BHEL is one of the few organisations which made its Quality foundation strong since its inception. During 1970-90, BHEL implemented Quality Manual for the entire organisation including responsibilities, systems, processes and procedures. Second tier documents like Quality Plans, standard technological procedures, process sheets, test plans and procedures, non-conformance handling systems were implemented during this period. Since then BHEL is foremost in Quality Planning, Calibration System and Quality Circle concept in India.
In early 90s, ISO 9001 came into implementation worldwide. BHEL acted fast to align its systems to ISO 9001 right from 1992. Today 30 BHEL divisions (Manufacturing Units, Power Sector Regions, Business Sectors, Engineering Centres, Corporate Office, Corporate R&D) are accredited for ISO 9001:2015 version (latest) by internationally acclaimed certifying agency. Each division has apex level Quality Management system manual followed by department procedures, work instructions. These are well linked to engineering documents, purchase specifications, product standards, technological standards, process sheets, test procedures, quality plans etc. Document control system is well established for computerised as well as manual documents.
Critical to Quality (CTQ) issues are identified right from order receipt stage followed by their incorporation in design and operational documents. Quality checks for incoming goods, in-process quality control, final checks and tests are performed as per approved Quality Plans and manufacturing procedures. Customer approvals are taken right from pre-manufacturing stage followed by hold point clearances during manufacturing and final inspection.
For erection and commissioning of BHEL equipment, erection and commissioning manual, O&M manual, Field Quality Plans are available. Every power sector region has well identified Field Quality Assurance groups to look into quality during erection and commission of equipment.
Beside this, the organisation has gone ahead to satisfy the requirements of Environment, Health and Safety through accreditation as per ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Today major IT centres of the organisation are certified for ISO 27001 and all major laboratories are NABL accredited. Several products of BHEL are also certified by agencies like Central Boiler Board, India; American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), USA; Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS); American Petroleum Institute (API), USA; UL India and Lloyds Register.
To assess the maturity of a division with respect to Quality Systems, Quality Management Effectiveness Review (QMER) concept was introduced in BHEL in 2005-06. This is an approach for improving maturity levels of Quality Management System (QMS). QMER has been designed and developed to understand and mitigate the gap between a mere ISO 9001 compliant company and a world-class organisation. QMER combines the process of assessment, audit and evaluation of the QMS in a structured manner to assess maturity and leverage it for attaining better results and enhanced stakeholder value through structured action plans.
The major quality initiatives taken in the Organisation are Root Cause Analysis (RCA) system for quality problem solving in all units, Statistical Quality Control (SQC), improvement projects in quality, engineering, manufacturing and other areas through the IMPRESS (Improvement Projects Reward Scheme System) scheme. Strong management review at each unit, structured Internal Audit, periodic Process/Product Audit at manufacturing units and Field Quality Audit at sites, review of Quality Circles, focus on effective customer complaint handling, structured customer satisfaction survey across the organisation, Quality Data Capturing and Measurement system have brought excellence in our operations. Application of information technology in quality management, design/engineering, manufacturing and other functions have raised the bar of quality level of BHEL products and services.
Continuous R&D at manufacturing units and Corporate R&D Centre at Hyderabad, having various Centres of Excellence, are carrying out focused improvement in products and processes. Modernisation of manufacturing facilities, inspection/testing and laboratory facilities across the organisation are significant steps towards making the customers satisfied for BHEL products.
Apart from building strong foundation on basic quality from concept to commissioning, BHEL has adopted the philosophy of Total Quality Management in its journey towards business excellence. To give thrust to the movement for business excellence, BHEL has adopted EFQM model (European Foundation for Quality Management) of Business Excellence guided by CII-Institute of Quality. Major divisions of BHEL have been recognised under CII-EXIM Bank Award on Business Excellence since year 2000. BHEL-HEEP at Haridwar was the first Public Sector Undertaking division to get coveted CII-EXIM Bank Prize in the year 2006.
BHEL has taken immense effort in training the new recruits and retraining the experienced personnel in all fields with special focus on product knowledge and quality management.
BHEL is in the journey of excellence since several years and institutionalised many excellence initiatives. With “Customer Success” as motto, BHEL has taken challenge in continual improvement in all operations at all divisions. The major excellence initiatives taken up are 5S, Balanced Score Card (BSC), Performance Appraisal – eMap, Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Quality Management Effectiveness Review (QMER), Reward and Recognition System (IMPRESS and Excel Award), Facility Modernisation, Design-to-Cost Concept (DTC), Lean Concept, Integrated IT Systems, Knowledge Management, Benchmarking, Stakeholder Perception Surveys, etc. All these enablers are driving BHEL in the journey to achieve Zero Defect Quality in its all products.