Basic Policies and Systems for Quality Management
The UACJ Group aims at contributing toward the realization of a sustainable and prosperous society by striving to provide products and services that satisfy customers and earn their trust through quality-oriented, faithful manufacturing.
- We will promote to improve our technical development, quality improvement, and enhance our manufacturing capability.
- We will meet all applicable requirements.
- We will continuously improve our quality management system.
- We will establish quality targets, review the results, and allocate management resources as needed.
- Group members shall understand the quality policies and act accordingly. All members shall participate in quality improvement activities.
Quality Management System
The UACJ Group has established its Quality Committee as the highest organ for advancing quality management. Chaired by the President and vice-chaired by the Executive in Charge of Quality, the Quality Committee discusses and reports on the status of quality, significant problems, and other quality-related matters.
Quality control groups have been established for each of the Group’s businesses - flat rolled products, extrusion, foil, casting and forging, and precision-machined components. These individual quality control groups work together with the Quality Management Department and the leaders of organizational units, as they pursue quality management activities.
Formulation of the UACJ Group’s Annual Quality Management Direction
The UACJ Group establishes annual quality control policies for the Group.
In fiscal 2022, we set specific targets, defined priority issues, and implemented quality enhancement measures following our slogan, “To realize VISION 2030, let us strengthen our quality foundation, which is the basis of our business.” We are continuing to strengthen our quality foundation in fiscal 2023 to achieve our quality targets and overcome challenges following our vision “Let us build a stronger quality foundation toward the realization of VISION 2030.”
Fiscal 2022 Results
The results of our efforts to achieve the quality targets for fiscal 2022 are as follows.
One of our targets was to reduce the Group’s total number of incidents of major quality defects by 20% from the previous fiscal year with the aim of reducing the number of defects at each factory to zero. The number of major quality defects increased by two from fiscal 2021. We are examining the root cause of each incident and implementing measures to prevent recurrence. In addition, the information is shared throughout the Group to prevent similar defects from occurring at other sites.
We also set a target of reducing the number of claims by 10% or more compared to the previous fiscal year. The ongoing efforts by each segment to improve quality resulted in a 24% decline in claims received by the Group.
In fiscal 2023, we are focusing on fulfilling our VISION 2023 under a slogan of creating a stronger foundation of quality. We have set specific targets and defined priority issues and are implementing measures to further strengthen our quality foundation.
Fiscal 2022 Quality Objectives
- Major Quality Defects: 20% reduction from the previous fiscal year for the entire Group (aiming to reduce the number of defects at each factory to zero).
- Claims: Reducing the number of claims by 10% or more compared to the previous fiscal year.
- Improving customer satisfaction by responding to customer needs and meeting their expectations
- Preventing defects through design review (DR), changing management and initial flow management, and preventing recurrence by investigating the root causes
- Practicing compliance as well as maintaining and improving the competence required for quality control and assurance in order receipt, development, manufacturing, and inspection
- Confirming and ensuring compliance with public standards and customer agreements
- Improving the reliability of testing, inspection, and inspection certificate issuance
- Promoting the Phase II Plan for systematization and automation
- Improving the reliability of non-automated testing)
Fiscal 2023 Quality Targets
- Serious quality accidents*1: Maintain zero accidents
- Claims : Reduce last year’s results by 10% or more
*1 In fiscal 2023, we revised the definition of serious quality defect and set a new target
- Improvement of customer satisfaction
- Respond to customer needs and expectations
- Reduce liability claims
- Conduct customer satisfaction surveys and improvement activities
- Prevention of occurrence/recurrence of defects
- Ensure implementation of design review (DR), change management, and initial flow management
- Ensure the pursuit of true cause
- Continuous improvement of quality control/assurance system
- Develop and review the required standards
- Improve quality of work by promoting systematization
- Maintain and improve competencies required for quality control/assurance
- Enforce quality compliance
- Improve management system by collecting information through external exchanges
- Develop quality assurance systems in new areas
- Strict compliance with public standards and customer agreements
- Ensure conformity to public standards, agreed specifications, and instructions
- Ensure agreement on specifications
- Ensure that agreed specifications are reflected in manufacturing instructions (e.g., systematization of delivery specifications)
- Improvement of reliability of testing, inspection, and report issuance
- Complete the Phase II Plan for systematization and automation
- Prevent illegal and incorrect handling of non-automated test data
Quality Management based on International Certifications
The UACJ Group practices quality control in accordance with international quality management system certifications that UACJ and our Group companies have obtained. The Quality Management Department supervises quality management in line with international certification requirements for group companies that have not acquired certification.
