Sustainability / Social Report / Responsibility to Customers and Product SafetyEnhancing Product Quality
The Daicel Group strives to ensure and enhance quality by adhering to its Quality Policy.
Quality Policy for Daicel Group
Each member of the Daicel Group promises to deliver safe and quality products and services that can be used with confidence by customers. In order to realize this policy, we undertake the following actions.
- We listen to customer requirements and deliver trust and satisfaction.
- We clarify and seek to achieve the required quality.
- We obey laws and regulations.
- Each member looks at matters from the customer’s perspective and undertakes actions on their own initiative.
Established April 6, 2016
Response to inappropriate actions of Daicel Miraizu Ltd.
In February 2022, it was determined that one of the Group companies, Daicel Miraizu Ltd., took inappropriate action (“misconduct”) for some of the resin products they sold in relation to certification by Underwriters Laboratories Limited Liability Company (UL), a third-party safety science organization in the United States. In response, we established an investigative committee chaired by an independent outside Audit & Supervisory Board Member and composed of external experts who have no interest in the Company. In December 2022, the committee submitted a report that analyzed the facts and causes of this misconduct, determined whether there were similar cases in the Group, and recommended measures to prevent recurrence. The Group takes the results of this survey seriously and is working to prevent recurrence.
Based on the recommended measures to prevent recurrence, as of April 1, 2023, we made organizational changes to strengthen our management base with safety, quality, and compliance as our top priority. In addition to the progressive disbanding of the Quality Management Division and the Responsible Care Division of Assessment Headquarters, we have newly established the Safety and Quality Auditing. The Safety and Quality Auditing will centrally conduct safety and quality audits and training, including Responsible Care audits. In addition, we newly established the Safety and Quality Assurance Headquarters, and establish the Quality Assurance Center in this division to supervise and promote initiatives related to quality assurance and quality control. Furthermore, with the aim of strengthening cooperation among all factories beyond the boundaries of plants, we have abolished each production company and established a Quality Assurance Department in every plant. As a result, we have assigned production, safety and the environment, quality assurance, production technology, and general affairs functions as the basic functions of all of our plants in Japan, and are strengthening the functions of each corporate division and cooperation among plants.
Quality Management System
The Daicel Group has constructed a quality management system at each manufacturing site under the leadership of the plant manager (general manager). The Quality Assurance Committee, comprising departments at each site and other relevant departments, serves as an important organization in pursuing continuous improvements, with the support of the relevant corporate departments. Progress made toward achieving quality-related goals and initiatives, as well as the effectiveness of these efforts, is reported to and reviewed by the top management through monthly quality reports, quality white papers, and audit reports, etc.
Our Structure for Quality Management
The Daicel Group has obtained various certifications to meet the requirements of our customers and markets, including ISO 9001.
[Examples of certifications]
- IATF 16949 for the automotive sector
- ISO 13485 for the medical equipment sector
- ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 for food safety management
Major Initiatives for Ensuring Quality
The Daicel Group initiatives for ensuring quality involve planning products based on the Group’s proprietary technologies and market needs and proceeding with design and development.
During trial production and the early stages of commercial production, we review the product from the perspective of seeking out any issues related to quality and safety performance. We then move on to mass production after conducting the necessary assessments. We ensure traceability throughout our production processes, from raw materials to the final products. After the products are processed, they undergo quality testing and inspection before finally being shipped to the market.
For shipped products, we provide customers with information about safety and handling of products through such means as providing safety data sheets (SDS) and affixing labels.
Following a market launch, we manage changes in product specifications or changes in raw materials and processes by assessing the risks of changing any element in accordance with quality requirements and agreements with customers. This ensures that we can maintain quality in the face of change.
At each plant, internal audits and Quality Assurance Committee meetings are held regularly to check up on the status of quality management operations, conformity, effectiveness and other aspects to make improvements. The targets are set for improvement at the start of the fiscal year based on various benchmarks, including the number of customer complaints and in-process defects. These reviews are conducted at the end of each fiscal year by the plant managers and relevant departments to determine further improvements for the next fiscal year.
In addition, the Safety and Quality Auditing of Assessment Headquarters, which is part of the Head Offices, confirms that these processes are being properly conducted at each business site in the Daicel Group and performs audits in order to strengthen the management capabilities of the Group. Based on the results, each department works to ensure continuous improvement.
*SDS: Short for Safety Data Sheet, this document provides information on the properties, safety, and handling of chemical substances.
Responding to Customer Feedback
The Daicel Group responds to complaints and inquiries from customers by conducting primary investigations on issues such as in-process defects and abnormal tendencies, and it swiftly provides feedback. Also, we offer replacements as necessary for customers and investigate the causes of the occurrence and taking steps to rectify or prevent these situations.
