The foundation of AI’s approach to manufacturing is a culture of continuous improvement and employee involvement based upon the teachings of W. Edwards Deming, who transformed Japanese manufacturing processes in Japan after WW2. Deming’s philosophy is built around key principles ultimately aimed at bringing value to the customer. They include building quality into the product at the design stage and focusing on it throughout the production process, identifying all of the steps in the process chain, making the processes flow efficiently and striving for perfection by continually identifying and eliminating waste.
To achieve this, AI deploys quality and statistical tools based on the Six Sigma methods developed by Motorola in 1986 and strict compliance with the ISO 9001 quality management system.
These methods are the foundations of the entire manufacturing process and besides dramatically improving the quality of the products, they deliver other benefits as well. In the worlds of the well know consultant Philip B Crosby, “Quality is Free”. Far from increasing the costs of the manufacturing process, these methods actually produce dramatic efficiencies by:
- Significantly reducing scrap and rework
- Reducing the sizes of the stock and work in progress inventories
- Minimizing warranty costs
Application of these methods is complemented by a continuing investment in tooling and machinery to make the best use of the latest technologies to enhance product quality and productivity. Since its reorganization, AI has invested in machinery, technology and people to bring more component manufacturing in-house, particularly for items critical to product quality and performance.
To have total control of the quality of the product, AI also partners with key suppliers to assist them with developing processes for component manufacture and to gain their expertise in improving its own internal processes.
An example of AI’s commitment to continuous improvement is the recent introduction of CERAKOTE advanced ceramic polymer firearm coating technology, a range of high performance finishes which further enhances the corrosion resistance and durability of our rifles.