In manufacturing, there are often several points of an operation that are susceptible to failure. These failures can result in product defects or even safety issues for the personnel. Therefore, to achieve consistent success, such businesses often establish comprehensive CAPA management processes.

Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA) are the various mechanisms instituted by a business to highlight issues in their manufacturing operations as well as their root causes. Subsequently, businesses are able to address these issues and keep a record.

In recent years, many manufacturers have adopted CAPA management solutions to help ensure that operators can analyze these events and develop ways to prevent them from reoccurring. As a result, businesses are better able to efficiently manage their quality control efforts.

What is a CAPA management process?

Manufacturing businesses use Corrective and Preventive Actions to ensure that their operations run with as few interruptions as possible. This is evident in the two major arms of production and quality control.

Corrective actions are manufacturing interventions used by businesses to identify problems and solutions. While identifying problems on the line can help improve the cause of quality issues in the short term, businesses often take it a step further in order to prevent these quality events from occurring in the future.

Therefore, preventive actions constitute the second half of a CAPA. These are strategies to ensure that, once a detrimental quality event is identified, it doesn’t reoccur in business or manufacturing processes.

A CAPA management solution isn’t a one-off effort to improve quality. Instead, it is a continuous improvement process that a company has to implement to ensure quality across all operations all the time. As such, it’s a vital part of a manufacturer’s quality management strategy.

Modern CAPA solutions have analytics features, allowing quality managers to assess prevalent issues and predict future ones. This allows factory managers to get ahead of any problems on the floor, significantly reducing bottlenecks and downtime.

Here is what a typical CAPA management process entails:

  1. Quality event identification: Manufacturing plants have quality control processes to identify issues that crop up on the production line.

  2. Problem evaluation: Here, quality personnel or systems make sense of the problem, gauging whether it needs rectification as well as the level of correction required to get the operation rolling again. This stage also involves assessing the risks – to business and customers – posed by the quality event.

  3. Incident root cause analysis: This calls on the manufacturer’s quality management strategy to investigate the underlying causes of the non-conforming event. As such, data is collected, analyzed, and the cause pinpointed.

  4. Resolution planning: Quality teams plan incident rectification measures. This includes the solution as well as responsible personnel and relevant managers. Additionally, this stage of the process takes into account the extra training required for personnel to handle the issue going forward.

  5. Implementation: The relevant personnel put the recommended resolution into practice. All events before and after are recorded to ensure that they can be referred to later during the review.

  6. Review: After the quality event has been dealt with, the entire recorded process is reviewed to ensure that the chosen solution was implemented effectively.

How a CAPA management solution can help you improve quality

Corrective and Preventive Action solutions have several features that make your quality management efforts more effective and efficient. This provides various benefits like improved productivity, product quality, and customer satisfaction.

The key features delivering these benefits include:

Automated data input

CAPA relies heavily on accurate data entry. After all, effective quality control will require data drawn from different departments like supplier management, auditing, design controls, and risk management. Therefore, the different factory personnel should be able to capture data and production metrics efficiently.

Modern CAPA management solutions provide a more convenient and efficient data entry mechanism via automated data collection. This allows for syncing entries across systems to ensure that relevant personnel and managers have vital information for timely action.

Comprehensive reporting

Because CAPA management strives to ensure continuous improvement in the manufacturing process, quality events need to be reported with as much detail as possible.

A sound CAPA solution provides several types of metadata to describe and track manufacturing quality events. Additionally, these reports contain data on assigned personnel as well as event identification dates and resolution target dates.

Guided workflows

Effective CAPA systems ensure that you have a grip on control management by providing digital, guided workflows. Using digital workflows, factory managers and personnel involved with action implementation can stay on schedule more easily and prevent deviations from standardized processes.

This ensures that recommended solutions are implemented as intended, enabling manufacturers to more efficiently identify and correct the sources of quality and compliance issues.

Compatibility with Quality Management Systems

Manufacturing quality events are rarely isolated incidents. Therefore, manufacturers should ensure that they collect and analyze data from different potential points of failure along the line.

To achieve this, it’s prudent to marry a CAPA management solution with quality management systems (QMS). Effective CAPA solutions are compatible with various QMS, gaining access to a vast pool of quality-centered factory data.

With their analysis function, CAPA solutions provide actionable insights for quality managers to make informed decisions regarding corrective and preventive actions.

Detailed audit trail

Because modern manufacturing businesses strive for continuous improvement, their quality control operations require significant analysis of past quality events. This allows the relevant personnel and managers to identify areas that need improvement.

An effective CAPA solution provides detailed information for each quality event, aided by the earlier comprehensive reporting feature. This ensures that quality managers work with an accurate risk profile, enabling them to tweak quality control operating procedures appropriately.

Improve your CAPA management process with Tulip

Manage and track all deviations, quality events, and CAPAs from one centralized location.

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