- Our Approach (TDK’s Thinking on Quality Assurance)
- Top Priority Measures in the Pursuit of Zero Defects
- Prevention and Control of Exposure to Toxic Substances with Products as the Source
Our Approach (TDK’s Thinking on Quality Assurance)
TDK pursues the corporate mission of contributing to society through the manufacture and supply of outstanding electronic components.
“Quality” is the key management axis in this quest, positioned as the top priority in activities aimed at realizing top-caliber products built to consistently live up to customers’expectations.
- "Advance to Zero Defects"
- TDK advocates the “Advance to Zero Defects” as its basic philosophy. This is manifested as to efforts to eliminate defects not only at the shipment stage, but also throughout the product life cycle spanning distribution, assembly by set manufacturers, application by end users and disposal.
- "Quality cannot be assured by final inspection!"
- TDK firmly believes that “Quality cannot be assured by final inspection.”
This policy stems from the idea that simply removing defective items at final stage inspection cannot ensure sufficient product quality. Rather, the goal is to firmly instill the attitude of “building in” quality at each process to assure the excellence of 100% “good products.”
Therefore, TDK improves quality from the upstream level at the product design, process design, equipment development and all other stages. The goal is to eradicate defects and realize high-quality products that constantly earn customer satisfaction and trust.
- "Achieve Zero Defects" "Make TDK the leading quality-oriented company in the industry"
- To ensure full satisfaction for customers using its products, TDK works to faithfully supply top-quality goods on a continuing basis. Quality assurance activities are advanced on the cornerstone of the three pivotal themes of “Personnel Quality,” “Technical Quality” and “System Quality.” This stance is marshaled to firmly address the targets of achieving zero defects and making TDK the leading quality-oriented company in the industry.
General Manager of Head Office Quality Assurance Function supervises QA activities in the Group as a whole, endeavors to share and develop principles and policies, and promotes activities by the entire Group toward their realization. In addition, each business division has a QA Function, the head of which supervises and executes QA activities in the division.
Top Priority Measures in the "Advance to Zero Defects"
At TDK, our basic philosophy “Advance to Zero Defects” is being advanced through the following focal strategies.
(1) Strengthened design development processes
In its quest for zero defects, TDK thinks it is necessary to build product-manufacturing systems capable of turning out 100% good products in design activities. More specifically, steps are taken to define risks prone to occur in each process at an early stage, thereby creating and applying an upstream management type quality assurance system to eliminate such problems at the design phase.
(2) Strengthened product manufacturing processes
To achieve “Zero Defect Quality,” product design must be accompanied by worksite competence to establish reproducible manufacturing processes that eliminate variations. The main aspects that result in quality variations are “Equipment” and “Operations.” Variations caused by equipment were reduced by the introduction of the “Equipment Variation Assessment Method.” Variations caused by operations were addressed by the “Co-creation Challenge Activities” implemented as a small group activity. Along with this, steady endeavors to raise quality awareness and furnish quality education through small group activities are mustered to forge and uphold a “Quality First” corporate organization and culture.
TDK continues to enhance its engineering and Monozukuri power with further strengthening of its design development and product manufacturing processes. This is all part of the company’s relentless push to supply customers with higher quality products in more timely fashion.
(3) Strict compliance for quality assurance
We strive to fulfill our social responsibilities with high ethical standards in conducting corporate activities in compliance with laws and social norms. Toward this end, we continue working to improve product quality through the pursuit of zero defects, try to foster an awareness of what it means to place top priority on quality, and perform checks through compliance audits for quality.
(4) Responses to product security
In recent years, there have been incidents of new types of problem relating to IoT products that connect to networks including not just harm caused by cyber-attacks that exploit vulnerabilities via networks such as leaks of handled data or data tampering but also the use of hacked devices by attackers to cause harm.
In light of the circumstances, TDK implements countermeasures in our IoT products according to the product functions, features, sales format, and other conditions. For example, it is necessary to take into consideration security in various stages such as using secure development methods and function safety structures from the component purchasing and production processes to the design stage, and after products are sold, maintenance methods such as firmware updates throughout operation and maintenance of applications that are installed on user devices.
