Quality Control

Basic Stance

Since its foundation, the DENSO Group has been dedicated to providing safe, high-quality services that will satisfy customers and earn their trust based on a commitment under the DENSO Group Declaration of Corporate Behavior. We have designated the thorough implementation of the Quality First principle, the practice of quality assurance from the beginning of production, and the promotion of quality control with full employee participation as basic quality assurance policies. We are committed to carrying out the Customer First principle in creating products.

Additionally, based on information collected by sales and technology departments from customers, we are continuously making efforts to enhance customer satisfaction in terms of quality, cost and delivery.

Promotion Structure

1. Structure for developing products that meet the needs of customers

In order to provide the best products for customers around the world, the DENSO Group has established technical centers in Japan, the United States, Germany, Thailand, China, India, and Brazil. In doing so, the Group has put into place a global structure that allows for product development, quality testing, and quality evaluation to be carried out in accordance with the characteristics of each region.

Furthermore, the DENSO Group has completed the acquisition of ISO/TS16949 certification, an international standard for quality management systems.

Shanghai Technical Center (China)

Global R&D Network

Region

Japan

North America

Europe

Asia & Oceania

China

India

South America

Core T/C

Head Quarters

Michigan 

Germany

Thailand

Shanghai

Delhi

Brazil

Satellite

Domestic Group companies, South Korea

Tennessee, California

U.K, Italy, Sweden

Vietnam, Philippines, Australia

Beijing, Xian, Taiwan

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2. Quality Control

For the quality assurance process of new products, specialized departments such as quality control and production technology are undertaking unified efforts to strictly check quality by visualizing the degree of product completion as well as quality-related risks. Particularly, for the design stage, in order to assure high reliability and durability, we repeatedly conduct in-vehicle testing under a range of conditions such as high-speed driving, rough roads, low temperatures and icing on our test course, as well as various tests in our environmental testing room. In these ways, we carefully verify product quality.

Quality control in environment testing room
In-vehicle testing on DENSO’s test course

Quality assurance policies and systems

Specific Initiatives

1. Product development that places ensuring safety as its top priority

In creating products, the DENSO Group places the highest priority on ensuring safety for its customers, and design departments thoroughly conduct both safety designs, such as fail-safe* designs, and safety evaluations. We also promote system and product design pursuant to ISO 26262 certification for functional safety.

From product planning to production and shipment, functional departments clearly specify operational procedures and responsible departments and strictly monitor compliance with applicable laws and regulations in each stage. When launching new products in particular, the responsible departments are required to conduct safety evaluations based on internal regulations and to report on the results of legal compliance checks.

* Fail-safe design: A design philosophy requiring products to be controlled in a safe manner in the event of an accident or erroneous operation.

2. Education, training, and activities to raise awareness

The DENSO Group considers hitozukuri (human resource development) to be the foundation of its business and thus nurtures technical and skilled employees in a systematic and ongoing manner while also handing down the DENSO-style of monozukuri (manufacturing) through hands-on practical education and training.

Education, training, and activities to raise awareness
  • E-learning and satellite training for Group companies located in remote regions in Japan and overseas
  • Practical education at the Technology Dojo, Quality Dojo (both located in DENSO headquarters), and Manufacturing Dojo (located in manufacturing bases in and outside Japan)
Independent/Mutual study and information sharing
  • Quality Circle (QC) activities (front line manufacturing) at each workplace
  • Company-wide QC Circle Competition in which domestic and overseas Group companies and suppliers participate and share the results of their QC activities
Domestic QC Circle Competition
Overseas QC Circle Competition
Company-wide awards for monozukuri improvement activities

TOPICS
Initiatives for Fostering Awareness of the Customer’s Perspective

Customer Satisfaction (CS) Improvement Exhibition (Domestic Group Companies)

We hold an exhibition to present our "Monozukuri and service" initiatives as well as associated case examples, which are based on customer feedback, to employees, Group companies, and suppliers (about 220,000 visitors to the 2016 event). We also hold lecture sessions on the theme of fostering awareness of the customer's perspective to learn about efforts by other companies.

CS Improvement Exhibition
Lecture session

Promoting acquisition of the qualification as advisory specialist for consumer affairs (DENSO)

We encourage employees to become qualified advisory specialists for consumer affairs, which are advisors who are capable of giving advice from the customer's perspective. We provide support to employees with strong motivation for personal skill development and work toward the goal of increasing the number of qualified employees to 100 by 2020, thereby becoming one of the top 10 companies in Japan in that regard. As of 2016, DENSO ranked 15th (up from 17th the previous year) among Japanese companies for the number of qualified employees, with 49 employees receiving qualification.

In addition to using knowledge gained through the qualification process in their normal duties, these qualified employees also make use of exchange opportunities with qualified employees from other companies to further expand their expertise and contribute to society.

Study group for acquiring qualification
Internal study session
Meet-and-greet with external companies

Column: “Quality DENSO” Created through Efforts to Attain the Deming Prize

Since DENSO’s founding, we have worked to strengthen quality control to provide high-quality products. Before trade liberalization in the first half of the 1960s, DENSO understood the risk of being left behind if international quality and prices were not achieved.

Thus, to strengthen DENSO’s corporate structure through total quality control (TQC), when commemorating our 10th anniversary in 1959, an annual management policy was announced that would provide the traction for future leaps forward. Then president Torao Hayashi declared our resolve to move forward with the goal of winning the prestigious Deming Prize two years later.

At that time, Nissan Motors was the only company in the automobile industry with the same goal. Taking on this challenge was quite a courageous decision for DENSO, and the two years after this announcement were filled with hardship. While receiving guidance to incorporate expert knowledge, enhanced QC education was conducted in-house and expanded to include supplier factories. Furthermore, to ensure a thorough stance on quality management, the Quality Assurance Council was established and measures to enhance quality were conducted on a monthly basis. These QC activities permeated the entire Company.

After a nearly two-month long evaluation process, the fruit of these labors were realized on October 7, 1961, when DENSO received the Deming Prize. A monument in commemoration was created to serve as a permanent reminder of the honor of winning the Deming Prize as well as a statement of intention to develop even more sophisticated technologies as the foundation of management that will implement thorough quality control going forward. Rather than being an end goal, this award serves as the platform providing the traction for DENSO’s leap forward out into the world as a global company, establishing the new slogan, “Quality DENSO.”

 

About the Deming Prize

This award evaluates companies' product quality control systems and recognizes companies that conduct effective quality management. The Deming Prize was established in 1951 by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) in commemoration of achievements in Japan by New York University professor Dr. W. E. Deming, a worldwide authority on quality control.

Future Initiatives

Automotive technology, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), automated driving (AD), and connected cars, continues to evolve, but our desire to provide high-quality products that prevent accidents remains unchanged. Moving forward, we will strengthen our future-oriented quality assurance systems and initiatives in addition to enhancing quality control for cutting-edge technology and our rigorous Hitozukuri to continue providing society with high-quality products and services.