Quality -Enhancing Product Quality and Customer Satisfaction

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Secure product quality.

Goals for fiscal year 2018 Reinforce the quality assurance framework by, among others, modifying the corporate culture and improving employee ethics, thereby making it possible to prevent quality issues from arising.
Achievements in fiscal year 2018 A new system was created to collate and analyze information received regarding quality issues (complaints and criticisms) and to share such information efficiently across the Group. This system was deployed with the aim of preventing the recurrence of such problems.
Evaluation ★★
Goals for fiscal year 2019 Reinforce the quality assurance framework by, among others, modifying the corporate culture and improving employee ethics, thereby making it possible to prevent quality issues from arising.
Goals for fiscal year 2018 Ensure a level of quality that fulfills the DIC Group’s corporate social responsibility. Collect and organize information on raw materials pertinent to safety, compliance with laws and regulations, and environmental protection and provide appropriate product information.
Achievements in fiscal year 2018 Efforts to provide appropriate product information proceeded apace, including through the use of CIRIUS to manage information on raw materials and provide appropriate product information.
Evaluation ★★
Goals for fiscal year 2019 Ensure a level of quality that fulfills the DIC Group’s corporate social responsibility. Collect and organize information on raw materials pertinent to safety, compliance with laws and regulations, and environmental protection and provide appropriate product information.
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
    Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Basic Approach

Along with its Environment, Safety and Health Policy, the DIC Group views the improvement of product quality as a theme that is essential to upholding a sound operating foundation. Accordingly, the Group seeks to ensure every employee shares the sentiment conveyed in its Quality Policy and works continuously to enhance quality and ensure customer satisfaction.

DIC’s Quality Policy

“Contribute to the prosperity of customers and society by consistently providing reliable products” (Updated in May 2015)

Framework for Implementation

To better leverage its agility and comprehensive capabilities, DIC has established a matrix-like quality management configuration that positions product divisions on the vertical axis and the Technical Management Unit and Production Management Unit on the horizontal axis. In fiscal year 2015, DIC revamped its quality assurance configuration with the aim of building a stronger consensus between top management and employees on the front lines, establishing the Quality Assurance Department and product division quality assurance groups. This framework enables swift and effective responses to quality issues.
The Quality Assurance Department is responsible for product quality across the entire DIC Group, while product division quality assurance groups oversee product-specific quality management. In addition to facilitating prompt and appropriate quality management, this division of Groupwide and product-specific quality management encourages close communication among departments.
The Quality Assurance Department implements regular product quality audits of DIC Group companies in Japan to ensure that quality management is functioning effectively, as well as to lift product quality levels. Overseas, DIC Group companies work with the Quality Assurance Department and the product division quality assurance groups to promote a variety of efforts aimed at achieving further improvements. In fiscal year 2018, product quality audits were conducted at six overseas Group companies.
In fiscal year 2019, the Quality Assurance Department and the product division quality assurance groups began taking steps toward the creation of a new quality assurance system, including promoting the automation and mechanization of testing and inspection procedures.

01Initiatives Aimed at Increasing Customer Satisfaction

To ensure its ability to provide high-quality products that customers feel secure using, DIC promotes a variety of quality improvement initiatives during product planning, design and development, the procurement of raw materials, production and sales, giving consideration to the need for effective product stewardship. Relevant product division quality assurance groups participate in design reviews from the initial stages of development, conducting rigorous evaluations at each stage, with the goal of providing the products and services that customers and markets seek. After products are sold, customer and market assessments are gathered and fed back to development departments to facilitate further quality improvements. In fiscal year 2018, DIC conducted quality audits of four raw materials suppliers.

Initiatives Aimed at Increasing Customer Satisfaction

Ensuring a Level of Quality that Fulfills the DIC Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility

To provide safety data sheets (SDSs) based on appropriate, up-to-date product information, the Quality Assurance Department collaborates with technical and purchasing departments to collect and organize information on raw materials pertinent to safety, compliance with laws and regulations, and environmental protection. DIC has established CIRIUS (Chemical Substance Information Comprehensive Management System) to maintain such information, which it reflects in its SDSs.

02Efforts to Enhance Product Quality–Related Educational Initiatives

Committed to providing safe, secure products that satisfy its customers, DIC recognizes the importance of ensuring that employees maintain a high awareness of quality, as well as a constant commitment to achieving further quality improvements and upholding high quality standards. To this end, the Company provides education regarding product quality to all DIC Group employees at specific times, including through training for newly hired and newly promoted employees.
Since fiscal year 2016, DIC has also offered training led by external experts in the field for employees involved in quality management. Approximately 40 individuals participate in such training annually, for a total of 120 to date. Since fiscal year 2017, the Company has held meetings for employees responsible for quality assurance on the front lines to revitalize the efforts of employees and departments by facilitating the exchange of information and opinions. Going forward, DIC will continue working to establish and promote further awareness of product quality as essential to upholding a sound operating foundation.

