Five minutes with Dan Panzica, Hayco’s vice president of quality. 

Ensuring each item we manufacture makes the grade is an important aspect of Hayco.

We’ve got a reputation to uphold: that our products are always top class.

At Hayco, every product is put through its paces, undergoing rigorous testing to ensure it will stand up to the tasks it was designed for. This is called quality assurance, and it gives us a competitive edge in the industry.

Though quality assurance is an often-overlooked aspect of production, it’s crucial for building trust with our customers. They know they can rely on us to establish a brand identity that involves reliable, sturdy, durable products. Dan Panzica explains how we ensure everything is performing as it should.

What are you responsible for at Hayco?

Our goal is to ensure the product is fit-for-use throughout ist’s useful life.  This is done by paying attention to every stage of the process from design to production.

So what does the word ‘quality’ mean to you?

For me, quality is like making all the chips at McDonalds taste the same everywhere in to world.  Process consistancy over time is the key.   We are the team who establishes the systems and protocol to esnure consistancy, so that wherever you are you know exactly what you’re getting.  Hayco’s Quality Policy is defined as delivering defect free products to our customers on time.

What are the main challenges you face?

Time compression is one of the major challenges—we’re always hoping to accomplish more things, faster. It’s a challenge to meet business requirements, as well as figuring out how to streamline our processes so that we can be as efficient as possible.

What are the key procedures when working on a new product?

When we receive a new product to test, we start by looking at its function. What is it going to be used for? We design a test based on this. Then, we test the item in as many scenarios as possible—using multiple surfaces, forces, heights, and so on.

How does the quality assurance process work?

Quality is split into several functional teams that support the entire business:

The Advanced Quality Engineering (AQE) department defines, develops, and tests parts. AQE’s the take engineering specifications and develop a test plan. The Supplier Quality Engineering Team will work with suppliers and engineers to ensure the materials used consistently meet our standards. At the same time the Mold Making QA team will measure and qualify moulds ensuring that the mold steel is to nominal and cavity-to-cavity variation is minimized. 

Then, the QA Test Lab will conduct product testing to ensure that products are fit-for-use while our specification team writes the details for each design, and finally, we ensure the product complies with all regulations.

The Business Unit (Factory) Quality Team deals with manufacturing and process controls in the factory, and is responsible for the consistency of shipped products.

The Quality Management  Systems QMS) Team is responsible to ensure Hayco is in compliance to the highest international Quality, Environmental, and Social Responsibility standards in the world.  This includes Systems defined by the ISO (International Standards Organization), ICTI (International Council of Toy Industries) and EICC (Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition). 

What are your department’s strengths?

Our product-testing capabilities give us a leading edge, as does our staff’s knowledge of the industry and its requirements. We’re well connected with other departments at Hayco, and the fact we’re vertically integrated means we have a window into the whole sequence of manufacturing. We’re able to monitor and keep the quality consistent throughout the whole process.

What’s more, our machinery is top-of-the-line—we have an environmental chamber which puts products through a variety of temperatures to simulate shipping and distribution scenarios. We also have a CMM, or a coordinate measuring machine, which is one of the world’s most precise and sensitive measuring machines—it helps us ensure we’re making everything identically, right down to the tiniest detail.

Additionally we have TQM (Total quality management) which has created a climate where employee continuously improve abilities.

All this is bound by our staff who are professionals in all they do.

How does manufacturing medical items pose a challenge?

The same level of control must be enforced. Standards are different—there can be no shortcuts. The stakes are higher if a mistake is made.

What are some of the major projects you’ve been working on?

At the moment, we’re transferring our skills and knowledge to our new factory in the Dominican Republic. Here, our main objective was to get the facility certified with ISO, and from there, to obtain a single ISO certtificate for the whole of Hayco.  This single certificate ensures One Hayco – One System.

We have standardised our quality procedures around the world, and are implementing Master Control which is a world-class electronic quality management system (eQMS)—the only one to be FDA approved.

In 2019  we are re planning to deploy a Manufacturing Execution System  automates shop floor enabiling real time data collection and analysis.  This will ensure traceability and improve process/product consistency while leading to significant cost benefits.

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