This is the future path that companies must also take in serial production. As we all know, the number of qualified but above all skilled people / welders is rapidly declining!

The big leap that I personally perceive in recent years in improving the quality of our products is in the painting process. Two years ago, the company built a completely new paint shop, including surface pre-treatment. Painting is one of the special processes that have their own strict rules. If the technological process is followed as set, then the result will immediately affect the output quality of the product. I can proudly say that this is exactly what happened here.


Production is not just about processes and machines, but also about people. How are people led to quality and what do today's quality specialists focus on?

It was in the process of surface treatment that we introduced several new methods in process control, that we hadn't used at all in the past. These help us to identify potential problems in production or with complaints.

Qualifiers in most industries are primarily preventists and deal more with analysis, statistics or regulatory methods. This approach is less suitable for piece production, therefore not 1: 1 usable in our country. We introduced the so-called 100% output control through the eyes of the customer five years ago, and this method has also become an effective tool within the quality management system.


What is definitely worth mentioning is the ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications.

All the above measures not only helped HAAS+SOHN Rukov s.r.o. to become successfully certified according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which we have been applying for since November 2019.

Quality goes through the whole process from stove construction to the actual dispatch of the stove from the store to the end customer. I would like this fact to be perceived by all our employees, subcontractors, suppliers and dealers in the same way as it's perceived in more technologically advanced companies.

Thanks for interview.

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