Elo Touch Solutions: Reducing Defects and Increasing Quality

Background

Elo Touch Solutions is a producer of quality touchscreen products, which has completed over 20 million touchscreen installations in more than 80 countries. Their clients include L’Oréal, Best Buy, and Walgreens Pharmacies.

At one time, the company faced significant losses due to part coating and painting rejects. In addition to financial losses caused by the high reject rate, the company also struggled to meet customer delivery expectations. The primary cause of rejects was the paint not sticking to the coating. The company occasionally detected rejects before shipment; in most cases, however, the paint would not begin to peel off in “flecks” until several weeks after delivery to the customer. Facing substantial competition, the company could no longer tolerate high return rates.

A team of technical experts had worked on the problem for six months and were unable to find a solution. Seeking an answer, Elo Touch Systems contracted QualPro to help determine a cure for the “flecking" dilemma.

Approach

A QualPro consultant worked with operators, line supervisors, engineers, and managers to solve the company’s paint problem. The objective was clear—the project participants must find a solution to the “flecking” issue for the company to survive. Due to critical time constraints, project participants proceeded directly to experimentation, knowing the process was out of statistical control. The danger of not finding an effective solution far outweighed the prospect of being led astray by process fluctuations during experimentation.

A brainstorming team identified more than 35 ideas to reduce the occurrence of “flecking.” QualPro then worked with project participants to narrow the list to nine practical, fast, and cost-free ideas, which were included as factors in the MVT® experiment.

Results

The analysis of the experiment revealed that rejects from “flecking” could be substantially reduced by limiting the source of the coating material to a single supplier. Additionally, the analysis showed that a new surface cleaning procedure actually increased paint failure. The company immediately implemented the single-supplier coating material and saw defects drop from 25% to 2%. Additional experiments completely eliminated the occurrence of paint and coating defects.