Initiatives for Product Safety and Quality Assurance
Enhancing Product Safety Reviews
Safety reviews for new products are implemented under the responsibility of the directors in charge of manufacturing at Toray and the relevant directors at its group companies. These reviews encompass safety checks for the product itself and reviews of safety information supplied to customers such as safety data sheets1 instruction manuals, warning labels, and catalogs. The reviews also examine the product's impact on the environment. If any doubts about product safety are identified, the Product Safety Review Board convenes a meeting comprised of impartial experts, including people from outside the Group when necessary. The product must then pass their review before being released to the market.
- 1 Since fiscal 2012, the Toray Group has been phasing in safety data sheets (SDS) based on the latest JIS standards that comply with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This process was completed in fiscal 2016.
Product Safety Review Flow Chart
- 2 At group companies worldwide, this position is held by the president or a director.
Education and Training for Product Safety and for Quality Assurance
Implementation rate for product safety and quality assurance education
Reporting scope: Toray Group (Japan)
Fiscal 2016 target:
Toray provides training every year for newly appointed department and section managers at the Company and its group companies in Japan. Sessions are focused on the importance of product safety, the relationship between product safety and quality assurance, relevant laws and regulations, and Toray Group's product safety review system and quality assurance framework. Since fiscal 2013, all group companies around the world have conducted original product safety and quality assurance training tailored to their operations.
Preventing Product Accidents
Number of product accidents
Reporting scope: Toray Group
Fiscal 2016 target:
In fiscal 2016, the Toray Group maintained the performance of the previous fiscal year, once again achieving its goal of zero product accidents.
Providing Product Safety Information
The Toray Group provides customers with product safety information specifically tailored to the product or service. In its efforts to create a convenient environment for customers, Toray makes available toll-free numbers for customers to call and inquire about its mainstay consumer products such as home water purifiers and contact lenses.
Perfecting Systems in Support of Quality Assurance Activities
Ratio of complaint costs to net sales, compared with fiscal 2011–2013 average
Reporting scope: Toray
Fiscal 2016 target:
Every year, the Product Safety and Quality Assurance Committee determines company-wide quality assurance tasks. Each worksite works on the tasks under the direction of a Quality Assurance Manager Council.
In fiscal 2016, Toray continued efforts from the previous fiscal year to institute solutions that address the underlying issues behind major product complaints from customers by investigating the cause and having relevant departments mutually monitor the execution of countermeasures. Toray also implements quality audits for partner companies, in an effort to further enhance quality control over outsourced products. Based on the results, Toray gives advice and provides support to enhance quality control at partner companies and ensure that improvements are permanently adopted. The target ratio for complaint-related costs to net sales was not achieved in fiscal 2016, due to an increase in complaint-related costs resulting from customers' more exacting quality requirements.
Respecting the Eight Basic Consumer Rights
In providing products and services, the Toray Group is fundamentally committed to respecting the Eight Basic Consumer Rights and strives to secure safety and quality of its products throughout the Group's business activities.
The Eight Basic Consumer Rights Excerpted from the Consumers International website
- The right to satisfaction of basic needs
- The right to safety
- The right to be informed
- The right to choose
- The right to be heard
- The right to redress
- The right to consumer education
- The right to a healthy environment
VOICEMessage from a Quality Assurance Manager
Delivering the Highest Quality to Enable Customers to Create Value
Stemco, Ltd. was established in 1995 as a joint venture between Toray and Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Ltd. of South Korea. We manufacture and market chip-on-film (COF) substrates for driver ICs used in LCDs and EL displays.
Specifications for COF technology continue to become more sophisticated with the miniaturization of circuits and the increased surface area of dual-sided COFs. This necessitates more advanced technologies for quality control, and so we continue to invest in facilities and human resources. We implement quality improvement activities with the involvement of all of our employees and have developed our own automated inspection equipment and systems to manage processes and inspection data in real time. We have also established a quality assurance and technical services branch in Taiwan, where many of our customers are based. We have recently started manufacturing advanced dual-sided COFs, which are being used in displays for high-performance smartphones.
In fiscal 2016, we acquired IATF 16949 certification for quality management systems, which is a new standard for the automotive industry that replaces ISO/TS 16949, to prepare for future adoption of COFs in on-board automotive displays.
Chi-Gweon Lim Manager,Upstream Quality, Quality Innovation Team, Stemco, Ltd.