Faulty production

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A toilet roll with two cardboard tubes instead of the usual one as an example of a faulty production

As a defective production (also Committee ; English defect production ) refers to companies in the production process faulty manufactured finished products , finished products , semi-finished products , intermediates , materials , workpieces or in construction , the construction defects .

The counterpart to faulty production is the so-called yield - the proportion of faultless products.


Defective production means a deviation between the actual and the ideal product quality . It can therefore only be a question of faulty production if the intended product quality is not achieved in production . For the concept of error in the sense of product liability, it is sufficient to objectively damage the customer 's interest in integrity . Defective production leads to defective costs because the defective products also caused manufacturing costs, although they are not for sale and therefore do not generate any revenue . These failure costs reduce profits . If products were sold anyway and the buyer notices the material defects , additional costs arise from warranty , producer liability or product recalls . In addition to the cost disadvantages, companies are due to faulty manufacture a high reputational risk exposed and suffer not be underestimated reputational damage in the public , which can exceed the cost of errors far.

The disadvantages of faulty production can be countered by production planning and control and quality control . The highest risk of faulty production is with new or modified products ( product and financial innovations ) if product development has not considered all the detailed questions, no or too few product tests have taken place and the market maturity status has not yet been reached. According to the DGQ (German Society for Quality), it is a defective product if it cannot be used or can only be used with the acceptance of additional costs or reduced proceeds.


In modern times , around 1900, quality control was used to sort out defective products. The origins of the systematic quality control can be traced back to Frederick Winslow Taylor , who in 1911 with his principles of scientific management for the first time also commented on issues of faulty production. In 1913, Henry Ford implemented these principles in the Fordism that was named after him and, among other things, introduced systematic quality control that was supposed to prevent incorrect production of automobiles . The quality control took place through final checks and standardized measuring tools . However, this final inspection did not ensure the quality, but only determined whether it was present or not. Ford coined the principle in 1927: "The market is never saturated for a good product, but it is all the more quickly for a bad one."

With the start of mass production , it turned out that a total control of the product quality seemed too costly, so that a random check using the Shewhart control cards introduced by Walter A. Shewhart in 1924 and statistical control methods since 1930 were used. In February 1934, the reported Soviet Party Control Commission , that not only the industrial accidents in Moscow ironworks accumulated, but also 26% to 50% had entered incorrect production. In 1930 the volume of Russian industrial scrap production was estimated at 6.6% and in 1931 at 10.1% of gross output . In 1935 , William Edwards Deming replaced the previous ex-post controls with quality planning that precedes the production process. His Deming circle describes a three or four-phase process of quality assurance.

Numerous product recalls, especially from automobile manufacturers , pharmaceuticals , household appliances and in the food industry, are evidence of defective productions. According to a list by Frankona Rückversicherung, there were 59 recall campaigns for automobiles, 18 pharmaceuticals, 11 foodstuffs and 15 other industries within one year. The first recalls were carried out by automobile manufacturers in the USA in 1903 ( Packard ), 1916 ( Buick ) or 1924 ( Maxwell ). In 1940, in its “brake decisions”, the Reichsgericht obliged the manufacturer to eliminate the dangers under tort law and demanded that a product must be brought onto the market in a roadworthy manner.

In the past, recalls usually took place without any special public relations work . In 1966 it turned out that between 1959 and 1965 a total of around 8.7 million cars were affected in the USA, and between 1966 and 1979 there were 83.7 million recalls. In October 1982 there was a US-wide recall of Tylenol supplements, of which an estimated 31 million bottles were in circulation. In 1991 there were 703 bug fixes affecting 39 million products.

The Product Safety Act (ProdHaftG) has been in force in Germany since April 1997, and the new version has been in force since December 2011. It aims to protect the consumer from unsafe products. According to Section 2 No. 5 ProdHaftG, the central point of reference is the intended use for which a product is intended according to the manufacturer's specifications or the usual use resulting from the design and design of the product. A manufacturer can then be obliged to carry out a recall. According to Section 3 of the ProdHaftG, a product is defective if it does not offer the security that is reasonably expected, taking into account all the circumstances, in particular its presentation , the use that can be reasonably expected and the time at which it was brought into circulation can be expected.

Nissan had to recall a total of 2.5 million vehicles in 2003, and Toyota around 3.8 million vehicles in 2009. The average recall rate measured by the new registrations averaged 63% for cars in Germany in 2014, with Subaru leading with 640%, followed by Jaguar / Landrover (261%) and Honda (242%). Samsung recalled the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in October 2016 .


Defective productions are caused by defective operational environmental conditions . You can technically due to faulty process management , the production process itself by impurities , start-up problems , operator errors , operating errors in machinery and technical equipment , malfunction or poor coordination arise. A distinction must be made between systematic errors and random errors . While systematic errors originate from the incorrectly designed production process, random errors occur purely situationally.

However, defective production is not just a technical problem, but its causes can also be found in a lack of qualification , a lack of concentration , a high level of sick leave or poor work motivation of the staff . The staff development comes to the task of training measures the knowledge and skills or key skill to improve the staff. The economic key figure of the production error rate provides information about the significance of the defective production and gives the proportion of defective production in total production:


The higher the production error rate, the higher the error costs and the lower the range of error-free products / services in a certain period of time.


Defective productions that have occurred must be identified as weak points and first subjected to a detailed error analysis . Their results form the sources of error , which are divided into technical and human. The operational production assurance has the task of preventing incorrect production through test plans and regular controls. Preceded her is the production planning where production-related defects production by systematic division of labor in the production process, meaningful ranking of workflows and work processes , production-integrated process controlling , compliance with the hygiene standards of production times can be prevented and right division. Even after the sale, the manufacturer must monitor the suitability of his products and check their acceptance in mass use. Authorities such as the Federal Motor Transport Authority (automobiles), official food controls (food) or non-governmental organizations such as goods test ensure objective controls and test results.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Norbert Hochheimer, Das kleine QM-Lexikon , 2011, p. 84
  2. DGQ-Schrift 11-04, 3rd edition, 2004
  3. Emma Auch-Dorsch / Monika Raidl-Dengler / Katrin Hegendörfer, Quality Management in Psycho-Therapeutic Practice , 2006, p. 15
  4. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The principles of scientific management , 1911, pp. 64 ff.
  5. Constanze Sigler, Online Media Management , 2010, p. 64 f.
  6. English A market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one ; Henry Ford, My Life and Work , 1927
  7. Pravda, February 4, 1934
  8. Pravda, June 11, 1932
  9. Theo Bodewig, The recall of defective products , p. 16
  10. RGZ 163, 21, 26
  11. Note, 33 Stan. L. Rev. 301 (1981), p. 302 FN 3
  12. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Annual Report to Congress , 1992, p. 1
  13. Automobile production from February 10, 2015, recalls in Germany reach record levels in 2014, accessed on November 3, 2016
  14. Juliane Gottmann, Production Controlling , 2016, p. 99