Product Safety and Quality Management in the Manufacturing Business
In response to legal requirements and customer requests, we use PDCA cycles as we work to ensure and improve product safety and quality at each stage of our business activities, from planning and product development to production and sales. Moving forward with continuous improvement is a policy we pursue in our manufacturing operations in order to elevate the quality of the products and services we provide.
Product Safety and Quality Control in the Domestic Manufacturing Business
Initiatives Policy for Product Safety and Quality Control
Sumitomo Forestry Crest has established a quality policy based on ISO 9001 as described below. Each facility and division has formulated specific quality targets and action plans in line with our quality policy, and is committed to maintaining safety and improving quality.
Operating in keeping with the 2015 version of the ISO 9001 quality management system, we strive to elevate quality and service by reinforcing its integration with our actual business operations.
Sumitomo Forestry Crest's Quality Targets
Sumitomo Forestry Crest has set the following quality targets for fiscal 2023 based on results of the ISO 9001 top management review.
- Establishment of a certification system for critical process program
- Establishment of a scheme for risk assessment of production processes using QA Network*1 management methods
- Thorough implementation of change point management (4M+3H)*2
- Check items during design description (quality standards/ verification test description)
- Establishment of human resources education system based on TPM*3 activities
- Mutual quality audits conducted by each plant
- Visualization of future claim loss risk (listing and information sharing)
*1 An analysis method to identify which processes can prevent defects and their outflows for each quality assurance item on the production line
*2 4M is a method for discovering and solving problems by analyzing and improving the four elements of Man, Machine, Material, and Method. On the other hand, 3H is the words taken from the initials of HAJIMETE (first time), HENKOU (change), and HISASIBURI (long time), and are used to identify mistakes and other problems from these perspectives and take countermeasures in advance
*3 Abbreviation for Total Productive Maintenance. Productive maintenance with all member participation. Management methods for raising productivity in the manufacturing industry
Product Safety and Quality Management System
Sumitomo Forestry Crest conducts sampling inspections for each product lot by dedicated quality staff in charge on an integrated production line from raw material selection through processing and coating. Sumitomo Forestry Crest has formed its own quality standards in addition to complying to JIS, JAS, and other standards in order to achieve a higher quality. In addition, Sumitomo Forestry Crest's four factories are also equipped with quality verification facilities specific to the items they produce. Furthermore, they collaborate with the Tsukuba Research Institute, a research institute of Sumitomo Forestry Group, to conduct durability testing under severe operating conditions. Quality management is carried anticipating the next 10 to 20 years.
Sumitomo Forestry Crest utilizes a quality information management system to represent customer opinions and demands at the production site. In addition, the company has established a system in which, in the event that information on serious defects related to product safety and quality is obtained, a report is delivered from the person in charge to the President within two hours through the emergency contact network, ensuring that manufacturing is carried out in a manner that leverages the information.
Quality Management System
Sumitomo Forestry Crest has been operating with integrated ISO 9001 at its facilities nationwide. To employ a PDCA cycle under a quality management system in accordance with the quality policy, Sumitomo Forestry Crest conducts internal audits of all of its facilities twice each year, external audits once each year, and reviews results from those audits repeatedly to build a strict process management system and manufacture products with a high standard of quality.
Sumitomo Forestry Crest provides wood building materials that meet 4VOC* and formaldehyde emission regulations, as well as JAS certification and ministerial certification, to provide safe and comfortable homes. In addition, we have produced items that have been certified by the Minister of State for their fireproof performance, as well as products certified by SIAA (The Society of International sustaining growth for Antimicrobial Articles) for their antibacterial and antiviral performance.
*(1) toluene, (2) xylene, (3) ethylbenzene, and (4) styrene emitted from building materials
Promotion of Quality Improvement Activities Based on Quality Promotion Targets
Sumitomo Forestry Crest assigns a specialized quality control manager to each facility to ensure daily quality control and promotes activities for quality improvement, aimed at the quality targets at each facility and division. In addition, we are trying to improve and maintain the management system at each facility and subcontractor plant. We've been able to reduce the number of error claims by more than 40% compared to fiscal 2018, by applying measures including human error measures and adhering to work standards and QC process charts. In addition, quality control managers from each facility conduct mutual quality audits in other facilities in order to maintain and improve quality.
Respondence to Customer Needs, Product Development, and Service
Sumitomo Forestry Crest strives for overall quality throughout the entire space to fulfill customer expectations, from visual aesthetics to simplicity of construction to comfort. Sumitomo Forestry Crest is devoted to developing “genuine” products that delight customers by harnessing its development capabilities, which only Sumitomo Forestry Crest can provide because of its in-depth understanding of the value of wood as a natural material.
Light, Low-Cost and Attractively-Designed Wooden Fire-Prevention Door Using Balsa
Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. has launched full-scale sales of own branded wooden fire-prevention doors, made from "balsa" known as the lightest timber in the world, which are lighter, less-expensive and more attractively-designed than existing products. The product was developed to meet the needs of wooden fire-prevention doors in three- and four-story buildings in urban areas, and in constructions for mixed use such as medical facilities with adjacent accommodation. The doors are also environmentally-friendly products, with the raw material balsa being sourced from plantation timber raised from saplings and processed by a Group company, Kutai Timber Indonesia (KTI).
Product Safety and Quality Control in the Overseas Manufacturing Business
Quality Management System
Overseas manufacturing companies have established a quality management system based on ISO 9001. Monthly quality meetings are held to report and address quality complaints, identify reasons and measures for in-process and final product defects, and share quality improvement activities.
Sumitomo Forestry is dedicated to establishing contact channels with its customers in Japan, and also involved in the upkeep of JIS and JAS certificates, as well as the monitoring of compliance with these certifications and assisting with the upkeep of other necessary certifications. Furthermore, the Tsukuba Research Institute, a research institute of Sumitomo Forestry Group's, offers guidance and support on basic testing and manufacturing technologies for product development and quality improvement.
Initiatives and Framework for Product Safety and Quality Control
Our overseas manufacturing companies have established specific quality targets and activity plans in line with our quality policy, and are working to increase quality and customer satisfaction in accordance with ISO 9001. In addition, we have obtained product certifications such as JIS and JAS, and have formulated quality control policies and standards in accordance with those certification requirements. We conduct quality control on our products in compliance with these policies and standards, and we strive to enhance our quality control system on a regular basis through external organizations and periodic internal audits.
The quality standards of every company are being further improved to provide greater safety by focusing on communication and feedback from our customers about product safety and quality, especially in the production of products for Japan which demands the utmost safety and quality.