“We’re taking quality to a new level”
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, produces low-voltage protection and connection devices at its site in Frosinone, Italy. The company's product range includes advanced circuit breakers for smart buildings and factories, which makes monitoring and reducing energy consumption quick and simple. The 800 employees at the Frosinone factory produce millions of products each year, in tens of thousands of configurations. Every single switch and circuit breaker must work perfectly, because they are integrated into sophisticated and often highly automated plants and building utility systems.
Already the market leader for innovation and quality, ABB’s objective is to further strengthen its position. “We are happy to learn from other industries,” says Andrea Menti, who is responsible for operations for ABB’s Protection and Connection business unit in Southern Europe. “And Porsche’s reputation for quality is second to none." Working together with Porsche Consulting, ABB defined the different areas and tasks needed to optimize quality. In addition to production, the teams also focused on the product creation process, suppliers, and customer service. Individual improvement measures were first implemented in a pilot area, and then rolled out for the entire plant.
The projects are still underway, but success has come quickly. Menti says, “The number of returns was already very low, but have now been significantly reduced. We have taken our quality to a new level.” As a result, the projects are being rolled out internationally. Plants in Finland and China are following Frosinone’s lead and their quality is going from strength to strength.