Use Case Scenario
When inspection lots are created, it is the main task of the quality technician to record inspection results for the inspection lots.
Process in SAP S/4HANA
Explore the process in SAP S/4HANA illustrated in the following figure:
The quality technician opens the Record Inspection Results app to start from the list of inspection lots in their responsibility - for example, inspections that are to be executed at a certain work center or in a certain lab. Here, the quality technician enters characteristic results for each inspection to be executed (step 1).
Step 1a: The quality technician provides inspection results for qualitative characteristics. An example for a qualitative inspection is as follows:
- The quality planner defined in the inspection plan that the quality technician must record the packaging material used by the supplier. Possible values are, for example, "wood wool", "plastic foil", or "paper". Technically, this recording type is an example of recording of characteristic attributes for qualitative inspection characteristics.
- The quality planner defined that a visual inspection of the purchased LED lamps must be executed. The quality technician then inspects the sample and records the number of damaged items as well as how they are damaged. Although the quality technician enters the number of damaged items, the inspection is still considered qualitative inspection since they must inspect the state of the LED lamp. Technically, this recording type is an example of a summarized recording for qualitative inspection characteristics.
Step 1b: The quality technician provides inspection results for quantitative characteristics (step 1b). An example for a qualitative inspection is as follows:
The Quality Planner defined that the power consumption of the purchased LED lamps must be measured. The Quality Technician then executes the measurement using a measuring device and records the average measured value of five samples, for example 6.5 W. Technically, this recording type is an example of summarized recording for quantitative inspection characteristics.
Alternatively, the Quality Technician could record the power consumption of each of the five inspected LED lamps individually and let the system calculate the average value. Which of the two approaches is used is defined by the Quality Planner in the inspection characteristic. Technically, this recording type is an example of single-value recording for quantitative inspection characteristics. The system automatically calculates the mean value and standard deviation as well as the items that are above/below the specification limits.
As you can also see in the figure, the quality technician can also record defect data (step 2). Usually, you use defects to record any additional observation which is not covered by the list of inspection results. We will discuss defect recording in the following chapter of this course.
All results are saved to the SAP S/4HANA database and are available for analysis (step 3) by the Quality Engineer or other interested parties. Let us assume that the Quality Engineer is contacted by the Purchasing Specialist because the latter must renegotiate the price of LED lamps that are purchased from a supplier. Together, they review the relevant goods receipt inspections of the past six months and observe, for example, that the number of damaged items increased over time. The Purchasing Specialist could then leverage this information during price negotiations to get a better price. Alternatively, the Quality Engineer could contact the supplier and ask for a detailed root-cause analysis. Maybe the defect items can be tracked down to a carrier who is finally responsible?
Valuation of Inspection Results
When watching the demo below, you will notice that, after providing the inspection result (for example, the number of defect items or the packaging weight), the system automatically valuates the inspection result as pass or fail.
To understand the process of valuation, explore three examples illustrated in the following figure. In the figure, three inspection characteristics are displayed: lamps damaged, which packaging material, and power consumption. For each characteristic, you see the respective inspection results, specification limits, and characteristic valuation:
- Valuation for a qualitative result (→ lamps damaged?):
In the illustrated example, the quality technician counted the number of LED lamps that are damaged. From the sampled 10 items, 2 items were defective (for example, scratched or broken). Does this quality inspection pass or fail? To decide that, one must know the acceptance value defined by the quality planner in the sample determination procedure. Since the acceptance number is less than 3, the inspection passes (if the acceptance number was less than 2, the inspection would have failed). Using acceptance numbers, you can, for example, define that you still accept a delivery although a certain amount of delivered goods is defective. If you require that all inspected items must be okay, you define an acceptance number of 0.
- Valuation for a qualitative result (→ which packaging material?):
In the example, the quality technician recorded the packaging material used by the supplier. For sustainability reasons, the use of plastic foil is forbidden. Therefore, the quality planner defined in the list of possible inspection outcomes that wood wool and paper are accepted, whereas plastic foil is to be rejected. Depending on the selected result, the system automatically valuates the characteristic as accepted (wood wool or paper) or rejected (plastic foil). Since the quality technician selected "paper", the characteristic is accepted.
- Valuation for a quantitative result (→ power consumption):
In the previous example, the quality technician measured the power consumption of the LED lamp and obtained a value of 6.5 W as an average of 10 samples. In the inspection specification created by the quality planner, it was defined that the expected result is 7.0 W plus/minus 0.3 W. Does this quality inspection pass or fail? Since the measured value (6.5 W) lies outside the allowed range of values (6.7 … 7.3 W), the inspection fails. If the LED lamp would have consumed 6.9 W, the inspection would have passed.
Usually, the result valuation occurs automatically so that the quality technician does not have to take care of this. However, for you as quality planner, it is important that you understand the process of valuation to properly configure your master data.
After valuation, the system also automatically closes the characteristics. From a business perspective, result recording is completed and the quality engineer can execute the usage decision. If you notice any incorrect values, for example a typo, you can always reopen a characteristic and correct the value as long as there is no usage decision. The system tracks all changes in change documents.
How to Record Inspection Results: System Demonstration
In the following demonstration, the Quality Technician records inspection results for an inspection lot. You will see the following process steps:
- Display a list of inspection lots starting from the Quality Technician Overview screen
- Select the lots for which results shall be recorded
- Enter qualitative and quantitative inspection results