Dura Automotive Systems Introduces Document Imaging and Document Management into its Production Part Approval Process
Dura Automotive Systems is the world’s largest independent designer and manufacturer of Driver Control Systems, and leading global supplier of seated control systems, engineered assemblies, structural door modules and integrated glass systems for the global automotive industry.Dura is also a leading supplier of door and window systems, engineered components and gas appliances to the North American recreation vehicle and mass transit market.
Dura’s products are sold to North American, European, and Japanese original equipment manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, PSA (Peugeot and Citroen), and Renault. With 20,000 employees at more than 70 facilities in 14 countries, Dura is a major force in the global automotive industry.
As a leading parts supplier to the world’s largest automobile manufacturers, Dura Automotive Systems must manage significant volumes of quality assurance related documentation, including Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) documents, which ensure that all customer engineering design record and specification requirements are correctly understood and that the process has the potential to produce product consistently meeting these requirements during an actual production run at the quoted production rate.
Managing PPAP documentation, in a paper-based environment, presented Dura with numerous challenges that are typically inherent to paper-based processes:
- Document search and retrieval was associated with significant non-value added manual filing activities
- Misplacement and loss of documents as an ever-present risk
- Document sharing required that copies be made when more than one party required the document concurrently
- Significant amounts of valuable floor space was dedicated to storage of paperbased documentation
With the introduction of Document Imaging technology, retrieving an invoice, and all of its supporting documentation, now requires only a few mouse clicks, allowing Customer Service Representatives to resolve most customer inquiries during the initial contact.
Recognizing that significant operational efficiencies and reclamation of valuable facility space could be realized through the implementation of a Document Imaging and Document Management solution, Dura Automotive Systems engaged CDIT to design and develop a solution that would address the issues associated with its paper-based PPAP documentation.
Built upon components from industry-leading hardware and software manufacturers including Fujitsu, Kofax Image Products and Hummingbird, CDIT developed a solution that allows Dura to convert hardcopy Supplier and Customer PPAP documents to Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which are then managed in a secure Document Management system, where users can quickly search for and retrieve the documents via a Windows or Web browser-based client.
PPAP documents are scanned using custom-developed batch classes (applications) in Ascent Capture. Index information is applied to each document as it is processed through the Imaging System. Once a batch of PPAP documents have been scanned and indexed, the documents are automatically converted to PDF before being released to the backend Hummingbird Document Management System, using a custom CDIT-developed release script.
The Hummingbird DM system has been configured to provide secure access to PPAP documents based on user and group authentication within Dura’s engineering department. User’s access the documents via a thick Windows-based client or through a thin Web browser-based client — the DM WebTop. External access to PPAP documents from additional Dura operations in the United States is also provided via the Web-based DM WebTop client.
With the highly flexible search capabilities offered by the new system, Dura personnel are now able to easily and quickly retrieve Customer and Supplier PPAP documents with a few simple mouse clicks, dramatically reducing the time and effort that was previously associated with locating required documents.
With the Document Imaging and Document Management solution provided by CDIT for its PPAP documentation, Dura Automotive Systems has realized a number of key benefits, including:
- Reduction in non-value-added manual filing activities, resulting in improved operational efficiencies;
- Elimination of risk of misplaced or lost documents;
- Elimination for the need to make multiple copies of the same document to facilitate document sharing;
- Reclamation of valuable facility space once dedicated to storage of paper-based documentation.