The Group is making a continuous effort on stable supply of the high quality products for customers. We have established a robust internal quality management system to strictly carry out quality control, and are continuously striving to improve quality, stability and efficiency.
Customer requests are promptly and accurately informed to the research centers and
production departments through the
sales department, and utilized for research and development of new products and improvement
of existing products.
The products are delivered to customers after final inspections, taking into account the characteristics of the products and the applications on customer's end.
Each the Company's division and/or Group companies sales department, research and development department, manufacturing department and quality assurance department cooperate in roles as in the following in order to meet the requests of our customers.
Listen to the customer requests, and promptly and accurately share such information with our research and development departments as well as the production departments.
Research and development department as well as the production department
Utilize the customer requests for the improvement of existing
products and research and development of new products.
Also actively promoting automation of the manufacturing processes in order to improve quality stability.
Quality assurance department
Make a final confirmation on product taking into account the product characteristics and the customers use We have enhanced the accuracy of quality measurement by advancing the automation of measurement processes to eliminate variations derived from quality measurement personnel, sample preparation, and measurement procedures. In addition, measurement results are stored in the database and utilized to prevent typing errors when creating inspection tables and labels.
Almost all of the Group's manufacturing bases, both domestic and overseas, have obtained certification of the quality control systems such as ISO 9001, IATF169491, etc. We have also established a strict rule to respond to all quality inquiries from customers within 2 business days of receipt.
- 1 IATF16949
It is a quality management system for automotive industry.
Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex Mr.I, Inspection Group, Quality Assurance Department
IT training provided insights for utilizing AI in quality inspections
1.Please tell us about your job.
In my department, we inspect the products of silicone and organic materials. My main work is to consider, propose, and execute the introduction of inspection facilities and equipment, including the introduction of automated inspection equipment and the construction of inspection systems.
2.Why did you wish to participate in IT
Many product inspections rely on human feelings to determine whether a product is acceptable or not, and therefore automatic discrimination that is not influenced by human subjectivity has been desirable. In recent years, AI-based image analysis technology has been rapidly developed and popularized. I took an IT training course because I hoped that I could deepen my knowledge of AI and apply the technology to inspection operations such as visual inspection.
3.Among what you learned at IT training, what do
you expect to be put to practical use?
First, in the AI lecture, I learned how to handle big data and how to treat various algorithms of AI. We were then divided into several people to obtain practical knowledge and experience by conducting case studies and discussions based on past AI analysis examples. I believe that this has enabled us to quickly utilize AI in the workplace. Product inspections involve enormous quantities of inspection data.
By comprehensively analyzing this data in AI, we believe that it is possible to detect defective products with a higher level of precision, in addition to the experience and judgment of individuals. In addition, I believe that we can achieve even higher quality control if we can achieve stable inspection decisions that are not based on human subjectivity by implementing the AI image analysis technologies described in the previous section, especially the appearance inspections of products using deep learning.
Quality Audits and Support
Since 2000, to improve quality and customer service we have
conducted quality audits annually.
Quality control activities are evaluated according to two different viewpoints, which are the customers' viewpoint and quality cost viewpoint. We work to find the root cause of quality issues and to make an effort toward the recurrence prevention.
In the quality audit in 2019, the following items were audited as priority items.
- ① Automation of manufacturing processes to prevent careless human errors caused by workers' assumptions and misunderstanding
- ② Enhanced the accuracy of quality measurement by advancing the automation of measurement processes to eliminate variations derived from quality measurement personnel, sample preparation, and measurement procedures.
- ③ In order to prevent typing errors when creating inspection reports and labels, we have established a system for automatically incorporating inspection data into a database.
Furthermore, Six Sigma1 programs are deployed on a company-wide basis in order to improve the quality level.
(August 2019, Shin-Etsu Chemical Kashima Plant)
The 20th debrief session of the results of Shin-Etsu Six
(February 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Head office)
- 1 Six Sigma programs
Quality improvement method developed by Motorola in the 1980s. Focused on processes where quality variation appears, it is designed to minimize variation within the processes and thereby reduce the incidence of quality defects. This approach has been adopted across the Group.
Product Safety Control
Product safety is being managed from product development to
delivery based on internal regulations.
Regarding the safety of new chemical substances, risk assessment and confirmation for environment and health is performed at the development stage. Regarding the development of new chemical substances, we focus on products as well as their manufacturing technologies which do not use hazardous substances that have been designated by the Industrial Health and Safety Law and Chemical Substances Control Law1, as well as the EU RoHS risk assessment Directive2. Furthermore, we ensure to submit necessary notifications and reports according to laws and regulations.
We offer customers information such as product hazards and risks in the form of SDS3 in order to ensure proper transmission of information to the value chain.
In addition, we request customers to handle products safely by complying with laws and regulations, installing abatement equipment, wearing protective equipment, etc through SDS.
As a product transportation safety measure, we issue Yellow Cards4 and/or Container Yellow Cards5 that are affixed to containers. In accordance with the Industrial Safety and Health Act, we also implemented pictorial indication of hazard and harm in accordance with GHS6 on product containers and packaging.
- 1 Chemical Substances Control Law
Short for "Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc." A law intended to prevent environmental pollution by chemical substances that can be harmful to human health or to ecosystems.
- 2 RoHS (Restriction of the Use of Certain HazardousSubstances)
Directive EU directive on restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
- 3 SDS（Safety Data Sheet）
SDS lists the physical and chemical properties of the chemical substance together with harmfulness and emergency response procedures. Designed to promote safer use of chemical substances and prevent accidents and incidents, SDS are supplied by manufacturers, importers and distributors to customers at the point of sales or shipment.
- 4 Yellow Cards
The yellow cards are cards on which all relevant information on treatment required in case of an accident during transportation of chemical substances is described. The cards are handed to the transport contractor to be brought by tanker lorry or other means at the time of transportation.
- 5 Container Yellow Cards
The standard yellow card system is not suitable for use with mixed cargoes and small-lot deliveries. Instead, each container carries a label displaying safety information such as UN number of chemical name and emergency response procedure number.
- 6 GHS (The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of
Internationally standardized system of classification and labeling of chemicals.
Shin-Etsu Group Key ESG Issues
- The foundation of all activitieslegal compliance, fair corporate activities
- Employees and contractor health and safety
- Energy-saving, resource-saving and the reduction of the environmental impact
- Product quality improvements and product safety control
- Promoting CSR procurement and the diversification of supply sources
- Respect for human rights, the development of human resources and the promotion of diversity
- Respect for and protection of intellectual property
- Contribution to industry and social initiatives
- Accurate and timely information disclosure
and communication with stakeholders