Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance

Improving the Quality of Products and Services

nder the AGC Group Basic Quality Policy, the AGC Group has established quality management systems that comply with ISO 9001 and similar standards in each division, and is striving to raise the quality of its products and services. To this end, the Group conducts internal audits and reviews in a manner best suited to its respective business, and continuously improves the effectiveness and efficiency of the quality management systems. It incorporated changes to ISO 9001 in 2015, and is making adjustments to meet this standard on a group-wide basis.

In 2015, the Group held an expanded quality meeting for its managers responsible for quality in each business division. Participants considered fiscal-year initiatives related to quality issues for the Group in 2016, and confirmed the current status of product safety, responses to ISO revisions, and other important matters.

In addition, the AGC Group has been integrating initiatives related to Environment, Occupational Health & Safety and Quality (EHSQ) into its group-wide management in accordance with the EHSQ management system established in 2013.

AGC Group Basic Quality Policy

(Established on September 8, 2004 and revised on March 29, 2013)

Basic Policy

The AGC Group will continue to create the expected value by pursuing “Innovation & Operational Excellence” as one of the Shared Values in the Group Vision “Look Beyond”.

Guidelines for Quality Activities

Having “Incorporating the concept of CS into daily work processes” as the fundamental of our businesses, we will act to gain trust from our stakeholders including customers, based on the following guidelines.

  1. We will provide products and services that conform to the requirements of laws, regulations, and customers.
  2. We will ensure and improve the quality of our products and services including appropriate consideration to safety and environment.
  3. We all will participate in the continual improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of our quality management, and each of us will individually strive to enhance the value of our work.
  4. In order to ensure that the above points are materialized, each will establish individual policy and target, and implement the PDCA cycle.
Quality Management System

Each In-house Company/SBU of the AGC Group has established a system to promote quality management in an independent manner.

Quality Management System

  • (Note 1) CQMR: Corporate quality management representative
  • (Note 2) DQMR: Division quality management representative
Acquisition of ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 (Note 1) Certification

(as of the end of December 2015)

Location Number of certified organizations
Japan 34
Asia other than Japan 28
Europe 67
The Americas 13
Total 142
  • (Note) Percentage of AGC Group employees at the certified organizations: 86.2%
  • (Note 1) Standards for quality management systems to be applied in the automotive industry, which requires compliance with the global procurement criteria for automotive parts
Quality Management at the Chemicals Company

The Chemicals Company is committed to continuously contributing to the creation of a safe, secure, comfortable, and environmentally friendly world with chemical technology, under its vision “Chemistry for a Blue Planet.”

To this end, the Chemicals Company has set policies for quality management; “provide products appreciated and counted on by our customers”, “value customer feedback as precious information for continuous improvement”, and “make sure to implement the 'Plan-Do-Check-Act' improvement cycle” for quality improvement. Based on these policies, in order to continually improve its systems, a range of management reviews and internal audits are conducted across national borders at the In-house Company.

The president of the In-house Company also issues a message on quality to all employees of the Chemicals Company and its supervising Group companies on March 12 of every year, which is designated internally as a day for quality.

At the same time in Japan, it has been promoting employee awareness and sharing ideas related to quality through questionnaires and free discussions.

As part of its quality policy, the Group has continued making improvements to its quality management system in 2015 through internal audits and management reviews. It also succeeded in reducing the number of quality-related product defects reported by customers through intensive improvement measures and analyses of past cases. Looking ahead, the Group will continue reducing product defects even further.

Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Requirements regarding for Products

The AGC Group is taking steps to ensure compliance with laws and regulations regarding products, by creating a list of such requirements for each of its In-house Company/SBU and clarifying the legal and regulatory requirements that each of its products must meet. The content of the list is subject to appropriate review. The Group began expanding this initiative to the Asian countries where it operates from 2012.

Product Safety Initiatives

The AGC Group works to ensure the safety of its products through its quality management system. For example, it conducts safety reviews during the product development, trial production and product manufacturing stages, as well as providing appropriate information on the safe usage of its products.

For some products, the Group acquires Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) certification and has product safety confirmed by third-party organizations.

Compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act

In 2008, the AGC Group (Japan) established its own in-house rules to ensure compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Act of Japan, and established a system to promptly report any serious product accidents to the Consumer Affairs Agency and prevent the spread of any resultant damage. Moreover, annual study meetings were held to allow the employees in charge to foster their quality awareness.

In May 2014, based on legal reforms and social changes, the existing rules were given an overall revision, becoming the Consumer Product Safety Act Working Standards. The standards are an effort both to prevent accidents and to ensure prompt responses to accidents that have occurred by confirming risk management conditions on a regular basis corresponding to the risk level set for the product. In addition, study meetings are implemented for related divisions within the Group, and the AGC Group is working to publicize the new standards and put it into steady operation.

In combination with these efforts, information on product accidents released by the Consumer Affairs Agency and the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) is being collected and sorted when it relates to AGC Group products, and the information is shared internally.

In fiscal 2015, the AGC Group reported one case of a serious product defect.

Reporting Flow for Serious Product Accidents under the Consumer Product Safety Act

Reporting Flow for Serious Product Accidents under the Consumer Product Safety Act

Change in the Number of Reported Serious Product Accidents (AGC Group in Japan)

FY Number of cases
2011 0
2012 1
2013 1
2014 0
2015 1

Implementing Quality Training

The AGC Group provides quality training in each business division based on the needs of each division. Further, the Group is taking steps to raise awareness of quality through quality compliance training based on internal and outside quality case studies on a needs basis.

Encouraging Employees to Acquire the Quality Management and Quality Control (Examination)

The AGC Group (Japan) is encouraging employees to acquire a certificate on quality control (QC) issued by the Japanese Society for Quality Control, with a view to increasing their awareness of quality control and improving product quality. The society issues certificates on knowledge of quality control.

In 2015, a total of 83 employees passed the certification examination.

Number of Employees Who Passed the QC Certification Examination (AGC Group in Japan)

Number of Employees who Passed the QC Certification Examination (AGC Group in Japan)

  • (Note 1) Only one quality control certification exam was held in 2011 due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, which explains the reduction in number of those who passed the exam

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