Security measures for IoT products will be an essential technology for the coming era of digital transformation, and TDK has positioned IoT product security as an issue of product quality. In cooperation with relevant Functions, TDK has established implementation structures and rules to respond to cyber security issues including incidents involving TDK IoT products and will strive to provide products that gain the trust and confidence of customers.
Prevention and Control of Exposure to Toxic Substances with Products as the Source
To prevent and control exposure to toxic substances that originate with our products and that could threaten people's health and the environment, in 2004 TDK introduced an Environmental Product Quality Management system that is today operated under our Quality Management System (QMS). As a components manufacturer in the middle of the supply chain, we implement this system thoroughly for prevention and control at each of these stages purchasing, manufacturing, and selling.
Environmental Product Quality Management overview
Purchasing (1) — Green procurement
We established the TDK Chemical Substance Contained for Product Standards to ensure that no regulated chemical substances are contained in our products. We also established the TDK Green Procurement Standards, requiring of suppliers that materials, parts, and packaging contain no regulated chemical substances. We also require information on Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) listed under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation.
Purchasing (2) — Incoming inspection
TDK carefully audits information provided by suppliers regarding chemical substances contained in materials, parts, and packaging, to verify compliance with the TDK Chemical Substance Contained for Product Standards.
To prevent the possibility of regulated chemical substances being present due to human error or other causes, high-risk articles have been identified. For these we measure at acceptance the content of identified chemical substances using methods such as X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) to eliminate the possibility of a restricted substance being introduced into a work process.
The definition of a high-risk product and the frequency of measurement are reviewed on a continual basis with reference to actual results.
Manufacturing (1) — Environment-conscious design and product assessment
As an industrial manufacturer, our basic approach to protecting the environment is to carefully assess all aspects of a product in the design and development stage to prevent problems from arising later related to the product or any environmental impact.
Environmental considerations are a key aspect of elevating quality. We see environment-conscious design and product assessment as a way to prevent later claims and complaints. In each of the various processes from procurement of parts and materials, to manufacturing, distribution, usage, and disposal, we identify elements that have particular bearing on the environment, and we promote the development of new and sometimes revolutionary technologies to realize improvements.
Manufacturing (2) — Preventing misuse, mix-ups and contamination
TDK has a framework in place to ensure that the use of banned substances is not tolerated, and to minimize the risk of misuse, mix-ups, and contamination at mass production sites, such as in manufacturing processes, or at storage areas or warehouses. The measures taken consist of careful identification and control, separation, the establishment of procedures and standards, first-in and first-out practices, and controls for warehouse acceptance and dispatching.
In processes involving such equipment as solder tanks, where there is a possibility of contamination, we control lead levels using simplified test methods that have been developed jointly with solder manufacturers.
Selling (1) — Preventing shipment of non-compliant products
TDK supplies electronic components to customers in a wide range of industries, not only electronics and electrical equipment an industry in which the RoHS Directive is applicable. Others include the automobile, medical devices, and aerospace industries.
Some customers require products in compliance with the RoHS Directive (such as lead-free solder products), while others request products that do not conform to the RoHS Directive (such as lead-based solder products) for the purpose of securing higher levels of product reliability.
To prevent non-compliant products from being shipped erroneously, we have registered RoHS Directive compliance data for all of the products in our sales management computer system. This system automatically checks orders against customer specifications both at the time of order acceptance and when issuing shipping instructions. When a product that does not comply with the RoHS Directive is to be shipped, an electronic “customer confirmation received” form must be completed before the product can be shipped.
Selling (2) — Information disclosure
TDK has in place a framework for disclosing information on chemical substances contained in its products that is tied to our efforts to ensure the non-use of chemical substances that TDK has banned.
To respond promptly and accurately to inquiries from customers on chemical substances contained in products, we have implemented groupware to consolidate the management of processes extending from acceptance of customer inquiries by the sales departments to providing replies by the technical departments.