03Global Product Quality Initiatives

DIC Group companies with production capabilities in Japan, Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region are working to earn certification under ISO 9001, the International Organization for Standardization’s benchmark for quality management systems, with 93.0% having achieved this goal as of the end of fiscal year 2018, based on which they are working to establishing product quality assurance frameworks. In the years ahead, DIC will advance efforts to further reinforce quality frameworks to better suit product divisions and Group companies.

04Preventing the Recurrence of Problems

The DIC Group has created a system to ensure that information received regarding quality problems (complaints and criticisms) is collated, analyzed and shared efficiently across the Group, thereby preventing the recurrence of such problems.
To discover the causes of quality problems, the Group employs “why-why analysis” (“naze-naze bunseki”). Using why-why analysis in an effort to eliminate product rejects at the production stage, in fiscal year 2016 the Hokuriku Plant achieved an 80% reduction from the fiscal 2010 level. DIC also applies why-why analysis in determining the cause of accidents, an approach that continues to yield solid results.
Through meetings held to facilitate the exchange of information and opinions among individuals responsible for quality assurance on the front lines, the Group also continues to promote bottomup quality improvement initiatives that reflect front-line perspectives. DIC also publishes Quality News, which provides useful information on quality management and ways to enhance work quality. In addition to being published regularly on DIC’s portal site and distributed directly to relevant parties, Quality News is used in employee training. In accordance with the Group’s risk management policy, the DIC Group has established procedures for responding to serious qualityrelated issues, enabling it to respond effectively in emergency situations.

Why-why analysis (naze-naze bunseki)

Why-why analysis (naze-naze bunseki)

Change in the Number of Quality Problems

Change in the Number of Quality Problems

Change in the Number of Quality Problems

Change in the Number of Quality Problems

VOICE

Quality doesn’t lie. Responsibility for quality lies with everyone involved in production.

General manager, Performance Materials Quality Assurance Group, Performance Materials Products Division Miyuki Kawasaki

The Performance Materials Products Division offers high-performance synthetic resins to customers in a wide range of industries, including paints, electronics materials, aerospace composites, automobiles, optics, construction and civil engineering. The key factor underpinning the business foundation of these diverse products is quality. It is crucial that all employees in departments involved in production processes recognize that responsibility for quality lies with them. Quality assurance groups are responsible for keeping the promises we have made to customers in product delivery specifications and delivering products that can be used safely and continuously.
Quality doesn’t lie. We continue to promote consistent quality assurance initiatives at DIC Group production sites in Japan and overseas with the aim of guaranteeing a level of quality that enables us to maintain and improve customer trust.

General manager, Performance Materials Quality Assurance Group, Performance Materials Products Division Miyuki Kawasaki

DIC.PPS Laying the groundwork for IATF 16949 certification for the DIC.PPS series of PPS compounds

General Manager, Solid Compounds Quality Assurance Group, Solid Compounds Product Division, Komaki Plant Takumi Hirosawa

PPS compounds are the principal product of the Solid Compounds Product Division. Thanks to polymers with excellent heat-resistance and robust compounding technologies that match customer needs, 70% of these compounds are used in automotive components. Because the quality of components and the materials used therein significantly affect the safety of vehicles, International Automotive Task Force (IATF) 16949 was created as a quality management standard specifically for the automobile industry with the aim of preventing defects and minimizing quality anomalies.
R ecent years have seen an increase in the number of major automakers based in Europe and the Americas that demand IATF 16949 certification for components and materials suppliers as a condition for doing business. Accordingly, we are currently working to create systems necessary to obtain certification for four key global PPS compounds production facilities (Komaki, Vienna, Penang and Zhangjiagang) by early fiscal 2020.

General Manager, Solid Compounds Quality Assurance Group, Solid Compounds Product Division, Komaki Plant Takumi Hirosawa

We are working to add increased value to products.

	General Manager, Liquid Crystal Quality Assurance Department, Liquid Crystal Materials Product Division, Saitama Plant Kunihiko Kotani

Liquid crystal materials play a significant role in determining the quality of televisions, tablet computers and other devices. My team approaches its work with the aim of finding ways to ensure stable quality, as well as to improve usability, output and other factors that influence performance but cannot necessarily be explained in numbers. From the development stage to the design stage, we help ensure effective supply chain management, improve inspection accuracy and confirm production processes, working closely with other departments toward a common goal.

General Manager, Liquid Crystal Quality Assurance Department, Liquid Crystal Materials Product Division, Saitama Plant Kunihiko Kotani

Our goal is to ensure the satisfaction of customers by providing safe products and services that they can use with confdence.

General Manager, Quality Assurance Department Yuuichi Kougo

In fiscal year 2015, DIC established the Quality Assurance Department, a move designed to further strengthen the Group’s QMS. We collaborate with the quality assurance sections of product divisions to ensure awareness of DIC’s Quality Policy and implement a variety of related measures. Product divisions work to enhance quality at all stages of a product’s life cycle, from planning, development and the selection of raw materials through to production, disposal and recycling. The Quality Assurance Department is responsible for fostering human resources conducive to achieving further quality improvements. Accordingly, we focus on planning and promoting educational programs that increase awareness of quality and improving quality management skills.

General Manager, Quality Assurance Department Yuuichi Kougo