Improving Quality

Pursuing the “Three Zeros” in Accidents, Waste and Complaints

Management Approach

Basic ConceptOn-site Manufacturing Supports Quality

Recognizing that it is the fields of manufacturing development that support quality, since fiscal 2006 Sekisui Chemical Group has focused its efforts on innovation in production. Based on its belief that quality defects lead to higher costs arising from handling complaints or increased waste, we are trying to reduce costs by targeting the “three zeros” of accidents, waste, and complaints.

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Quality ManagementSystems in Each Section Reflect Business Characteristics

Sekisui Chemical Group has developed quality control systems covering every process from production to product use by customers. Each section has developed a quality assurance system, and in each process, we promote standards-based controls on a daily basis. In developing products and making improvements to quality, we conduct screening from a variety of perspectives, such as those of quality assurance and safety.
Sekisui Chemical is also rolling out this particular scheme to all Group companies in the form of Group Quality Control Rules.

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Formulating Three Quality GuidelinesMaintaining Uniform Quality Control from Development to Sales

Undertaking uniform quality control throughout the value chain—from development, manufacturing, and sales—Sekisui Chemical Group is working to improve the level of its quality control by formulating and issuing three guidelines: Development Guidelines for Strengthening Quality Assurance, Guidelines for Daily Management Activities, and Contract / Specification Guidelines.
Development Guidelines for Strengthening Quality Assurance are aimed at preventing Basic Quality-related problems from occurring by predicting quality risks that can arise after commercialization. Guidelines for Daily Management Activities are a collection of basic guides to management on a daily basis that must be undertaken in manufacturing and post-development processes.
Contract / Specification Guidelines were formulated and published with the aim of reducing expanded compensation* risks related to product sales.

  • Expanded compensation: Customers compensation in the case of product defects that extend beyond returns and exchanges to include compensation for processing / construction / items made with these products, and other related damage.
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Preventing Quality FraudImplementing In-house Quality Control Investigations

In light of the frequent occurrence of quality control related fraud from 2017 to 2018 in Japan, Sekisui Chemical implemented an in-house investigation to confirm that its quality data is not fraudulent and that inspections, etc., have not been conducted by uncertified personnel for all products throughout the Group in order to ensure that the Company does not put the lessons learned by others to waste. As a result, we have confirmed that there are no cases of deficiencies regarding certification of auditors, official certification, and quality that hold the risk of violation or fraud.
Sekisui Chemical Group took steps to put in place a structure, systems, and framework to prevent further data falsification in fiscal 2019. This initiative is to coincide with the start of the new CS & Quality Medium-term Plan from fiscal 2020. Sekisui Medical Co., Ltd. also received quality certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the first time in fiscal 2019.
Sekisui Chemical Group will continue to ensure that the specifications agreed upon with our customers are observed and that the group re-instill an awareness of compliance for the purpose of enhancing its quality assurance capability. At the same time, by ensuring the reliability and transparency of inspections, we will continue to implement in-house quality control investigations that extinguish any potential for fraud.

Product SafetyCompliance with Laws and Internal Rules for Product Safety

When a legal violation related to product safety becomes known internally or is pointed out from external sources, Sekisui Chemical Group rapidly discloses information about the incident and moves quickly to discover the cause and prevent a reoccurrence. This is also true if internal rules and standards for product safety have not been followed.
In fiscal 2019, there were no cases where we violated laws or internal rules related to product safety.

Products Information Disclosure and LabelingCompliance with Laws and Internal Rules Relating to Product Information Disclosure

Sekisui Chemical Group complies strictly with laws and internal rules relating to the disclosure of product quality and safety.
Sekisui Chemical Group complies with laws relating to development while setting and confirming product information disclosure checklist items.
In fiscal 2019, there were no cases where we violated laws or internal rules related to the disclosure of product quality and safety.

Design and Development SeminarsDevelopment Risk Prevention Seminar and DR* Reviewer Training Seminar

Continuing from fiscal 2013, we held the Development Risk Prevention Seminar aimed at acquiring effective, efficient prevention methods as well as the DR Reviewer Training Seminar to improve the skills of people who conduct DRs. Both seminars are based on the topic of preventing quality problems before they arise.
In fiscal 2019, we held case study meetings for ongoing development themes with the Musashi Plant and Yamanashi Sekisui Co., Ltd. We reconfirmed the importance of predicting and identifying risks to quality by focusing on points of change with existing products. We plan to hold these seminars again in fiscal 2020.

  • DR: Design Review
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  • Development Prevention Semin

  • DR Reviewer Training Seminar

QC CertificationAcquisition of QC Certification*

Sekisui Chemical Group also employs QC Certification effectively to measure levels of quality knowledge, and as of the end of fiscal 2019, over 4,600 members of the Company had attained QC Certification.

  • A certification system conducted by the Japanese Standards Association and the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers and certified by the Japanese Society for Quality Control.
  • Figures show the total number of employees who have acquired QC Certification levels 1 through 3

Group KAIZEN Activities on a Global ScaleHolding the Group KAIZEN Activities Award / Presentation Meeting Annually

Group KAIZEN Activities* are an initiative in which employees in each workplace form small groups to address various topics such as improvements in quality and productivity and increasing operational efficiency, and to take on various subjects through policy management. These activities have a track record of more than 50 years. They are underway at numerous business sites in Japan and around the world, centered on production companies. Once a year in January, presentations are made by the representative group in each area - Japan, North America / Mexico, China, Europe, and Asia / Oceania - to share information and foster mutual improvement.
In the 54th Sekisui Chemical Group KAIZEN Activities Presentation Meeting held in January 2020, a total of 14 groups (10 from Japan and four from other countries) made presentations. 18 business sites made requests in advance to view the proceedings of Sekisui Chemical Group KAIZEN Activities Presentation Meeting in real-time, and the event was broadcast to their offices as requested. Participants in the event commented “as a forum that provided an easy-to-understand overview of the background and logic behind efforts to secure improvements by the entire Group, the meeting was an opportunity for people without specialized knowledge to concentrate and listen” and “there was a lot to learn and incorporate even as a small organization.” Based on the many thoughts and impressions received, the meeting was an important initiative that helped deepen understanding of KAIZEN activities.

Award name Site Group
Gold Prize Taga Plant, Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. KFC
Silver Prize Sekisui Famis Kinki Co., Ltd. CS Promotion & Quality Assurance
Bronze Prize Iwate Plant, SEKISUI MEDICAL CO., LTD. Yamaneko
  • Group KAIZEN Activities: Activities that began in 1966 as Quality Control (QC) groups and later evolved into small group activities before taking the form they have today.
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Representatives who Participated in the KAIZEN Activities Presentation Meeting

Performance Data

Business Sites That Have Received Third-party Certification for Their Quality Management Systems

Other Data

  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Number of participants in the Development Risk Prevention Seminar (cumulative total) 302 418 502 555
Number of participants in the DR Reviewer Training Seminar (cumulative total) 166 259 283 296
Number of participants in employee grade-based training system for managers in production departments (cumulative total) 2,252 2,768 3,174 3,348
  FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Number of people with QC Certification 4,103 4,228 4,337 4,626