Quality Assurance Laboratory being an ancillary of Pot Room, Carbon and Cast House, it gives technically valid analytical results by following Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), proper maintenance and housekeeping of laboratory infrastructure and adherence to safety standards to ensure smooth process flow of the whole plant.
Though the responsibilities of the department are widely spread, the routine responsibilities are as follows:
1. Raw Material Control
Raw material pertaining to smelter, carbon and cast house is monitored and controlled through state-of-art instruments like X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer, Atomic Absorption Spectrometer & UV visible spectrometers.
2. Ensuring the Quality of the Finished Product
Primary Aluminum products (Ingot and Wire rods) and Rolled products are tested using modern analytical equipment like Optical Emission Spectrometer, Tensile Testing Machine and Resistance Measurement devices.
The QA is committed to get Lab Accreditation by complying ISO 17025:2005 requirements for finished products in the field of Chemical, Electrical and mechanical testing from National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories, India.
3. Finalising the Specification of Raw Material and Finished Products
QA Lab plays major role in finalising the specification of various raw materials used in Aluminium industry based on the available resources, without affecting the product quality, which in turn reduces the cost of production.
QA Lab develops the specification of various products, which meets the requirements of customers based on their application and also as per the national and international standards.
4. Vendor Development and Evaluation of Vendor
QA lab plays a major role in developing alternate vendor for various raw materials as per the plant requirements with lower cost.
Evaluation and re-evaluation of vendors is also carried out to reduce the variations within the suppliers for better optimisation of process and product.
5. Evolve and Implement QA Plan for all Incoming Materials
QA lab evolves appropriate QAP (Quality Assurance Plans) for all raw materials based on the suppliers manufacturing process, batch size, sample size, testing facilities and test methods etc. to ensure the test results represent whole lots intended to supply.
6. Calibration of Analytical Equipment
Calibration is being done for all instruments and equipment at defined frequency using both internal facility as well as by authorised personnel from OEM service providers.
7. Asset Optimisation – Man, Machine and Methods
QA Lab does asset optimisation continuously to improve the productivity of Manpower and Machines (Upkeep of Instruments & Equipment) and also updates Methods periodically as per the national and international standards.
8. Internal and External Customer Orientation - Customer Focus
- a) Internal Customer Satisfaction:
Supporting the production and maintenance team in optimising the process parameters, process improvement initiatives, trouble shooting, providing the failure analysis of equipment / spares for the development of indigenous spares. Survey is conducted once in three months for enhancing customer satisfaction.
- b) External Customer Satisfaction:
Attending customer complaints and resolving the complaint with appropriate corrective action, understanding the customer processes, sharing knowledge on BALCO’s products usage and guiding on the same to obtain desired output etc.
9. Implementation of Lean Tools like TQM, Six Sigma etc.
QA team takes lead role in effective functioning of cross-functional Teams to implement TQM & Six Sigma lean tools throughout processes to reduce process variation and maximise productivity.
10. Implementation of Integrated Management Systems
QA team is responsible for establishing, developing, implementing and maintaining the Integrated Management System as per ISO 9001: 2008 requirements of Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 requirements of Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001: 2007 requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series.
Also communicating to top management as and when required about the continuing suitability of Integrated Management System and its effectiveness.