Strengthening the Quality Assurance System by Preparing Quality Assurance Guidelines (UACJ ver.)
The Japan Aluminum Association formulated the Guidelines for Quality Assurance in March 2018 in response to specific issues in the industry, including falsified quality data and inspections by unauthorized personnel at manufacturing companies.
Based on the associations guidelines, in August 2018 the UACJ Group created and adopted the UACJ Version of the Guidelines for Quality Assurance for direct application to the Group's unique quality control system. The guidelines were expanded to include addition important content in fiscal 2022.
The revised guidelines include conducting mutual audits to verify and improve the quality control systems at all sites. We are also systematizing and enabling the automatic import of test and inspection data to further strengthen the quality control system.
In fiscal 2022, we engaged third-party specialists to conduct a customized audit to confirm the reliability of test and inspection data.
Product Safety Initiatives
Aluminum’s high strength and light weight along with its excellent workability, corrosion resistance, and recyclability have made it common in industrial products, packaging material, and in a wide variety of items in our daily lives. We place particular importance on consumer safety with our products because they are often used in situations involving human life, such as for food packaging and in the automobile and aircraft industries.
The UACJ Group conducts product safety checks in design reviews at the engineering stage and continues carrying out thorough checks of product safety-related items (such as chemical composition and strength) itemized in specification sheets provided to customers at the manufacturing stage. Additionally, we also use test reports (mill sheets) to verify that the product information labeling is correct.
Provision of Product Defect Information
The UACJ Group has established rules for responding to major incidents concerning product quality and safety. Under the Rules for Handling a Serious Quality Incident when an incident, such as a product defect or regulatory violation, comes to light, a special incident investigation committee is established, details of the situation are clarified, and relevant information is provided to customers and consumers. To date, there have not been any incidents requiring that these steps be taken.
Proportion of Products for which Safety Evaluations Are Performed
Safety evaluations are performed for 100% of products that have been confirmed to be in compliance with specifications agreed upon with customers and for 100% of products for which shipping inspections are performed as a matter of legal or regulatory compliance.
Compliance with Product Safety Laws and Regulations
In fiscal 2022, there were no cases of noncompliance with laws, regulations, or voluntary controls related to product quality, safety, or product information labeling.
Measures to Improve Customer Satisfaction
UACJ Group companies directly receive customer the comments and requests in its daily sales activities. The information we receive is an important part of our ongoing efforts to improve our business and develop new products. We highly value dialogue with our customer and are constantly striving to increase customer satisfaction.
Responding to Customer Questions
On its website, the UACJ Group has created a page where customers can submit questions on matters such as orders for aluminum materials and technical issues concerning applications, and ask for prepared information. Regardless of the nature of the inquiry, we make a point of providing customers with swift, accurate responses.
Going forward, we intend to further deepen our interaction with customers and reflect what we learn in the development of new products and other activities, as well.
Dissemination of Information on New Products and Technologies
Publication of a Technology and Research Journal
UACJ publishes UACJ Technical Reports, a technical and research journal in which we share the Group’s research results, new products and technologies. We publish the journal on our website to provide technical information on aluminum and aluminum alloys available to as many people as possible. The UACJ Technical Reports will also continue to provide the latest information on the Group products and technologies.