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TDK's Thinking on Quality Assurance

Through the manufacture of electronic components, its core business, TDK wants to continue responding to the expectations of customers. Therefore, it has positioned quality as an important management axis in manufacturing.
TDK believes that building the number-one product quality and continuing to supply customer-satisfying products through management that places top priority on quality is its contribution to society and its mission.

Basic Philosophy of Quality Assurance

"Advance to Zero Defect"
In conducting quality assurance activities, TDK advocates the basic philosophy of "Advance to Zero Defect" This means the "Advance to Zero Defect" throughout the whole life cycle of a product not only the shipment stage but also the distribution stage, the stage of use by set makers, the stage of use by final users, and disposal.

Quality Policy

"Quality cannot be assured in a final inspection!"
As its quality policy, TDK proclaims that "Quality cannot be assured in a final inspection!" In other words, this policy was established in order to spread the idea not of assuring product quality for customers by eliminating defective products in a final test but of realizing a high level of quality at the source of every stage in the process, including the product, work process, and equipment development and design.
TDK endeavors to enhance adequate quality through source control and, by eliminating defective products, to realize high-quality products that can gain the satisfaction and trust of customers.

Quality Targets

"Achieve Zero Defect"
"Make TDK the leading quality-oriented company in the industry"
To earn customer satisfaction in the use of our products, TDK considers it a top priority to supply high-quality products on a continuing basis. Our quality assurance system addresses three aspects of quality?quality related to personnel, technologies, and systems?as we aim for zero defects and the best quality of any company in the industry.
Becoming a top-quality leading company in the industry

Specific Measures to Achieve Quality Targets

TDK conducts the following important measures to achieve its quality targets.

Transforming perceptions of quality and motivating employees to achieve quality targets

To achieve zero defects requires a change of attitude toward quality. Besides instilling in employees TDK's basic philosophy and policy, we develop new quality activities to transform perceptions of quality.
In fiscal 2013, based on the results of a survey on attitudes toward quality conducted in the preceding fiscal year, the "co-creative challenge activity" was launched, aimed at creating a Monozukuri framework and a culture oriented towards intrinsic quality.
The quality of a product must be firmly embedded in the product already at the manufacturing stage. For TDK, the Monozukuri spirit of craftsmanship is at the root of everything we do. By returning focus to this point of origin, the new drive aims to foster a framework and instill a culture whereby each staff member can embed quality at their workplace.
The drive provides a platform on which members involved in Monozukuri and supporting staff can form a team together, under participation of everyone. The communication happening on this platform and the mutual stimulation and interaction are bound to motivate each individual, empowering them to face challenges and to embed quality on their own accord. The aim is to create a team of Monozukuri professionals.
The "co-creative challenge activity" is being put into practice on the basis of the idea that "better quality assurance comes from human resources development."

Co-creative challenge activity: better quality assurance comes from human resources development
Establishing upstream control to avoid defects in planning and design

Designs are screened for early detection of risks and problems hidden in new products and new technologies. TDK's system uses testing technologies built into processes from the design stage to ensure quality that results in better designs and better processes. This type of quality assurance makes it possible for TDK to supply new products of even higher quality than those they replace.

Design Review
Design Review
Product development flow chart
Product development flow chart
Early development of reliability assessment and analysis methods

Directed at supplying highly reliable products, TDK has established numerous product evaluation technologies such as fine-structure observation technology, ultra-high-precision analysis technology, and nondestructive product evaluation technology. By using these technologies and developing new ones, TDK aims to create leading next-generation products.

Strengthening quality assurance activities

TDK promotes quality improvements in the areas of personnel, technologies, and systems through continuous improvement activities. We apply original IT solutions to ensure that quality data is made visible and can be communicated in a timely fashion, ensuring stable quality in all products that we supply.

Example of Visualization of Quality Information
Improving quality in purchased parts

To reach the goal of zero defects, purchased parts must have zero defects, as well. TDK uses a three-pronged strategy to ensure quality when purchasing parts. First, TDK builds solid relationships both within the TDK Group and with outside suppliers; second, we are strengthening quality improvement activities for parts purchased globally and third, we use IT solutions to make data related to the quality of purchased parts visible. All of these steps lead to the elimination of latent defects and to higher quality.

CS (Customer Satisfaction) Activities Related to Electronic Components

TDK supplies electronic components as a flagship product line not only to electronic device set manufacturers directly linked to end consumers, but also to electronic assembly manufacturers and component manufacturers. In doing so, TDK makes every effort to ensure customer satisfaction (CS), through the three avenues as follows, and strives to achieve general satisfaction, encompassing quality, cost, delivery, environmental efforts and services, in order to become the company of choice for potential customers.

  • Supplier evaluation information, whereby our business customers evaluate TDK products
  • Product-related complaint information from our customers
  • CS evaluation, whereby sales staff members evaluate TDK products from a customer's point of view
Supplier Evaluation Information

TDK obtains the results of supplier evaluations as completed by its customers. The evaluation ranks the different levels of customer satisfaction, with an "A" indicating that the customer is fully satisfied. TDK keeps track of changes in the percentage regarding the A rank, and passes this information to the relevant division responsible to improve CS.

Product-Related Complaints

TDK maintains a database of product-related complaints filed by customers both in Japan and overseas. Information is sent online to the involved departments without delay, so that swift action can be taken to improve CS.
In addition, this system is designed to automatically send significant complaints to top management.

CS Evaluation

In order to become the supplier of choice for our customers, our sales staff members make sure that they understand the needs of our customers. TDK makes every effort to improve CS by quickly understanding the details of customer complaints, and providing feedback to the relevant divisions so that they may take necessary remedial action.

Voice of a sales person

I work with a major automaker in Japan. Once a year, I get a chance to assess the degree of customer satisfaction by means of a survey that covers various evaluation items such as quality, day-to-day operations, etc., rated on a point scale. In fiscal 2013, we received a "5" which is the top ranking. But this certainly does not mean that we should rest on our laurels. Not only will we aim for a "5" ranking again this year, we will try to increase the total number of points through our daily activities.
If a quality problem occurs, taking swift and decisive action is my main priority.
In day-to-day operations, I sometimes receive notice from the customer about a problem with one of our products. In such a case, I visit the customer either on the same day or on the next day at the latest, to ascertain the content of the complaint. I then make use of our claims information database and notify the respective department or departments without delay. The departments prepare a report for submission to the customer, but before submitting it, we want to make sure that any causes and countermeasures are clearly set down in the report, and that it is easy to read and understand from the point of view of the customer.
While doing marketing work, my colleagues and I of course learn various opinions of the customer, and we process these to compile self-assessment ratings in categories such as quality, price, and delivery timing. These are communicated to the respective departments on a monthly basis. As a marketing representative, I operate at the point closest to the customer and I always try to learn about any grievances or newly arisen needs as quickly as possible. I then aim to take action accordingly, working closely together with the technology, production, and development sections of our company.

Shunichi Okuno
Shunichi Okuno
TDK Corporation
Electronic Components Sales Group
Chubu Domestic Sales Strategy Division
Nagoya Branch
Automotive Marketing Group

Customer Recognition of TDK Quality

TDK receives Achievement Award from Advanced Micro Devices
In May 2012, the TDK Group was among the six out of 170 supplier companies selected by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) for their Achievement Award.
AMD is one of the world's leading producers of CPUs and GPUs for personal computers, servers, game consoles, and tablet devices. TDK mainly supplies ULI capacitors to this customer.
The award was given to TDK in recognition of its continuously high level of support in terms of technology, response, cost, and service.

Receiving the award
Receiving the award

CSR Activities

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