What is the size and layout of the machine floor? - The company is held in a 150,000 square foot warehouse with: 10,000 square feet of offices and engineering, 40,000 square feet of stock and storage, 100,000 square feet manufacturing space
How many employees are on the assembly/production floor? - Day of visit there were 32 workers on the floor (direct labor). During busy times of the year it can be up to 100 workers. Many employees are hired through a temp agency.
What sort of equipment do you use daily? Monthly? - Most equipment that PCL has is used everyday. This ranges from plastic molding machines for Styrene, various types of saws, drills, presses, and sanders for wood and raw materials, paints and lacquers, forklifts for transporting materials and goods, air compressors and shake testing machines for product durability, handheld tools including hammers, screwdrivers, tape measures, pens, and pencils.
How do you ensure the strength and accuracy of these machines? - Machines are regularly checked and serviced as needed, broken and damage parts are frequently replaced. Oil and fluid levels in equipment are checked prior to operations. In addition, quality testing equipment has a host of pressure gauges and safety
How do your specifications change from product to product? How do you ensure the same level of quality on a regular basis? - Due to the fact that order sizes always vary specifications are never repeated, new types of materials and new designs are always needed. In order to ensure quality in their products the production is monitored by a quality assurance employee and it is also checked and marked by a quality control check.
Do you inspect units at every level of production? - In an order, every unit has to make its way through a process of checks and assurance to ensure quality. Every unit must then be marked with a ribbon when completed and inspected.
How does PCL view the costs of quality control and quality assurance? - PCL has setup a series of quality assurance and quality control checks to ensure that the final products that the firm produces are not defective. When the products are through the manufacturing process, they have an employee check them over to ensure that they are not defective. This individual then marks the product with a green sticker and initials. Next they have an individual whose job is to ensure all of the parts of assembly are in the package. This individual then marks the package with a ribbon and initials to prove that the parts are there. The initials allow the manager, Steve Andrews, to blame a specific individual if the parts are not inside the package. From here the product goes through a series of “shake down” and “Drop tests” that let the company know the goods will not be damaged in transportation. This shows that the firm does not cut costs when ensuring quality in the products. The firm views the costs of quality as a necessity because their customers rarely pay the full price when they receive defective products.
In the last five years, how has PCL made steps in decreasing input of raw materials, while maintaining output of goods? - The firm does not look to cut down on the amount of raw materials they take in because they use materials that they can then can inventory if they have order a surplus. Many times the materials used in order are similar and are reshaped using machinery.
How many factory defects do you allow per batch of products? When will you consider a product "defective"? - The manufacturing process is considered defective if more than 2% of goods come out defective. If their manufacturing process produces more than 2% defective products, the general manager then has to come in and identify where the flaws are and redesign the process. Typically, the firm rarely sees a defective rate of 2%. In addition, the products PCL creates for their customers come in 3 degrees of quality based upon time and