In addition to information from customers, when quality defects or irregularities are discovered in product inspections and production processes, we use a dedicated database to visualize and accumulate information.
This information is used in discussions by the Quality Assurance Committee, which confirms the appropriateness of countermeasures, leading to further quality improvements, including prevention of recurrence.
Customer Complaints about the Daicel Group*
- *Shows the change in the number of customer complaints on a scale where data for FY2018/3 is 100.
- *Scope: Daicel Corporation, Dainichi Chemical Co., Ltd., Daicel Pyrotechnics Ltd., Daicen Membrane-Systems Ltd., Daicel Miraizu Ltd., Daicel Pack Systems Ltd., Daicel-Allnex Ltd., Daicel Aboshi Sangyo Co., Ltd., DM Novafoam Ltd., and Polyplastics Co., Ltd. (includes overseas companies), Polyplastics-Evonik Corporation, Daicel Nanning Food Ingredients Co., Ltd., Shanghai Daicel Polymers, Ltd., Daicel Safety Systems Europe Sp.z o.o., Daicel Safety Systems Americas, Inc.、Daicel Safety Systems (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd., Daicel Safety Technologies (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd., Daicel Safety Systems Korea, Inc., Daicel Safety Systems (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Daicel Safety Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
- *Applicable companies added in September 2021: Chiral Technologies Europe S.A.S., Chiral Technologies, Inc., Daicel Chiral Technologies (China) Co., Ltd., Daicel Chiral Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd., Daicel Arbor Biosciences
- *Applicable companies added in April 2022: Xi’an Huida Chemical Industries Co., Ltd., Xi’an Da-an Chemical Industries Co., Ltd., and Ningbo Da-an Chemical Industries Co., Ltd.
- *Applicable companies added in or after October 2022 Daicel Beyond Ltd.
Rate of Initial Response to Customer Complaints within 24 Hours
|Rate of initial response within 24 hours (%)
|Average number of days to initial response at production sites
Internal Education and Training
In addition to providing education for each organizational unit that operates the quality management system, Daicel’s corporate departments host training sessions on quality management, quality control and internal audits. The programs are carried out in consideration of each participant’s job grade and experience to gradually raise their knowledge level. The graph below shows training sessions held in FY2023/3.
In-house Training Sessions Conducted in FY2023/3
|Internal auditor development
|Domestic production sites
Image Analysis System that Leverages Cutting-edge IoT and AI-driven Technologies
To strengthen our customers’ security and increase their trust in us, the Daicel Group strives to enhance quality by being quick to introduce the latest technologies in order to meet our customers’ expectations.
For example, we signed a partnership agreement with Hitachi Ltd. Then, we introduced and operated an image analysis system in 2016 that leverages IoT and AI technologies at the Harima Plant, one of our manufacturing sites for inflators, a key component of automobile airbags.
The system is capable of consistently monitoring the status of operations, facilities and materials via images captured by multiple cameras installed along production lines. The system allowed us to change the conventional method of inspecting representative samples and closely manage the quality of every product unit being manufactured. It also led to a shift from representative-point management of each lot to all-point management based on the serial number of each product, which significantly improved the in-process guarantee rate for products. Moreover, we utilize the AI-based analysis of massive volumes of image data to improve work operations, determine optimal conditions for facility operations and enhance overall operational efficiency.
Since introducing the system to the inflator production line at the Harima Plant, we have begun introducing it in China and Thailand as part of our global rollout. We plan to introduce the system to all inflator production plants overseas by FY2024/3. Our goal for the future is to build a unified information system and standardize production process management, quality management, and the handling of management-related information.
Risk Management for Product Safety
The Daicel Group is working to strengthen risk assessments related to product safety in order to provide customers with safe and secure products related to safety devices, covering such fields as pharmaceuticals, foods, cosmetics, medical devices, and automobiles. In addition, we identify and monitor risks related to product safety, conduct Product Crisis Assessment, which is an assessment of the response measures taken in the event of a crisis, and hold Product Safety Advisory Meetings, chaired by an external expert, to evaluate product safety risk assessments from a more specialized perspective.
In FY2023/3 there were no serious product safety accidents that negatively affected customers’ physical wellbeing, life, or property.
In the event of a serious accident that adversely affects the physical wellbeing, life, or property of a customer, we will establish a Product Accident Countermeasures Committee chaired by the head of SBU etc. or a person designated by the President and CEO based on internal rules, and will appropriately and swiftly implement everything from the initial investigation and cause analysis to the external response and information disclosure with the safety and security of customers as the top priority.